By Sean Herman, Founder & CEO
Thanks to 2020, our social lives and family gatherings now involve a bit more distance than they used to, and we’re increasingly relying on technology to keep up our connections with loved ones. If we’ve learned anything through the process, it’s that face-to-face interaction is a fundamental way that we share experiences, make memories and build bonds. But, too many hours with screens can also be counter-productive for connecting: as more aspects of life transition online, we’re left feeling burnt out after long calls—and it can be a struggle to remain present. Our kids especially are feeling it. This is something I saw firsthand in my own home.
Connecting in the era of Zoom fatigue
My daughter Kaylie and her grandmother have a special relationship. Even though they live in different cities, they’ve built a close bond—largely with the help of technology. I know they enjoy catching up, but I recently noticed a strange trend when they were FaceTiming. Lately, there just wasn’t the same enthusiasm for their screen time together. The calls would last for quite a while, but the minutes seemed to tick by without a whole lot of high-quality interaction.
No matter how much we value the person on the other end of a video call, sometimes we’re left feeling exhausted. And, with family and friends spread far and wide, it can be a challenge to clear a time that works for everyone’s schedules, and calls often end abruptly as we rush to our next commitment. All of this adds up and leaves us feeling like we’ve spent a lot of time video calling—and very little time actually connecting.
It struck me that duration does not equal quality when it comes to video chatting—and in fact, there might even be an inverse relationship in some cases. And an idea was born. I wanted to find a way for Kaylie and her grandmother to make the most of the moments they spent together, so they could continue to grow their relationship in a meaningful way. I wanted the focus to be on being present and making each minute count—and I wanted them both to feel fulfilled at the end of the call.
Introducing video calling—and another novel solution
When we launched our app back in January, it offered families a few different ways to connect: text, voice, emojis, pictures and asynchronous video messages. But it was always part of the plan to keep building new experiences into the app. Our mission is to be a catalyst for meaningful connections—with kids at the heart, so we soon introduced more features, games and activities to help kids stay in touch with loved ones, explore their creativity and cultivate new interests. And since we launched, we’ve been eager to hear feedback from our community. One thing became crystal clear, which was that our users wanted to be able to make video calls through Kinzoo, so we got to work on that right away.
Because we’re making an app for kids and families, we spend a great deal of time thinking about how our features support our mission and vision. We know that there will always be a need for traditional video calls among families—which is why we’re including it as a feature in our app. But we also wanted to see if there was a way for us to make it even better. Was there something we could do to address some of the pain points people have around video calls? Could we find a way to make it more fulfilling for everyone involved? After some research and brainstorming, a novel solution emerged.
Blip: a new take on face-to-face connections
We believe in a future where technology empowers us to deepen relationships. Where connection isn’t about the length of time we talk, but the meaning we derive from the moments we have together. Where we have the energy and focus to have more high-quality calls more often. That’s why we created Blip—a powerful new way to make the most of our time on a video call.
Blip lets you make a video call that wraps up automatically after eight minutes—focusing our attention on the present moment and empowering us to reach out to loved ones even when we’re short on time. Easing the scheduling struggle and encouraging in-the-moment memory making, Blip is a meaningful face-to-face connection for a technology-saturated world.
I founded Kinzoo in 2017 with a vision in mind: to be the most trusted brand for incorporating technology into our children’s lives. I wanted to help families like mine give their kids the best of technology. I’m excited to share video calling and Blip with our Kinzoo community. I’m especially looking forward to seeing my daughter light up while chatting with her grandmother—and I hope other families will enjoy the new take on face-to-face connection.