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August 22, 2014
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Roy Smith's Blog

 

 With a career centered on the creation of new technologies and markets that often disrupted existing industry incumbents, Roy Smith founded AgeCheq in 2013 after studying The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) from a developer perspective. Roy recognized that COPPA forces game developers to do many things that they are not good at, such as parental verification and permission, and it was clear to him that someone needed to build a central service to aggregate these functions for all app developers.  With deep experience in gaming and app developer tools, Roy founded AgeCheq to meet this growing market need.

Roy has been in the consumer electronics industry since 1979 as an engineer, developer, marketer, and manager, leading companies to multimillion dollar revenue growth and multiple successful exits. An early disruptor in the personal computer industry, Roy co-founded Turtle Beach Systems in 1985, now the top U.S. provider of high quality immersive headphones for computer gaming. Turtle Beach is credited for bringing studio-quality sound to the PC, making it a viable platform for realistic games.

In 2006 Roy co-founded BroadClip, which in 2008 became FlyCast, the first successful radio streaming app for smartphones, with 4.5 million users and over 2,000 channels of content. In 2009 Roy founded appMobi as a mobile app development house. In 2010 appMobi was acquired by FlyCast as the company evolved to provide development tools for mobile apps as appMobi. Roy spearheaded branding and marketing efforts for appMobi, building the company to become the industry’s leading hybrid app development tool provider, and attracting the attention of Intel, which acquired appMobi's tools division in February 2013.

Roy has participated on the board of directors for numerous startups, and cofounded WellspringFV, a tech startup incubator in 1998.

Having participated in the smartphone revolution from its start, Roy understands the app economy and envisions AgeCheq as the industry defacto solution for managing an app or game’s COPPA compliance. Roy believes AgeCheq represents an opportunity to make a "broken" system work well, for the good of game developers and for parents who want to regain control over the information their children share when using mobile devices.

 

Member Blogs

The days of blissfully making apps that grab private user data as needed are over. Let’s get on with the business of making great games designed with privacy in mind. This week I cover another little-known privacy regulation game devs should know: CalOPPA


Posted by Roy Smith on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 04:57:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Programming, Production, Smartphone/Tablet
As game developers who may have children in our audience, we need to be aware of 3 separate, but closely related “live rails” that can cause big problems if not handled correctly in a game: Content, Commerce, & Privacy.


Posted by Roy Smith on Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:49:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Programming, Production, Smartphone/Tablet
Tuesday, July 1 will mark the one year anniversary of the updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). How is COPPA doing as the law designed to protect the privacy of the children who play our mobile games?


Posted by Roy Smith on Tue, 03 Jun 2014 10:15:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Programming, Production, Smartphone/Tablet
Does Apple's new iOS feature, Family Sharing, which includes a new “Ask To Buy” parental approval service solve the COPPA headache for game developers? Nope. Read on to learn more.


Posted by Roy Smith on Fri, 09 May 2014 06:51:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Programming, Production, Smartphone/Tablet
Let's examine the FTC's recent action against SnapChat; a cautionary tale for game developers who imply that their game has capabilities or safeguards that it does not actually have.


Posted by Roy Smith on Mon, 05 May 2014 12:45:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Production, Smartphone/Tablet
This post examines a single phrase from COPPA that has opened a miasma of confusion and ill-considered strategies for game developers to avoid compliance with the law: "Actual Knowledge". Let's unpack this loaded phrase...