Pro tips from the team behind Kickstarter’s most funded app

Here at memoryOS, we have a saying we repeat often: “Most of the Kickstarter happens before the actual Kickstarter.”

Preparation is the key. But even if you understand that most of the work is done in advance, you should still prepare yourself for some sleepless nights after the launch date. The usual startup mantra will apply to your crowdfunding campaign just as well: Measure, analyze and adjust along the way.

As you may know, crowdfunding fits some B2C products better than it does others. So to give you our product context here, memoryOS is a gamified app that teaches memorization skills with the help of virtual mind palaces and interactive microlessons taught by our co-founder, two-time World Memory Champion, Jonas von Essen.

Before becoming the most funded app on Kickstarter and getting it 6,400% funded (and carrying it further to the Indiegogo platform right after), we spent countless hours researching down the rabbit hole of crowdfunding tips and tricks. We also had calls with several top-tier crowdfunding project creators who were kind enough to answer our questions and share bits of knowledge from their experience.

We’re sharing our approach (and secrets) to building a successful crowdfunding campaign because we know just how tough it can be to launch your own product. So here is a complete 10-step guide:

Find a unique idea

You should have a unique idea for a product that would solve at least one problem for your target audience. The proven approach is to set two major hypotheses right at the start and then work on getting them tested:

  1. Does your product work and solve the problem as intended, and is it better than what’s out there? This is usually referred to as the “proof of concept” stage.
  2. Are there enough people who are willing to pay for your product for you to build a sustainable business?

You will need to build a base prototype to test the first hypothesis and, if it works, you can then work on turning it into an MVP or a short demo version for your future commercial product. You can then get people to test it for free and prepay for the full version.

Getting people to actually back their interest with their wallet means you already have customers, not merely enthusiasts, and it significantly increases the chances of a successful project.

Yes, it’s important that you get people to pay a minimum reservation deposit at this point and receive their commitment to pay the remaining amount for the full product later on. Getting people to actually back their interest with their wallet means you already have customers, not merely enthusiasts, and it significantly increases the chances of a successful project.

Get user feedback

As soon as you have something to test, conduct short surveys to better understand your customers by gathering and analyzing the reasons why and for what purpose(s) they would want your product.

Here at memoryOS, we called the first couple thousand of our leads and had many insightful conversations to help us connect to our audience on a more personal and emotional level.

Once you have a demo or prototype for the users to test, make sure to add a feedback form right at the end of their experience (or gather feedback using Google Forms for surveys, or via email inquiries).

Preorders for Panic’s Playdate handheld open July 29

Playdate, the adorable whimsy-and-nostalgia-box/handheld game system built by Panic (with some help from Teenage Engineering), has taken one more big step toward reality: it has an official preorder date. And it’s soon!

The company announced this morning that preorders for the handheld will go live on July 29th at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Looking to get one from the first batch? Here’s the other stuff you need to know:

  • The handheld will cost $179, and they’ll be selling an optional case accessory for $29. They’re offering both as a bundle for $199, saving you a couple bucks if you already know you want both. No word yet on when the previously announced docking station will go on sale.
  • It sounds like the actual ship date still isn’t fully locked in, but Panic says the first batch (20,000 units or so) should start going out “towards the end of the year,” with additional units going out in 2022. The company stresses that they’re not capping preorders so they can’t really “sell out,” but ordering earlier means getting it sooner.
  • Preorders will be capped at two per person.

Panic first announced the Playdate in 2019. Games on the Playdate are released in “seasons”; in season one, two new titles will be released each week for 12 weeks. As experimental as it is charming, Panic is pretty open about what to expect of the titles. From their product page: “Some are short. Some are long. Will you love them all? Probably not. Will you have a great time trying them? Absolutely.”

 

DraftKings shares plans for launch of NFT collectibles marketplace

DraftKings is charging into the NFT game, announcing a marketplace aimed at curating sports and entertainment-themed digital collectibles for its audience of enthusiasts. The platform is “debuting later this summer,” and showcases another potentially lucrative expansion for the fantasy sports betting company.

DraftKings is entering a market that is both crowded and sparse — with plenty of NFT marketplace options for today’s niche group of collectors, though offerings are still light when considering the billions that have flowed through the space in the first several months of the year. This week, investors gave NFT marketplace OpenSea a $1.5 billion valuation. Dapper Labs, which makes NBA Top Shot, recently raised at a reported $7.5 billion valuation.

