It all began with a fun boxing match between a father and his teenage kids. Christian Thostrup, CEO and founder of JABII Group, was inspired by his youngest son’s response to losing the battle; “You have much longer arms than me. It is so easy for you to win”.
Christian Thostrup wanted the fights to be fair, so he reinvented the boxing glove in his garage. It had to be extendable for equal play, but also strong enough to defy gravity and give each punch just a little more oomph. This is how the JABII evolved from idea to game.
A great inspiration for the new concept was his childhood where sport and play used to be physical activities in which you could immerse yourself: “I wanted to create that experience for my kids’ generation, not by stopping the digital wave, but rather by utilising it. That is how I made the decision to combine gaming and activity by rethinking physical play for kids and adults.”
JABII Group received an early pre-launch exposure from Discovery Channel when the network found their promotional video on YouTube and flew all the way to Denmark to interview the team behind the invention – and more importantly, to test it. The story resulted in media coverage from over 100 media such as LADbible, BuzzFeed, Mashable and NowThis News - with more than 70 million interactions on social media.
Now, following years of fine-tuning and developing hardware, firmware and an app, JABII is ready for a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo from October 12, which will be the only chance for Non-European customers to get their hands on a JABII. The official JABII launch, which follows the crowdfunding campaign will be a European exclusive due to the initial production capacity.
JABII was developed in Copenhagen in collaboration with the non-profit physical activity organisation DGI, the Innovation Fund Denmark and Roskilde Festival - and has been tested by a series of end-users in various age groups, both local schools and universities. The playtests resulted in clever adaptations and durability of the product.
Depending on the eyes of the beholder, JABII could be seen as an entry to the Smart Toy market, which, according to IDATE Digiworld, is believed to see explosive growth in the future. The global growth alone for this market hits 22% annually – compared to just 1% growth on the traditional toy market. The market cap is expected to triple in value towards 2022.
The increase in the Gaming and Smart Toy markets are not the only interesting trends for JABII; As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sales of active games and fitness equipment has skyrocketed, with some products seeing a 2000% increase in sales when compared to 2019 and active games like Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure even sold out for months. The timing might be perfect for a young game to challenge the behemoth Nintendo that has held the throne of active gaming for more than a decade.