To be entertained and engaged in the world around you. Is it possible? Average toys for toddlers are entertaining, but hardly educational. That was the issue Ryan Ferrin faced before developing the concept for “Chameleon Car.” It is a unique toddler’s toy that promotes interaction with the world, not simply stimulus from an electronic device.
The idea: Take a basic, translucent car body and turn it into something captivating. This car, while having all the wonderful elements of your average tangible toy, also has sensor technology on its underside that detects the color it’s on. The car then lights up and recites the color.
“I’ve always wanted to utilize new technology to add value to society,” Ferrin said, “and I saw a vast amount of potential to improve this particular market.”
He first thought up this idea at a Fourth of July celebration. He saw simple toys that were lit up, and the children around him in awe at their glow. He thought, “I could make a toy that could do more than that, but with a similar design.”
He began developing software that could match this business model, developing prototypes and inviting children and adults to test them. His feedback was widely positive, and he continued to put his plan into action.
Through Lassonde Institute student development programs, Ferrin learned from experts how to research patents. He also utilized the 3-D printer in the Marriott library to form his prototypes.
In October 2015, Ryan presented Chameleon Car at Lassonde Institute’s monthly Get Seeded event, where he requested funds to assist in the development of the final product. With great feedback from the audience, the Lassonde Institute, through the Get Seeded program, was able to fund him the full amount to get his idea driving.