The Birth of Orboot—an Ode to the AR-globe of the Future

The PlayShifu Blog

The Birth of Orboot—an Ode to the AR-globe of the Future

23 Jul 18
7 min read
23 Jul 18
7 min read



Shifu Orboot holds a special place in our heart, and something so dear and close requires expression beyond words that could express the full range of emotions we experienced when we created it.  

Without drawling about it in a long article, here’s everything you need to know about why Orboot means so much to us, through a poem I wrote with love and gratitude, about how it all began…


It was while we were reading about the land of Kangaroos,

When my child, unaware, dozed off gently,

While I was mumbling about Australia’s Uluru and pointing out towards it’s fiery red,

I heard a tender snore break my speech trail…

While tucking my child inside his warm sheets,

I stared at the innocence writ large on his face,

Like the sudden knock of a door did I come upon the horrific realization—

Whenever I tried reading out from any book to my son,

My little one couldn’t help but hit the snooze button.

“Wait, a minute,” I said to myself,

“Is storytelling boring him to sleep?,” I wondered with despair.


“Is my child never going to read?”

“Is he bored while he learns and is taught by elders everywhere?”

The son of a voracious reader himself,

Does he not find learning interesting enough to keep him awake until the end?


My head was exploding with a thousand thoughts,

Flitting between my past and his future,

“It cannot be,” I said to myself.

“I have to do something to help him find light in knowledge and learning,” I vowed to my inner self.


The thought ingrained itself,

Deep in the womb of my head,

While eating supper, going to work, taking a bath or knocking on my laptop keys,

The only thought that wandered in my head,

Was, how I could keep my little one’s interest alive for knowledge and learning, till the clock hit 10.


Determined not to give up,

I wanted to find a solution,

Ideas grew and died inside,

But none could keep my child’s interest alive.


You know what they say?

About Archimedes having his eureka moment inside a bathtub?

I, too, got struck by genius,

Only, in my case, the light bulb switched on while my boy was gawking at the new Apple product.



Excitedly, it hit me like a lightning bolt,

“What if I could make my child love toys that taught?”

“What if I could ignite the spark of curiosity while he plays on devices and gadgets, unplugged?”

“What if my boy could fall in love with learning while playing?”

“Is there a possibility to make him sharp while he gawks at the UV-lit blue screen?”


The idea was a pot full of gold,

But how do we achieve the goal without appearing like fools?

Like the Everest’s ascent, tall and high,

We could not see the grandeur that hid in our idea, in hindsight.


Not willing to give up without a fight,

I started to bring together my trusted people to discuss the gold mine.

“It is possible,” one remarked. “But do we have the people with us?”

“We need creative engineers, crafty product designers and hardworking suppliers with us.”

But the question that really bothered me was,

The question that people asked me often, whenever I discussed my idea for too long…

“What are you really going to make?”, they’d ask.

“I don’t know,” I would initially say with cluelessness written all over my mind.

But I knew I wasn’t going to give up until my idea found the light.


It took us months to zero down on what we were looking for.

Something old that could be converted to become gold.

Something indispensable for a child’s education, that could be made future-ready.

Something that taught children about the world and built curiosity.


We came up first with Flashcards—our first experiment.

Learning tools that lit up in animated 3D Visuals with the tap of a screen,

“Great,”, the team said, “We can do it,” they exclaimed.

“But the path is long, everyone,” I broke their bubble with pain.

“We aren’t even close to the million-dollar idea that will hold my child’s interest,” I said.


Turns out, it was the good ol’e globe, that taught us about the world as a child.

The first door to world exploration that opened our mind.

Without changing its spirit, could we make it more exciting?

What if we could learn more about the world than just about its boundaries?


Travel and learn more about a region than just it’s geography,

Animals, monuments, inventions, and food of a capital—there’s more to a city than just it’s political boundary.

Out came our magical Orboot that promised to help your child discover the wonders of the world.

But it was time for the real test—I nervously put it on my child’s desk.


Excited to know about what daddy was working day in and day out for so long,

He waited for exactly one minute to start exploring the brand-new toy he got.

With eyes radiating uncontrollable excitement and smile that refused to die,

I knew our team’s hard work paid off, after every bitter but insightful failure and trial.


It goes without saying that the much-loved AR globe wouldn’t have come into being,

Without the support of our pledgers who trusted our unbreakable belief.

Safe to say, we would not have come so far without their faith in us.


And today, we may be in the thick of things,

But it is their faith that reminds us all along,

That our experiences are unified to change the way children play,

…and the Orboot journey will help us reach towards the ultimate goal with the support of our pledgers, every day. 

Our next step is to make education even more exciting,

With Shifu Plugo that promises to make children learn while having endless fun.





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