Regina’s Shiverware launches Star Trek ‘harp’ app

The Saskatchewan firm has licensed the cult series branding from CBS Interactive to fill a void in the still-unsaturated Trekkie mobile space.

In a move that popular sci-fi character Mr. Spock might describe as “logical,” Regina-based Shiverware has launched a licensed mobile music app based on a Star Trek prop.

The $1.99 Star Trek Vulcan Harp, created and developed by Shiverware’s Katharine Kelly, Brett Park, David Gerhard and Mishayla Kapell, includes 15 vibrating strings, multi-level distortion and reverb and is compatible with iOs6 and 7, iPad 2 and iPad Air.

Kelly says she had tried to secure several versions of the prop, played by science officer Mr. Spock in the original Gene Roddenberry Series, before deciding to come up with her own.

Using “sweat equity,” Shiverware – which creates music-related apps – took a year of development and included a Beta version of the app before delivering the proposal to CBS Interactive. Within five months, Shiverware was granted a license.

“We had a Beta developed going into that contact, so we could provide videos on usage and screen capture and a little bit of background so they could actually see what the app implemented would be like, so they could make their best judgment,” Mishayla Kapell, Shiverware’s lead designer, tells Playback. “They evaluated it with their team, and they decided to pursue it.”

Within five months, CBS Interactive gave Shiverware the green light to officially attach the Star Trek brand name to the product, and Kapell hints that a lack of available apps currently on the market may have helped their cause.

“There isn’t any standard physical harp in production, or even a digital one, so this would be the first exploration in that area,” Kapell notes.

“Plus I think they liked the functionality and design of the harp itself. We’re getting really good reviews from fans and musicians alike. And there are only a handful of Star Trek licenced apps in the market right now, so I think that opens up a new door for them as well.”

In accordance with the license, marketing will fall solely to Shiverware.

“We’re have a few different social marketing campaigns that we’re preparing for the back end,” says Kapell. “All of those would need  CBS’s approval, and they’ve been really great at this whole process as well. As long as we align with their branding and their policy, they are just letting us go free with some of the ideas we have moving forward. But the initiative would definitely be on our end for marketing after this point.”

Kapell reports that initial ratings “have been great” and is hopeful that consumers will soon demand an Android version of the app, which has been available at the online Apple app store since Dec. 5.