Dapper’s existing sway in the space will leave DraftKings pursuing opportunities outside exclusive league partnerships. NBA Top Shot allows players to buy “Moments” from NBA history, clips of actual game and player footage to which it has access via league and players’ association partnerships. In addition to the NBA, Dapper has already partnered with other leagues.

DraftKings’ foothold in the space will come from an exclusive partnership with Autograph, a newly launched NFT startup co-founded by quarterback Tom Brady. The company has inked exclusive NFT deals with some top athletes, including Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka and Tony Hawk, hoping to build out its platform as the hub for sports personality collectibles.

Aside from the partnerships, DraftKings is hoping to get a leg up in the space by further simplifying the user onboarding process, allowing users to buy NFTs without loading a wallet with cryptocurrency, instead purchasing with USD. When the platform launches, users will be able to purchase NFTs from DraftKings and resell or trade them through the platform.

For DraftKings, which has raised some $720 million in funding since launch in 2012, the NFT expansion could offer an opportunity of funneling their existing audience into the new vertical. Few existing tech startups have made noteworthy expansions into the NFT world despite plenty of hype and investor interest. DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish tells TechCrunch that the startup’s devoted community is its biggest asset to winning in the rising space.

“DraftKings has millions of people in our community who show up to out-platform every day and every week,” Kalish says. “We think our biggest advantage is the strength and size of our community… [We] will bring a lot of eyeballs to the table.”

Epic Games acquires Sketchfab, a 3D model sharing platform

New York-based startup Sketchfab has been acquired by Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite and Unreal Engine. Sketchfab has been building a platform to upload, download, view, share, sell and buy 3D assets. Essentially, it is the leading repository for 3D files on the web.

Epic Games isn’t disclosing the terms of the deal. Sketchfab will still operate as a separate brand and offering. Epic Games also says that all integrations with third-party tools will remain available, including with Unity.

The deal makes a ton of sense as Epic Games has been developing — and acquiring — some of the most popular creation tools. Unreal Engine has been one of the most popular video game engines of the past couple of decades.

More recently, Unreal Engine has been used for different use cases beyond video games, such as special effects, 3D explorations of virtual worlds, mixed reality projects and more.

But an engine without assets is pretty useless. That’s why creators either design their own 2D and 3D assets, outsource this process or buy assets directly. It led to the creation of an entire ecosystem of assets and creators.

Epic Games has its own Unreal Engine marketplace, but Sketchfab has been working on building the definitive 3D marketplace for many years with three important pillars — technology, reach and collaboration.

On the technology front, Sketchfab lets you view 3D models on any platform. The Sketchfab viewer works with all major browsers on both desktop and mobile — you can see an example on Sketchfab. It also works with VR headsets. You can upload 3D models from your favorite 3D modeling app, such as Blender, 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and Substance Painter.

Sketchfab can also convert any format into glTF and USDZ file formats. Those formats work particularly well on Android and iOS.

When it comes to reach, Sketchfab has grown tremendously over the years. In 2018, the company shared some metrics — 1 billion views, 2 million members and 3 million 3D models. Around the same time, the company launched a store so that creators can buy and sell assets directly on the platform.

Finally, Sketchfab launched an interesting feature for companies that work with 3D models all the time — Sketchfab for Teams. It’s a software-as-a-service play that lets you share a Sketchfab account with the rest of the team. Essentially, it works a bit like a shared Google Drive folder — but for 3D models.

With today’s acquisition, Epic Games is making some immediate changes. Starting today, store fees have been reduced from 30% to 12% — just like on the Epic Games Store. The company lowered commissions on ArtStation immediately after acquiring ArtStation as well.

As for Sketchfab users paying a monthly subscription fee, everything is a bit cheaper now. All features in the Plus plan are now available for free, all features in the Pro plan are available to Plus subscribers, etc.

“We built Sketchfab with a mission to empower a new era of creativity and provide a service for creators to showcase their work online and make 3D content accessible,” Sketchfab co-founder and CEO Alban Denoyel said in the announcement. “Joining Epic will enable us to accelerate the development of Sketchfab and our powerful online toolset, all while providing an even greater experience for creators. We are proud to work alongside Epic to build the Metaverse and enable creators to take their work even further.”

