Monday, December 3, 2012

Bedtime stories for the digital interactive age

The dot patterns on Smart PJ's can be scanned for all sorts of fun when it's time to go nite-nite. (Photo by Melissa Bristol)
In the past year a lot of people have been learning about QR tags -- coded images that can be scanned with a smart phone to bring information to the phone's screen.
Juan Murdoch

But while many said, "Wow," Juan Murdoch said, "What if?"

"What if you put these on kids' pajamas so that they could bring up pictures and bedtime stories?" he wondered. Murdoch, an Idaho Falls real estate agent with Keller Williams, said he got so excited by the idea he had to leave the meeting. "I was just shaking," he said. "I had to find out whether anyone had thought of this before me."

With the due diligence done, today he has a patent and 3,000 pair of Smart PJs he's confident he can sell as soon as the word gets out.

Murdoch learned early that QR codes were difficult to scan off fabric. Luckily, he also learned that a simpler pattern would scan just as well, if not better, for his purposes.

Every pair of Smart PJs has 47 dot patterns on it. Each one brings up a picture of a different animal and information about it.

With the app working and easy enough for a 6-year-old to use (it can be loaded for free onto an iPhone, and iPad and Android apps are close), his plan is to expand the content to stories and cartoons and develop the Web page, www.smartpjs.com.

Locally, Murdoch is planning to roll his Smart PJs out Saturday at the Christmas Craft Fair at Bonneville High School. "This is our first big event," he said. "We should have our platform ready with other stories, cartoons, etc., by then."

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