Imagistory app among the first hunting Kiwi kickstart

Imagistory, an app that encourages kids to use their imaginations to create stories from picture books, is among to first to use Kickstarter as the site gets set to launch downunder today.

Founder Nick Barrett won the top award in AUT’s Venture Fund for the app concept in 2011, which provided a $7300 boost. He’s now seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter to develop the app to work with multiple picture books.

Barrett had the idea for the app after seeing his niece read a book at age three and wondering how she did it. “I was a bit puzzled as to how she was reading at such a young age. I thought maybe she was using her imagination.”

He initially paid a school friend to develop the app, but when his friend got another job, he enlisted app developer Ahmed Hilali.

A post on The Big Idea, an online hub for the Kiwi creative community, garnered 80 responses from people offering either picture books or ideas for Barrett to develop. So far 10 have made it into the app and he’s open for more as he works towards launching it for the iPad.

Users can browse books in a virtual version of a normal picture book, or record their own audio to play back as pages turn. Barrett will use the $15,000 to further develop the app. “It works well with one book, but I want to redesign it to work with multiple books. I want this to be a site where parents can buy several books.”

Barrett hopes to sell each book for about $2, returning a share of that to the artists.

Kickstarter has been holding events locally to tell people about how to launch projects. To create a project, Kiwis have to be over 18, a permanent resident with a New Zealand bank account and government issued ID, and credit or debit card from a major bank.

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