With the acquisitions of ArtStation and Capturing Reality, Epic Games has been on an acquisition spree. It’s clear that the company wants to build an end-to-end developer suite for the gaming industry.

Netflix says its gaming push will begin with mobile

A report last week hinted at some of Netflix’s gaming ambitions. In its Q2 2021 earnings report, the company confirmed some things. First, Netflix says it “will be primarily focused” on mobile at first, looking to expand on its interactivity projects like Black Mirror Bandersnatch and its Stranger Things games. The upcoming titles will be available at no additional cost as part of your subscription and the company was clear it will keep up the pace on movies and television.

“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” the company said in a letter to its shareholders.

2020 was a big year for Netflix. With everyone stuck at home and movie theaters closed, the streaming service attracted 16 million new customers in three months. As expected, in 2021 that pace has dramatically slowed and the new customer numbers continue to be a struggle. In its earnings report, the company says it added 1.5 million subscribers in Q2, which was actually a bit better than its forecast mark of one million. However, that’s lower than Q1 2021, which saw the company tack on 3.98 new customers globally.

Netflix says it forecasts new customer additions to hit 3.5 million in Q3 2021, up from 2.2 million during the same three-month a year ago. If it does so, the company explains that would bring the total new subscriber tally to 54 million over the last two years. The pace may have slowed for Netflix, but overall it’s doing just fine. Revenue was still up 19 percent year-over-year at $7.3 billion for the quarter.

According to Netflix’s own numbers, Shadow and Bone was a popular series this quarter, streaming to over 55 million “member households” in less than a month. The show has already been renewed for a second season based on those numbers. Sweet Tooth, a series based on a DC comic, was streamed by 60 million households the first month it was available. Unscripted series like Too Hot to Handle and The Circle were popular selections as well, as was true crime docuseries The Sons of Sam. In terms of movies, Zac Snyder’s Army of the Dead hit 75 million households in the first month. Netflix also explained that The Mitchells vs. The Machines is now its biggest animated film to date, streaming to 53 million households.

Netflix says COVID-related production delays led to a “lighter” first half of 2021 in terms of content, but the pace will pick up throughout the rest of the year. The company’s Q3 lineup includes new seasons of La Casa de Papel (Money Heist), Sex Education, Virgin River and Never Have I Ever in addition to live action films like Sweet Girl (Jason Momoa), Kissing Booth 3 and Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Plus, there’s the animated film Vivo, which will feature new music from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Engadget.

Valve launches Steam Deck, a $400 PC gaming portable

A new challenger has emerged in the gaming hardware category. Game distribution giant Valve today announced the launch of Steam Deck, a $399 gaming portable designed to take PC games on the go.

The handheld (which has echoes of several portable gaming rigs of years past) features a seven-inch screen and runs on a quad-core Zen 2 CPU, coupled with AMD RDNA 2 graphics and 16GB of RAM. Storage runs 64GB to 512GB, the latter of which bumps the price up to $649. The built-in storage can be augmented via microSD.

Image Credits: Valve

Naturally, the thing is custom built for Valve’s wildly popular Steam platform (it’s right there in the name, after all). Users log into their Steam account and their library — and friends list — are right there, ready to go. There’s even a dedicated Steam button.

The system has been rumored for some time now, but it enters the world during a rapidly evolving era for gaming. Essentially the company is hoping to outperform the admitted graphical limitations of Nintendo’s Switch (OLED or no), while filling in the gap as cloud-based gaming from companies like Microsoft are still working on a foothold as they deal with latency and other technical limitations. There’s also the Nvidia Shield Portable — though we’ve not heard much from that project, of late.

Image Credits: Valve

Flanking the 1280 x 800 touchscreen are a pair of trackpads and thumb sticks. A built-in gyroscope also uses movement to control the gaming experience. There’s a single USB-C port for charging, peripherals and connecting to a big screen, while a 40Wh battery promises between 7-8 hours of gameplay, by Valve’s numbers.

 

Image Credits: Valve

The system is up for preorder now and starts shipping this December, in time for the holidays.

Play2Pay raises $13M to convert mobile user engagement into bill payment

The gamification of payments is not a new concept.

A number of companies are attempting to combine gamification and payments in creative ways. And today, one such company, Play2Pay, has raised $13 million in a Series A round of funding.

