ERNIT is actually not about money. The piggy bank is a tool to teach children about setting goals, having patience and being grateful. Traits that will last a lifetime.
ERNIT is a piggy bank for the modern family. It has a digital heart which connects it to the internet. With the app the whole family can interact with the cute little pig while your children can follow their progress both in the app and on the piggy bank. The perfect way to start the vital conversation about digital money early on.
“Learning should come as soon as children start receiving money, for example, from the Tooth Fairy.”
Professor Annamaria Lusardi, The George Washington University School of Business.
ERNIT consists of an app connected to a piggy bank. All family members can download the app and join the conversation that will make your kids financially wise beyond their years. In the app your kids can set goals and you can start the talk about what your family cares about most.
“Poor financial decisions can have a long-lasting impact on individuals, their families and society.” Financial Education in Schools.
The more concrete you can make the goals the better will the learning experience be. ERNIT can help. The app makes your child choose a picture of the goal. So if the goal is a new bike you can find a picture of the exact color, brand and price that you are aiming for. The same can be said if the goal is a birthday gift for grandma or a donation to your family’s favorite charity.
Choose between goals
ERNIT lets your child set multiple goals at once. This way they will have to decide where to put the latest contribution each time ERNIT lights up. Enhancing their financial literacy. This feature lets you start a dialogue about your family’s values.
Tangible digital money
The piggy bank makes digital money tangible. This enhances the learning experience. ERNIT makes a sound when money is added, lets children touch to put money in while the lights in the piggy’s snout show how far along they are toward reaching their goal. Just like when most of us were kids.
“80% of U.S. students are unable to properly analyze a basic invoice.”
Programme for International Student Assessment.
ERNIT works perfect without real money. The learning experience is just as great. You just download the app, connect it to the piggy bank and you are good to go – an easy way to teach your child about financial goal setting and saving.
“61% of americans are unable to answer 2 out of 5 basic financial questions.” National Financial Capability Study.
Most parents start giving their children allowance when they are 4 to 6 years old. It’s never too early to get a head start. ERNIT is a fun and helpful companion from the very beginning. Especially when the world of digital money is changing so dramatically right now.
Intangible money is part of the problem with financial illiteracy. And the problem is getting bigger and bigger in most countries of the world. In the U.S. alone, student loan debt for people under 30 years has grown to 322 billion dollars.
Student loan debt
We as parents need to act now if we want our kids to be smart about digital money.
Start saving with ERNIT.
“Financial education can make a difference. It can empower and equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take charge of their lives.” Financial Education in Schools.
ERNIT teaches your child about savings in four easy steps:
1. SET A GOAL
First, your child sets a goal with the app. The goal can be set for anything large or small: a teddy bear, a bicycle, a gift for grandma or even a donation for charity.
2. START SAVING
Once the goal is set, you can send contributions to ERNIT by quickly and easily transferring money directly into the system. Both the app and the piggy bank responds when something new has happened.
3. PUT MONEY IN
When your child receives money, they have to press the piggy’s snout to put the contribution into ERNIT. Afterwards the piggy bank lights up and sounds happy in celebration of each step closer to the goal.
4. SEE THE GOAL CLOSING IN
The string of lights around ERNIT’s snout is a regular reminder of progress – and a conversation starter. The lights go from 0 to 100 percent, and when the snout is all lit up the goal is reached.
ERNIT is designed in collaboration with the award winning Danish design studio Kilo, headed by founder Lars Larsen, known for delivering simple, world class design solutions to complex design challenges – ERNIT is yet another example of this. A bold contemporary reinterpretation of the classical piggy bank. A bridge between technology and tradition to make that nostalgic connection between you as a parent and your child.
ERNIT is designed with a clear focus on combining emotion and piggy bank heritage into a contemporary physical character with a cute and clear iconic appearance. The piggy bank appeals to both children and adults and its main goal is to emphasize learning and relationships.
ERNIT is designed to teach with three key elements:
1. INVITE TO TOUCH
The shape invites you to pick ERNIT up with two hands and provides natural access to the oversized playful button on the snout. An overall silicone layer gives it a soft, organic feel when interacting.
2. REINTERPRET THE OLD
ERNIT creates a connection between parents and children by reinterpreting the shape of the classical piggy bank using archetypical elements such as the snout and the curly tail.
3. INTUITIVE LIGHTING
Friendly eyes give ERNIT a personality while the LED lights around the snout indicate the saving progress with a natural start and end point.
The design process has been a long and fun journey for the ERNIT team. It has taken us from the first studies of the oldest piggy bank – a small Greek temple with a slit – that dates back to the second century BC over moneybags, a diverse range of animal studies, interpretations of stacking coins to intensive studies with a clear focus on the classical typology associated with a cute little pig.
The design process has been tightly accompanied by complex engineering work. This includes LED lights to support the animation of the eyes, firmware to connect the app with the piggy bank, PCB boards to control the different mechanisms and a lot of testing, testing and testing. A big thanks to all of the families, children and school classes that have given us priceless feedback.
The app is divided into a parent and a child section. In the parent section you can invite grandma, an uncle or just a friend to pitch in to your child’s savings. Here you can also follow the different activities and learn even more about how to give your child healthy financial habits.
The main part of the learning experience happens in the child section. When they have multiple goals at once they have to prioritize between the different goals each time the piggy bank lights up. A lesson which can be used in lots of different aspects of life.
It is important that it is your child that makes the decisions. Sure you can either accept or decline goals. You can also tell them that they should save and give more than they spend, but in the end they will have to swipe and push and press the app – that is how you empower them with financial wisdom.
