Shalom Life | October 13, 2015

The Essential Hanukkah Gift Guide 2014: PowerUp Toys [GIVEAWAY]

See inside for your chance to win the world's first smartphone-controlled paper airplane!!!

By: Daniel Koren

Published: December 3rd, 2014 in Business » Israel

GIVEAWAY: Welcome to Shalom Life's 2nd Annual ESSENTIAL HANUKKAH GIFT GUIDE! For the next 2 days, we'll be highlighting the best gifts for the upcoming holiday season, and we'll also be GIVING THEM AWAY! In order to win a FREE smartphone-powered paper airplane courtesy of PowerUp Toys, SHARE THIS STORY via Facebook and/or Twitter, and LIKE both PowerUp Toys and Shalom Life on FACEBOOK. Then send an email to contests@shalomlife.com with the headline AIRPLANE. Remember, the more shares you get, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING!

To see what other giveaways we're conducting, and the companies we're profiling, click here for Day One (Maccabee on the Mantel), here for Day Two (Zion's Action Figures) here for Day Three (Jew's Glasses 4-set), here for Day Four (Painted Baby Names) here for Day Five (Funukkah Dolls) and here for Day Six (Hanukkah Nail Decals).

HAG SAMEACH!!!

If you're looking for the ideal Hanukkah gift for your tech-savvy son, daughter, niece or nephew, or even grown-up best friend, look no further.

Thanks to Shai Gotein, the Israeli founder of innovative toy company PowerUp Toys, the future is here.

Gotein, who raised over $1.2 million through a very successful Kickstarter campaign, has funded the company due to the overwhelming interest for his smartphone-operated paper airplane - a paper airplane that you can fly and maneuver via your smartphone.

Bart Simpson could so use one of these. Just think of the pranks he could pull!!

The Israeli inventor's original device was an electric paper airplane, the PowerUp 2.0, but one that you could not control. With his latest invention, PowerUp 3.0 (and dozens of attempts later), Gotein successfully developed the world's first smartphone-controlled paper airplane. Pretty neat stuff.

"I was always into flying things, and served as a cargo pilot for 15 years in the army," Gotein tells me. He eventually left to pursue a career in industrial design, which taught him how to both design and invent. Eventually, he began volunteering and teaching teenagers in his town (Pardes Hanna) about aerodynamics. "We built rockets and airplanes, and I began understanding the world of micro-flight, specifically the development and advancement of this technology."

Eventually, Gotein learned of the miraculous feats that he could achieve thanks to the advancement of cellular technology. Using micro motors (tiny motors developed for cell phones), and material science, he eventually (as a man who enjoys things that fly) got the idea of making a motorized paper airplane. "I came up with this architecture, a real propeller and power module that has control options. That's the core idea - the airplane doesn't come ready made, you make it from paper, which everyone has, so it's very accessible. We took the theme of magic and introduced it into the core of flight, and put that in the kickstarter campaign."

The response he received from said campaign, however, was beyond magical.

"Kickstarter was great because it provided us with funding for the first order, and I was able to enjoy direct contact with customers, engage them and have product relations for our item," Gotein says.

As it stands, the PowerUp 3.0 received more funding on Kickstarer than any other initiative launched on the crowdfunding site. Gotein had originally expected to raise some $50,000. They ended up reaching that in a period of eight hours.

"I think the reason we were so successful was that we had very good timing," Gotein explains. "The product itself, a paper airplane, is a multicultural icon, everyone knows what it is. It's something every culture knows, every kid by the age of 7 or 8 knows how to fold one, and just showing a paper airplane that's operated with a propeller and a smartphone, people got it and automatically related to it." As of today, the original instructional video created for KickStarter has received over 2 million hits on YouTube.


With PowerUp 3.0, Gotein implemented new bluetooth technology that allows you to control the paper airplane with your smarphone. "That's an important angle," Gotein explains. "Using bluetooth and WiFi in the toy industry hasn't been incorporated yet, and most toys haven't integrated this technology. I think our decision to take this technology and put it into toys was a big surprise for people, but in a good way. It's amazing how much the [bluetooth] technology is coming along."

The new version of the DIY paper airplane provides 60 yards of controlled flight, comes with a rechargable battery, and all components of the Powerup 3.0 are super durable and crash proof. It's also amazingly simple. You don't need a Ph.D in aerodynamics to be able to fly it.

And that's not all. Gotein is looking to develop a 'dogfight' feature that will allow multiple airplanes to fly at the same time, and to race against each other, and play catch the flag. It's all very fascinating. Yet another unique feature is that the company offers a powerup update that lets you "practically change the brain of the toy after a customer purchased it." So when PowerUp Toys implement a new update, even if you've already bought one, your toy will be updated as well.


Thus far, PowerUp Toys has won multipe awards and accolades, lauded by Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo, Gizmag, Wall Street Journal, Mashable and TechCrunch.

For more information, visit their website here.


New App Helps Religious Jewish Women with Niddah New App Helps Religious Jewish Women with Niddah TrendingHebrew National Hot Dogs Promote Eating Products with Bacon, Shellfish Hebrew National Hot Dogs Promote Eating Products with Bacon, Shellfish Trending'Birthright Excel' a Success for 5th Year in a Row 'Birthright Excel' a Success for 5th Year in a Row Trending
 

This Couple is Documenting their Conversion to Judaism on Instagram

August 27, 2015 | By Sy Berg
This Couple is Documenting their Conversion to Judaism on Instagram

2HipJews are putting the 'modern' back into modern Orthodox

Read More

Shalom Life is Saying Goodbye

August 27, 2015 | By Shalom Life Staff
Shalom Life is Saying Goodbye

After nearly 7 years, we are sadly ending Shalom Life's run.

Read More

Shaw Festival Review: The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...

August 26, 2015 | By Hermine Steinberg
Shaw Festival Review: The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...

Tony Kushner's family drama challenges it's audiences on so many levels, it leaves you breathless and beaten. It is awesome; astounding, humbling, overwhelming and remarkable.

Read More

Shaw Festival Review- The Divine: A Play for Sarah Berhnardt

August 23, 2015 | By Hermine Steinberg
Shaw Festival Review- The Divine: A Play for Sarah Berhnardt

This powerful play based on a true story is an absolute must-see this summer.

Read More

Top 10 Most Influential LGBT Jews

August 14, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Top 10 Most Influential LGBT Jews

These 10 LGBT celebrities are an inspiration to us all.

Read More

Crossfit “Guru” Does Handstand at Holocaust Memorial

August 14, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
Crossfit “Guru” Does Handstand at Holocaust Memorial

Dave Driskell apologized Monday evening for his actions

Read More

There’s a Jewish Rapper with a #1 Hit Record, and His Name’s Not Drake

August 14, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
There’s a Jewish Rapper with a #1 Hit Record, and His Name’s Not Drake

Lil Dicky's 'Professional Rapper' sells 22,000 copies in its first week

Read More

Ben Gurion Airport Breaks All-Time Travel Records

August 14, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Ben Gurion Airport Breaks All-Time Travel Records

Reports indicate that some 78,000 travelers passed through the Israeli airport in a single day

Read More

More Headlines