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based startup has a straightforward mission. It wants to give consumers a way to reduce their bills — it claims by an average of 30%! — by playing games, watching videos and completing daily challenges, offers and surveys.

Play2Pay was bootstrapped for the first five years of its life, raising its first external capital in June of 2020 — a $7.5 million seed round from individual angel investors. Telesoft Partners led its Series A round, which included participation from Harbor Spring Capital and individual investors including former AT&T vice chairman Ralph de la Vega, former Reuters CEO Tom Glocer, Madison Dearborn Partners co-founder and senior advisor Jim Perry and Virtusa founder and former CEO, Kris Canekeratne.

The alternative payment platform says it brokers a “value exchange” between brands and consumers, converting attention and engagement into a currency, which can be redeemed for bill payment. Meanwhile, brands get a new way to promote their products and services.

Play2Pay founder and CEO Brian Boroff started the company in 2015 based on a vision that prepaid mobile phone users should have an alternative way to pay for their mobile phone service and that wireless carriers would adopt an ad-funded commercial model.

Today, the company claims to be positioned to be the world’s first “ad supported payment rail” directly integrated into payments platforms of major service providers and financial institutions. It also claims to be the only company that converts user engagement directly into bill payment.

Image Credits: Play2Pay

The “opt-in” offering is currently available to more than 100 million mobile subscribers across the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia through partnerships with telecom companies such as AT&T Mexico, Cricket in the U.S., TIM in Brazil, lndosat Ooredoo in Indonesia and U.K.-based Lycamobile.

The rewarding approach seems to be resonating with users. From June 2020 to June 2021, the startup saw its ARR (annual recurring revenue) spike by nearly 300%, according to Boroff, a telecom veteran.

Among the users engaged on the platform, about 25% generated revenue daily, he said. And service providers realized up to 17% revenue expansion as a result of subscriber engagement on the Play2Pay platform, according to Boroff.

“Our distribution model is B2B2C, with Tier-1 service providers worldwide directly integrating our bill payment capability. We’re growing our audience through promotion of the service to their customer base,” he told TechCrunch. 

End users, he added, can share their targeting preferences in exchange for value, giving mobile app developers and brands more information when promoting their own products and services to Play2Pay’s audience.

The platform is free for service providers and merchants, meaning the payment does not have costs or fees from interchange, acquirers, chargebacks or gateways.

Instead, Play2Pay generates revenue from mobile app developers and brands. Those developers and brands pay to access Play2Pay’s mobile audience in order to promote their products and services. For example, a mobile gaming company might pay Play2Pay $100 for every user that downloads their app from the Play2Pay app and plays the game for a period of time (such as two hours). Through its technology and partner network, Play2Pay has attribution tracking to ensure that the end user and mobile gaming company both know how much progress has been made toward completing that goal. Other formats include watching videos, completing surveys and more conventional native advertising in some areas.

All of this revenue is aggregated by Play2Pay, the majority of which is passed on to the end user in the form of in-app currency. The balance goes to service providers such as its wireless carrier partners for promoting the Play2Pay platform and to Play2Pay for running the service and processing payment. Play2Pay collects all of the cash and pays out the various parties accordingly.
The company will use the new capital toward product development, hiring and partner engagement.

Cadoo gets $1.5M to gamify fitness with betting challenges

Cadoo, a US-startup that’s gamifying fitness by turning it into a betting opportunity, using the prospect of winning (or losing) cold hard cash to motivate people to get off the couch, has collected $1.5 million in seed funds from Sam & Max Altman’s Apollo VC and the student-focused Dorm Room Fund.

The app itself has been around since 2018 but in March 2020 it launched a “challenge model” that lets users stake money to join a challenge related to a specific fitness goal — be it running 10 miles in 10 days, or walking three miles in three days.

Participants who achieve the challenge goal get their stake back and a pro-rata share of losers’ staked entry fees.

A range of fitness levels are catered to by Cadoo’s challenges (“from daily steps to marathon training”), with some 50 public challenges hosted per week.

It’s also adding private challenges this month — which will enable users to host and configure fitness challenges for themselves/family and friends, or larger groups, such as companies, clubs, or schools.

Challenge-related activity is verified by the app via API data from activity trackers and fitness apps. (Which hopefully means Cadoo is smart enough to detect if someone has attached their Fitbit to their dog… )

The app has support for a number of third party fitness services, including Strava, Fitbit and Apple Health.

