This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.
You just put your lips together and blow. That’s how you whistle, as Lauren Bacall once told Humphrey Bogart. It’s also how you make a shofar blast come out of your smart phone or tablet.
Making the shofar sound by blowing in to the microphone of a handheld electronic device is so easy a small child could do it. And that is precisely what G-dcast had in mind when it created it’s new “Wake Up World” app for the preschool set.
“As far as we know, this is the first Jewish app that uses this input technology,” says Sarah Lefton, executive director of the San Francisco-based Jewish educational media non-profit.
Having started off in 2008 producing Torah commentary cartoon videos, Lefton and her team are now experimenting with interactive mobile apps for young children. Before releasing this new Rosh Hashanah one (for Apple and Android), G-dcast put out a Passover game app, and also an app that takes kids through the steps of making challah for Shabbat — including the blessings recited before washing hands and eating bread.
With “Wake Up World,” G-dcast pairs its newfound strength in app development with its original storytelling chops. Only this time, the narrative is not a retelling or adaptation of an existing tale, but rather a completely original children’s story.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.