Designing Tactile Tech with Dan Klitsner

EdTech Adventures

Oct 17 2023 • 30 mins

Bop It…Twist It…Pull It! From the 90s and beyond, these sounds have been an integral part of many people's childhood. In today’s episode, Dan Klitsner, multi-award winning Toy Inventor and creator of Bop It, joins us to discuss leveraging tactile technology to transform play experiences.

How did the idea for Bop It evolve? As is the case with many inventions, success can come from failure. It all began when Dan pitched the idea for a new type of interactive tv remote for kids. When other ideas were pursued instead, Dan explored turning it into a game and behold - the Bop It…Twist It…Pull It phenomenon was created! When discussing his journey as an inventor and entrepreneur, Dan shares his thoughts that an idea won't succeed until everything is RITE, that is, the four pillars relationship, innovation, timing, and execution are all equally strong.

Bop It‘s unique popularity and accessibility is due to its tactile design - the twist knob looks and feels like a twist knob. The pull knob looks and feels like a pull knob. The bop it…you want to bop it! With tactile design, the product's job is to animate the user. The tactile design of Bop It enables it to be an inclusive game and led to a partnership between Bop It For Good and LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Players who are blind or have low vision can rely on sound and their sense of touch to succeed in the game and play equally with others. When two people are playing Bop It, you can’t tell who’s blind. Throughout this conversation, Dan shares his thoughts on how we can use tactile products in the world of education and his advice for those interested in invention, saying

“Really learn to listen when someone throws an idea out there because later, I was like, maybe it isn't a remote…maybe it's a game. And that's eventually, you know, what turned into Bop It.” - Dan Klitsner

Recommended Resources from the Interview

KublaCon Game Convention

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Bop It For Good

About Our Guest

Dan Klitsner is an award winning Industrial Designer specializing in concept ideation focused primarily on toy invention. He has created and licensed hundreds of concepts including the mega-hits Bop It, Perplexus and Simon Air. Before specializing in toys, Dan designed many well known bottles such as Woodford Reserve, Hornitos Tequila, and the Clorox Toilet Cleaner bottle. Recently Dan and his wife Alicia have founded Bop It For Good to support organizations that can benefit the most from Bop It‘s unique popularity and accessibility.