No matter how colorful the illustrations, no matter how spot on your Peppa Pig accent, sometimes kids just aren’t into reading books before bed. Throw on one of those night projectors that shine monkeys on the ceiling, however, and hot damn, you’ve got their attention. Obviously, you can see why a mom and former Google software engineer combined the two into this View-Master-esque smartphone projector to get her daughter to read more.
Simply put, Moonlite is a portable projector that uses your phone’s flash to shine bedtime stories up on the wall or ceiling. Just insert the 12-image reel into glow-in-the-dark (!) device, snap it onto your smartphone, and read the book inside the free iOS/Android app. Words display on the phone’s screen, HD pics show up on the wall. It uses “page detection software,” so when you manually rotate the picture reel, the pages on your screen turn. Not only that, but each story includes relevant sound effects so you don’t have to continuously make elephant noises every time the story involves … well, an elephant.
Moonlite is targeted at parents who are still reading to their children (ages 2- to 7-years old), rather than independent bookworms. And yes, before you climb onto your “kids and all the digital technology” screentime soapbox, you may have a point. While it’s “designed to limit blue light emissions, where it can, and display words with a dark, dim background,” it doesn’t completely eliminate the glow that could end up keeping Junior awake despite your best efforts to read him to sleep. Then again, your kid is at least into books again, rather than clawing to get back to the Legos. That’s something!
There are currently seven titles available in the Moonlite library in a handful of categories, including “Reimagined Fairy Tales” (Little Red Riding Hood and Jack in the Beanstalk), original “Bedtime Stories” (What Will We Do Tomorrow? and It’s Time To Go To Sleep My Love), and “Educational” (Alphabet Fun). They’re also teaming up with Science Wide Open crew to celebrate female scientists and have a tap-the-words-to-read-along story in the works.
Moonlite absolutely crushed their Kickstarter and is raring to go. Which means that while you can pre-order today, yours won’t arrive until next spring. Until then, best keep working on that Peppa accent.