The main goal of the app has always been to create an intuitive approach to the flow. The end result may look easy, but the process behind the development has included a lot of wireframes, UX designs and sketching.
It’s important that the app is intuitive for both small kids and pre-teens. That means a structure that is flexible and can be both simple and complex depending on the task. We have tested different combinations of colors and figurative symbols on our own children, our friends children and total strangers children to see what made sense. This has given the app a balance between being fun to use and easy to understand.
Today we have completed roughly 80 percent of the design and engineering phase, and we need your help and support to get ERNIT delivered to backers around the globe.
By pre-ordering now you will help us reach our last crucial milestones:
- Purchasing the injection molds that will provide us with high-quality parts needed to deliver a consumer-grade product
- Getting the production of ERNIT units going in additional colors
- Giving the app even more features in the first edition
- Letting us do one more beta testing of the whole system with up to 25 families
In return, you’ll get one of the first ERNITs and be an early adopter of this exciting project. For that we can’t thank you enough!
ERNIT was founded in 2013 by Soren Nielsen, Thomas Bjerring and Mads Tagel. Our team has collectively worked together for two years developing ERNIT, and individually we have worked decades in areas like digital design, creative technology, educational communication, sound design, financial literacy and consumer electronics.
Thomas Bjerring is a creative technologist. His quest to innovate and use emerging technologies creatively has brought him into the creative departments of large ad agencies like McCann and DDB. He is a devoted fan of blockchain technology as well as a recording artist and music producer within the electronic scene.
Mads Tagel is a digital designer and strategist. Educated at the Royal Academy of Architecture in Copenhagen, he later developed digital LEGO games for children at renowned Titoonic, before founding digital agency Geist. Later he also founded startup Passionistas and has worked as a digital strategist with clients like Amazon, Facebook and Ferrari.
Soren Nielsen is the former editor-in-chief of Denmark’s largest financial magazine Penge & Privatøkonomi. He has made digital and print strategies for the brand in areas like stock investing, savings and banking. He has a financial degree from Copenhagen Business School and a Mini MBA from Henley Business School. Soren also has a journalistic degree and has worked within the financial area at newspapers, news agencies and magazines for the last 10 years
Lars Larsen is the founder of Kilo, the design studio behind the design of the ERNIT piggy bank. He is a graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, and the Danish Design School. His work is included in SFMOMA’s permanent collection and he has won numerous awards including the Danish Design Award, Red Dot Design Award, Good Design Award and the Cannes Lions golden trophy. He has made iconic work for companies like Louis Poulsen, Aiaiai, Biomega, Hay and Muuto.
KILO was founded in 2005 and is today considered one of Scandinavia’s most influential design studios. Kilo is an idea-driven industrial design studio that creates with a holistic approach and often explores the potential of crossbreeding elements or attributes from different disciplines into new functional and aesthetic hybrids. Kilo is internationally recognized and has earned a reputation for delivering world class design and innovation for clients no matter the size – from start ups to corporate organizations.
Henrik Jacobsen is an engineer and owner of the engineering company Makethat, which specializes in product development, all the way from prototyping to manufacturing. Often working in the space between designers, entrepreneurs, investors and the factory. He has formerly been part of projects like Haxi, SmartHome and ShareBox. Does also have a background as a helicopter pilot, which started his interest in engineering.
Mohammed Filfil studies civil engineering in electro-technology at The Technical University of Denmark and made his first simple robot as a seven year old. Since then he has been working on all kinds of electronics from software to hardware circuitry, and has worked for a drone-company working on fully automatic flying drones and radars. He has been involved in projects like Haxi and is now establishing his own company.
We want to thank a lot of people, companies and organization for pushing us this far. A special thanks goes out to: Innovation Fund Denmark / Thomas Haderup / Jochum Kirsebom / Jacob Bøtter / DELTA / Idemolab / Kristian Lund / Væksthuset København / Kristen Tate Communications / Lemonsqueeze / DDB Copenhagen / Greener Pastures / Coinify / Morten Andersen / Benjamin Media / Paradigm / WAAITT / Andreas Krueger Sound Design / Erol Kazan / Mathias Buus / Bjarke Walling / AND A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OF OUR FAMILIES. WE LOVE YOU.
THANK YOU for taking the time to look at our project — we appreciate your support, and we hope you will enjoy empowering kids with healthy financial habits.
Producing a big amount of identical products is a challenge for anyone – especially for those without a factory. Luckily our team consists of an hands on industrial designer who has been a part of award winning products which he has helped thru the manufacturing process. On his side we have two experienced engineers in troubleshooting in the product development phase including sourcing the right materials while we have board members with a long time experience in working with factories in both Europe and Asia.
When you deal with real money instead of just funny money a lot of rules and regulations come into play. The same can be said for the pricing. The pricing goes thru the roof when banks and normal financial institutions get into the game. Our main objective is to make a global solution from day one with no expenses for the user. We have several different ways to get to this goal and we already have three agreements with different companies – some more expensive for us than others – but the technical solutions are ready to go. We just need to get the prices a bit down. And test the solution that is best for the user.
As with most consumer products produced in large quantities we need injection molding to get the production up and running. These molds require a very large capital upfront and are one of the main issues in delaying the production. Luckily we have with the help of among others Innovation Fund Denmark made a strategy and risk management in this area where our team of industrial designer, engineers and board members have a great deal of experience.
We have combined spent decades within industrial design, digital design, financial infrastructure and manufacturing. We are confident that we can overcome these possible obstacles, so that we can bring this innovative product to life.