I was brushing up my Kanji skills lately with a couple of those Kanji Nintendo DS games like ２００万人の漢検 (crap, they have a newer version already). In the process, I thought about why the DS was such a great platform for learning Kanji because of the stylus touch screen. The idea then hit me that there was a completely new touch screen platform ripe for the picking: the iPhone!
When the iPhone was originally announced, there were many skeptical on how Apple’s very first phone would do especially with the radical touch screen interface. With millions already sold and a new 3G version selling like hotcakes, I’m sure nobody would contest the fact the iPhone is a screaming success even in Japan where people are already used to highly sophisticated phones.
With the new App Store, it’s even easier to sell software for the iPhone than it is for the DS which requires a physical cartridge. With the iPhone, people can simply download your app and send you the cash! This is a boon for small and independent developers because they don’t have to worry about packaging and distribution. It’s just pure $$$ for every copy sold (minus Apple’s cut). Super Monkey Ball is already making millions!
Here’s what you would need for a great Kanji game.
- Handwriting Recognition Technology for Kanji and Kana
- Lots and lots of example sentences and 四字熟語 converted to Kanji problems
- Some kind of reward/review/SRS system and various levels of difficulty
- Some cool graphics
So there’s an idea for you guys. Good luck! It’s only a matter of time before somebody makes a Brain-Age game for the iPhone and starts raking in the dough.
But I beg you, whatever you do, please DO NOT make yet another kanji flash card program especially one solely based on 常用漢字!
Elliott also pointed out that you can buy stylus pens for the iPhone. The software could be a great opportunity for up-sell or you could even make a deal to package it together somehow!