Case Study


Bring out your child’s untapped potential for genius by strengthening and increasing the connections between the left and right brain hemispheres with Digital Copel, available on iOS and Android.

Bring Out Your Child’s Inner Genius

Digital Copel is packed full of fun and educational lessons for young children ages 0-6 – although the app developer guarantees older children and adults alike will also find them challenging! All the lessons are based on Copel’s original curriculum.

  • Fun Brain Games
  • Free Lessons Daily
  • Monitor Progress
  • Custom Creative Space

Backendless: Tell us about Digital Copel and how FUNX became involved with bringing educational games to the Japanese market.

Simon McCorkindale, FUNX: I’m originally from New Zealand but I’ve been living in Japan for quite a while now. I’m co-founder and CEO of FUNX, which is a small app development company that develops educational games for children based on educational material that we receive from an educational institute here in Japan. The app we built for them is called Digital Copel and it’s a mobile game app that connects with the backend server and runs on all tablet and smartphone devices. Most of our users are on iphone, iPads, and Android but we also have our app available on the Amazon Store.

What role has Backendless played in your app development process?

We’ve been using Backendless since day one. We use about half of the services Backendless provides. Backendless has a rich set of functionality. For anybody who’d developed with Unity before, there are asset bundles that allow you to basically bundle all of your assets into the equivalent of a zip file and we manage that using the data tables provided by the data service on Backendless.

App Installs
Lessons Available

“Backendless allows you to focus on the client-side development; you can leave the rest of the server-side development up to the features [Backendless] provides.”

- Simon McCorkindale, Co-Founder and CEO, FUNX

Which Backendless function have you found most valuable with Digital Copel?

Every time the file is loaded, you’ll connect to the backend and see whether there are any new versions to download. If there is, the service will pull the name of the files, the location of the files, the version number and a few other bits of metadata and it will bring them down to the app. Then, the app will connect to the file service on the backend and download those various asset bundles so it allows the app that is actually on the app store to be small in size. This allows users to only have to download the data for the lessons that they want to play. That allows us to minimize the physical storage space that we take up on the user’s device.

Tell us about the landing page that you built using Backendless. How was that structured, and how does it serve your needs?

Copel is an early childhood development program in Japan. Copel has a lot of classrooms throughout the country and when we started the Digital Copel project, we wanted to help them promote the business within Japan. So we created a landing page with Backendless that will take the user’s current location from the GPS and send that back to the backend and using the geolocation service. We can then get a list of all of the classrooms in the country and automatically calculate the distance between their current location and the nearest classroom. When you open the page, at the top there is a picture of Google Maps that zooms in on Japan and has a little icon for every classroom in the country. It also has an icon for where you currently are and then a list in order from the classroom that’s closest to you. You can immediately see, in both English and Japanese, where the classroom is, its name, its address, its phone number, and then you can directly go to the home page for that school.

How has utilizing Backendless freed up your time to focus on other things?

Backendless allows you to mainly focus on the client side development; you can leave the rest of the server side development up to the features that they already provide. There is also the ability to add a bit of server-side code using the custom business logic system to fill in any gaps specific to your application.

Have you used Backendless’ support to overcome any of your development challenges?

I have been using the support forum provided by Backendless a lot since day one. I’ve found responses to be quite fast, not only for where there have been issues or problems but also when I’ve requested new features or I’ve needed help on how to implement a certain feature which I wasn’t quite clear on. Sometimes I’ve had a unique feature that I wanted to implement somehow but wasn’t sure of the best approach to implement it so I would send them the ticket and they usually return some source code that I could actually use to start building my feature upon. I use support at least once or twice a week.


With the help of Backendless, Digital Copel is making education more engaging for children in Japan and other parts of the world. The Backendless mobile backend as a service platform offers rich functionality that allows FUNX to focus on building an entertaining and visually captivating frontend without losing valuable time on the core backend.