What Are STiKidotz?
STiKidotz™ are customizable, re-stickable, brightly colored 3D art pixel stickers that you can design and redesign yourself. The sticker's base is made from soft silicone, a material that is flexible and bendy and can be cut into any shape. The designs are created on the sticker’s base using colorful dotzPIXELS™. These small pieces come in a 4x4 perforated dotzBLOK™ that can be easily separated into the dotzPIXELS™ that precisely fit on the sticker.
Redesign, Restick, Rebuild
Each sticker’s base is backed by a non-toxic adhesive, specially formulated to allow you to stick your design on any smooth surface. It can be removed and repositioned without leaving any residue behind. The sticker can be used on walls, windows, lockers, car bumpers, refrigerators, photo frames, signage, cabinets, mirrors, bath tub, tiles and more. The stickers can also be used outdoors. They’re currently available in eight colors and the dotzBLOK™ comes in 12 colors.
I am CK Tan and, along with my 16 year-old daughter Yannie Tan, have set out to invent STiKidotz™ by putting two ideas together to solve a single problem.
I am an IT professional who runs my own company specializing in video and graphic technology. I have been in the business field for over 20 years. I have always had a passion for 8 bit graphics and pixel art since I designed my first pixel art program in high school. When I turned 50, I found myself reflecting on my life and looking back at my young adulthood with nostalgia. I made the decision to follow up on the passion I had started 30 years earlier. I started playing around with the idea of creating a hands-on pixel art toy. Always fascinated with 3D art and pixel graphics, I wanted to find a creative, innovative and fun way to make a pixel art product that all ages would love and enjoy, and that families could get a thrill out of together.
Yannie describes herself as a fervent and curious experimenter for design technology and products. As a young inventor, her design classes have inspired not only me, but many people to generate more innovative and enhanced solutions for our product. Ever since Yannie was 4 years old, inspired by Inspector Gadget, she kept a journal of "inventions" which often consisted of creating modifications on existing products. She was always asking "Why cant we...?" always thinking about how to improve our lives. In fifth grade, she made her first 3D chocolate cookie mold using a 3D printer at school and ever since has been fascinated and excited by product creation technologies. By middle school, green technology became her passion and she invented a sneaker to generate power and by high school she came in the top 100 in the Google Science Fair for her Phytoplankton Package Project. During this project she researched types of adhesive and this connected to my work with Silicone and Pixel Art Graphics.
Safe and Fun for All Ages
The idea for STiKidotz™ – a 3D pixel art sticker - stemmed from these ideas. Yannie told me she loved the idea of generating DIY decals. She thought that many decals were just two-dimensional and weren't as fun. Thus, we came up with the STiKidotz™ to allow clients to customize their daily life items. We wanted something that could be removed and repositioned many times, could be designed and redesigned, and was safe, non-toxic and wouldn’t leave a residue.
We never realized that we could turn a programming idea into a tangible product that can engage all ages, from kids that can create cartoon characters, teenagers that can create their college logo, to adults who can create their favorite sports team logo. Turning it into a sticker makes it possible to adhere it safely -- without pealing the paint or leaving residue - anywhere with a smooth surface. Most impressive, it can be put on a car bumper in rain or shine, with no impact to the color or adhesive.
Limitless Applications Outside of a Digital Environment
While technology is a useful and necessary part of all our lives, we look at STiKitdotz™ as a way to create a family bonding experience outside of a digital environment. Products like Minecraft show that there is an appeal to creating and designing a pixel art world, and we hope to find a way to use that interest to drive people away from “devices” to create and build with family and friends IRL (in real life). Something else that we are discovering in the process of sharing our ideas with family and friends, as well as strangers, is the educational potential that STiKidotz™ has. It is a fun and engaging way to practice fine motor, design, graphing, visual spatial, and creative world building skills. We think STiKitdotz™ would have great success in the classroom and hope to see them used as part of a STEAM-related curriculum.
STiKidotz is an accessible product regardless of age, gender, race, ability or religion. Special needs users in general, including the blind and elderly, are finding many therapeutic uses for our products. STiKidotz will continue to work with special needs professionals to explore all the beneficial possibilities our products can provide. The creative ideas are limitless!
STiKidotz launched a Kickstarter campaign to help get it off the ground in 2017. The STiKidotz™ Kickstarter campaign launched August 28, 2017 and successfully reached its goal in a month. Since safety is a priority, the funds we raised will be used for color and material safety testing for the silicone, production-ready prototypes, molds, packaging and more in order to help make STiKidotz™ a reality and available to the public.