CEO and founder Colm Hayden describes the startup as “DraftKings for your own fitness goals”.

“Our audience consists of 25-50 year old fitness fanatics’ who use Cadoo to stay committed to their monthly/weekly fitness goals,” he told TechCrunch, adding: “When people are serious about a goal they are trying to reach, they want intense motivation to back their ambitions.”

He says the app has attracted around 7,000 wager-loving users so far.

Cadoo’s business model is based on taking a fee from challenge losers before their entry fee stakes are distributed to challenge winners — which does potentially give the business an incentive to set harder challenges than users are able to complete.

But of course it’s up to users to pick which challenges to enter and thereby commit their hard earned cash to.

It also claims that 90% of users who sign up for Cadoo challenges successfully complete them.

Hayden says it has future plans to expand monetization potential by offering winners fitness products — and taking a margin on those products. And also by expanding into other types of verifiable goals, not just running/walking. 

“We are working to build a motivation platform that enables anybody to reach their goals,” he says. “Financial incentives is an intense motivator, and 90% of users who sign up for Cadoo challenges reach their fitness goals. We are making Cadoo much bigger than just running goals, and in the future incentivizing almost any goal verifiable on the internet.”

While the app is US-based payments are processed by PayPal and Hayden says it’s able to support participation internationally — at least everywhere where PayPal is available.

Commenting on the seed raise in a statement, Apollo VC’s Altman brothers added: “Cadoo makes it easy to motivate users to stay active with financial incentives. We believe the motivation industry that Cadoo is pioneering will be an important digital money use-case.”

Before the seed round, Cadoo says it had raised $350,000 via an angel round from Tim Parsa’s Cloud Money Ventures Angel Syndicate, Wintech Ventures, and Daniel Gross’s Pioneer.

Of course gamification of health is nothing new — given the data-fuelled quantification and goal-based motivation that’s been going on around fitness for years, fuelled by wearables that make it trivially easy to track steps, distances, calories burned etc.

But injecting money into the mix adds another competitive layer that may be helpful for motivating a certain type of person to get or stay fit.

Cadoo isn’t the only fitness-focused startup to be taking this tack, either, though — with a number of apps that pay users to lose weight or otherwise be active (albeit, sometimes less directly by paying them in digital currency that can be exchanged for ‘rewards’). Others in the space include the likes of HealthyWage (a TC50 company we covered all the way back in 2009!); Runtopia and StepBet, to name a few.  

Nigeria leads mobile app market growth in Africa as use of gaming apps surge 44% from Q1 2020

The pandemic’s effect on the global app market has not been hard to miss. In the first quarter and first half of this year, consumer spending in mobile apps hit new records at $32 billion and $64.9 billion, respectively.

In Africa, it can be tough to call out exact numbers on consumer spending because the continent gets hardly a mention in global app market reports. Yet, other metrics are worth looking at, and a new report from AppsFlyer in collaboration with Google has some important insights into how the African app market has fared since the pandemic broke out last year.

The report tracked mobile app activities across three of Africa’s largest app markets (Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021.

From the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, the African mobile app industry (which is predominantly Android) increased by 41% in overall installs. This was analyzed from 6,000 apps and 2 billion installs in the three markets. Nigeria registered the highest growth, with a 43% rise; South Africa’s market increased by 37% and Kenya increased 29%.

Lockdown numbers

On March 22, 2020, Rwanda imposed Africa’s first lockdown. Subsequently, other countries followed; (those in the report) Kenya (March 25), South Africa (March 27), and Nigeria (March 30).

As more people spent time at home from Q2 2020, app installs increased by 20% across the three countries. South Africans were the quickest to take to their phones as the lockdowns hit with installs increasing by 17% from the previous quarter.

On the other hand, Nigerians and Kenyans recorded a 2% and 9% increase, respectively. The report attributes the disparity to the varying levels of restrictions each country faced; South Africa experienced the strictest and most frequent.

Per the report, gaming apps showed strong performance between Q1 and Q2 2020. The segment experienced a 50% growth compared to an 8% increase in nongaming apps pulled. It followed a global trend where gaming apps surged to a record high in Q2 2020, at 14 billion downloads globally.

