Spiral Toys, the folks behind the CloudPets mobile app-connected line of plush toys, has come out with Wiggy, a similarly connected piggy bank for kids that can be attached to a bank account.
The toy piggy bank’s interactive mobile app is linked to a bank account, ostensibly for the child, that parents can shift funds to from their own bank account. Parents can set it up so that certain tasks give certain rewards, so that it’s clear to the child what cleaning up or the like might get them in terms of monetary compensation.
The app also allows kids to check their balance and set savings goals. Additionally, parents can invite others to make deposits into the child’s account for such things as birthdays and holidays -— so kids can hit those goals faster than expected from their reward system. Isn’t finance grand?
"Wiggy will be the first product to link a piggy bank with a child's banking account, making saving fun, engaging and rewarding for the whole family," said Spiral Toys CEO Mark Meyers in a press release. Wiggy can light up in different colors, shake, and oink, though it’s not clear whether these can be attached to actions like deposits going through. The company uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) technology to connect the Wiggy mobile app to the physical piggy bank.
Also unclear are the exact specifics behind the “secure” financial transactions, although the release mentions using "mobile financial technology as seen with PayPal and Venmo, such as in money transfer and electronic payments." After all, an Internet-connected pig toy for kids that hooks to banks is bound to draw comparisons with children running rampant on mobile app stores. Whatever it is, and however it works, hopefully there’s a tight lid on what kids can and cannot access in the app. Or, better yet, an app for parents and one for kids — with little to no crossover.
There’s no definitive release set for Wiggy just yet, though Spiral Toys has conducted several consumer tests with the device already. For the time being, there’s only a vague launch window of “the second half of 2016.”