Spark powered Choosatron takes off on Kickstarter


In the past 24 hours, interactive fiction arcade machine Choosatron has amassed some $12k in commitments from 100+ backers on Kickstarter. 

“The Choosatron is a fun kit that easily assembles into a small interactive fiction game box, great for social reading and playing. As you play, you make decisions that affect the outcome of the story, and your journey is printed on a keepsake paper scroll. You’ll be able to write your own stories as well, using open and free software. Download new stories over Wi-Fi, and share your own stories with other over the internet. Save your unique stories right on the provided SD card. Inspiring for kids, exciting for adults!”

Invented by Jerry Belich, a senior mobile developer at Clockwork Active Media Systems, the hardware project is over a year in the making.  A recent crowd favorite at MinneDemo 14, the campaign is already over halfway to the $22k goal.

“A big part of the motivation is to enable learning opportunities for kids, whether that be in electronics and hardware design or in creative writing,” Belich says.

Using Minneapolis’ own Spark Core Wi-Fi development kit, Choosatron will enable its users to create, share, and push their stories directly from a computer to the printer box; additionally, the unit and its writing software Twine are open source so that creative and capable minds can get inside and hack away.

“We built the Spark Core because we realized how difficult it can be to create products with Wi-Fi connections, and we wanted to simplify that problem for others — not just for hobbyist projects, but for consumer products again. The Choosatron didn’t originally have an internet connection, but when we spoke to Jerry and told him how easy we could make adding a Wi-Fi connection, he quickly hopped on board,” explains spark CEO Zach Supalla, adding that
“The Choosatron will be the first of many products built on our infrastructure, and marks the growth of our company from a single product to a platform.”