In-app purchasing revenue and almost year-on-year growth

According to AppsFlyer, the biggest trend it noticed was in in-app purchasing revenue. In Q3 2020, in-app purchasing revenue numbers grew with a staggering 136% increase compared to Q2 2020, and accounted for 33% of 2020’s total revenue, “highlighting just how much African consumers were spending within apps, from retail purchases to gaming upgrades.”

In-app purchasing revenue among South African consumers increased by 213%, while Nigeria and Kenyan consumers recorded 141% and 74% increases, respectively.

On the advertising front and on an almost year-on-year basis, in-app advertising revenue also increased significantly as Africans were glued to their smartphones more than ever. Per the report, in-app advertising revenue increased 167% between Q2 2020 to Q1 2021.

For gaming and non-gaming apps, which was highlighted between the first two quarters, they both increased by 44% and 40% respectively in Q1 2021 compared to Q2 2020.

Fintech and super apps

In the last five years, fintech has dominated VC investments in African startups. It’s a no brainer why there is so much affinity for the sector. Fintechs create so much value for Africa’s mobile-first population, with large sections of unbanked, underbanked and banked people. This value is why all but one of the continent’s billion-dollar startups are fintech.

African fintechs have grown by 89.4% between 2017 and 2021, according to a Disrupt Africa report. Now, there are more than 570 startups on the continent. Many fintechs are mobile-based, therefore reflecting the number of fintech apps Africans use each day. Consumers in South Africa and Nigeria saw year-on-year growth in finance app installs by 116% and 60%, respectively.

AppsFlyer says that like fintech apps, super apps are on the rise as well. These “all-in-one” apps offer users a range of functions such as banking, messaging, shopping and ride-hailing. The report says their rise, partly due to device limitations on the continent, owes much to the same conditions that have led to a surge in fintech apps: systemic underbanking.

“Super apps remove some of the barriers that these users face, as well as providing a level of customer insight and experience that traditional banks cannot,” the report said.

Daniel Junowicz, RVP EMEA & Strategic Projects for AppsFlyer, commenting on the trends highlighted in the report said, “…The mobile app space in Africa is thriving despite the turmoil of last year. Installs are growing, and consumers are spending more money than ever before, highlighting just how important mobile can be for businesses when it comes to driving revenue.”

This limited-edition Super Mario smartwatch will run you $2,150

Those who’ve followed Nintendo with any sort of frequency over the years know the gaming giant has a tendency to be extremely protective with its IP. Ultimately, it’s probably for the best that the market wasn’t flooded with cheap Mario knickknacks the way it easily could have been.

In recent years, however, the company has seemingly loosened its approach, more readily embracing brand partnerships in ways it has shunned in the past. Heck, we’ve even gotten a bunch of mobile games and a theme park out of the deal.

Today, it takes the wraps off of one of the more surprising brand partnerships in recent memory, in a deal with Swiss watch company TAG Heuer, which makes very nice — and extremely expensive — timepieces. The “long-term collaboration” is kicking off with a limited-edition (2,000 units) Mario smartwatch that will set you back $2,150.

Image Credits: TAG Heuer/Nintendo

Clearly there’s a bit of a disconnect between the pricing on the TAG Heuer Connected and the sort of accessibility the company offers with hardware like the Switch. In fact, you can buy six of the high-end new OLED Switches for the price of a single Mario-branded smartwatch — or, for that matter, five Apple Watch Series 6s.

I will give it this — it’s a pretty sweet-looking watch. And, given the barrier of entry, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be the only person you know who owns one (forget for a moment that, unlike expensive analog watches, smartwatches aren’t designed to last forever). The hook here are little Mario animations that pop up throughout the day as you hit your step count and meet other goals. It’s fun and something that would play really well on a fitness watch for kids (for, one imagines, a fraction of the price).

Image Credits: TAG Heuer/Nintendo

The watch is, effectively, a redesigned version of the TAG Heuer Connected, a $2,000 Wear OS device that launched last April. The timepiece got high marks for design quality — as one would expect from the company. This version adds touches like a Mario “M” on the dial, red accents throughout and a matching red rubber strap (along with a black leather version).

Image Credits: TAG Heuer/Nintendo

The case measures 45mm in diameter and the watch sports a 430 mAh battery the company says should get you between six and 20 hours of life, depending on usage. That’s due in part to the inclusion of GPS and a heart rate monitor.

It’s available starting July 15.