Our storyRead about our history
Our dedicated team is working on improving HiHaHo every day. We work hard to uphold our four requirements. HiHaHo Interactive Video has matured and is gradually growing towards a new era of teaching. If you’re not part of our story yet, join us on this interactive video adventure.
A New Home
In March, we moved to a new office building. We left our isolated building in the outskirts of Assen and moved to the city center. With our growing team and ever-growing cooperation between departments, we entered a new workplace where that style of working was supported. With the city center nearby and a nice lunchroom in our building, working at HiHaHo became even more inviting.
Video Enrichment Tool
In early spring, our first product was released. Our hands-on approach and close contact with our main users allowed us to keep improving our tool. More and more companies and individuals started using our product for creating amazing interactive videos.
Our current CEO, Mark Visser, joined the company. His presence meant an acceleration of our project. Because of Visser’s visionary eye, we invested in inter-device usability of the software. Rather than just working on Windows, it now also works on Apple and Android smartphones, all computers and laptops, and even on tablets. This was added as a fourth requirement for the software. It has to work on all devices. At the end of the year, a bèta version was completed.
Triple Blend Learning
A new idea arose in the company: triple blend learning. Rather than treating interactive video, plenary sessions, and online courses as separate entities, we felt that all three could be combined to achieve the most effective learning programs.
Our First Product
HiHaHo was officially established as a separate company. Our first website went live and we finished the first version of our product that actually worked. This useable concept worked only on windows and it met all the requirements established earlier. However, it was nowhere near finished yet.
HiHaHo's Baby Steps
Videos had always been part of our programs, but this year the board started a small project called HiHaHo. From our experiences as educators, we saw that moving towards interactive videos was the next logical step for meeting our needs and desires as an educational company. The name started out as a bit of a gimmicky name for a website for instructional videos, inspired by how easy it was to do things. The name stuck. Development of a first version of the tool that could add interactivity to a video began. It was our first step to expanding this learning platform. We established three basic requirements for the product.
1) The product could incorporate both existing videos from major streaming services and also support new video material.
2) The product could be used by anyone, even those who had never worked with this kind of program.
3) The product could support SCORM and xAPI, in order for it to be incorporated in most Learning Management Systems.
This was a pivotal year in our history. Not only did we reel in Icademy’s first big customers, which was our first departure from pharmacy and our first step into the world of retail, but we also got the inspiration for our current product. After having attended a lecture by Elliott Masie, De Graaf was inspired to start working with interactive video.
A New Beginning
The company kept growing and we expanded our working staff and later also moved to a new location in the city of Assen. Icademy started to take over most of Drogisterij Academy’s work, which eventually led to the disbanding of Drogisterij Academy and a sole focus on online education by means of elearnings over the next couple of years.
This year saw the establishment of Icademy, a sister company focusing solely on developing online courses. The companies digitized completely. The new company’s name came from the phrase I can develop myself: Of course, we were very fond of the coincidence with the word “academy” too. A tight cooperation between the two academy companies remained.
With Drogisterij Academy, we started doing online classes, with Marc as our teacher.
Welcome to the Internet
This year, the internet started playing a role in the company’s approach to education. We started to release a monthly news broadcast about the latest news in the pharmacy world, but there was also a switch to online learning.
De Gaper’s name was officially changed to Drogisterij Academy and started to focus on regular and supplementary training for pharmacy personnel. Eventually, the use of study books was discontinued for the supplementary courses and were replaced by CD-ROMs, just like many of the exams were already being sent out as CD-ROMS as well.
First Use of Video
This marks the beginning of videos being used in the study material. Unfortunately, linear videos showed not to be the most effective tool to improve the learning curve. The medium informed and entertained, but it lacked true engagement.
The Dutch pharmacy branch decided to switch from analog to computerized exams. They set up De Gaper, with an aim to provide an education or training for pharmacy employees by means of a telephone exam, dubbed the TeleToets, developed by De Graaf. De Gaper, meaning The Yawner, is a Dutch cultural reference to the wooden statues used on old Dutch buildings to indicate, for the illiterate, that it was a pharmacy.
Talking Telecom Technologies
In 1998, De Graaf together with De Boer founded a company called Talking Telecom Technologies. Its aim was to develop, produce, and distribute software. The company started several projects, but the development of software used by doctors’ offices for patients who need a refillment of their prescription gained most prominence and success in The Netherlands.
Our story takes off in 1997 when Anton de Boer and Hans de Graaf meet. De Boer was working with several companies to develop their first game-oriented learning program. While looking for someone to help develop software for this, De Boer’s wife introduced him to De Graaf. The project proved fruitful, as from there on, their cooperation would lead to the birth of HiHaHo many years later.