Posted in trends

PDAs for kids

If you’ve ever had to entertain a child in a fix, you know that technology is a convenient babysitter, as kids are mesmerized by gadgets ranging from simple mobile phones to iPhones and BlackBerrys. Considering that consumers don’t typically go anywhere without their personal tech, kid-focused apps come in handy when there’s nothing else to stop a child from screaming and crying. Covered in the iPhone Sitter trend in The Intelligence Group’s New Family Report (which you’ll be learning more about in next week’s trendcentral), a pop-the-bubbles app could turn a cranky subway ride into a giggly trip downtown. However, for those who’ve seen more than a few cracked screens or sticky keyboards, a new wave of tech for tots that imitates their parents’ devices is emerging. While toy gadgets are certainly not new, they are certainly becoming more sophisticated.

Taking advantage of children’s desire for their parents’ handheld gadgets, edutainment tech trendsetter LeapFrog recently introduced the Text & Learn. Resembling a jumbo-sized, kid-colored BlackBerry, kids ages three and up can text back and forth on the full QWERTY keyboard with virtual guide “Scout,” who also helps them navigate through a pretend browser. Games are included to help children learn the alphabet, spelling, and basic computer skills. Keeping kids entertained, learning, and away from their parents’ more easily destructible gadgets, the device’s $25 price doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

I know I should be creeped out by this, but all of you who have cared for little ones know about their obsession for grown-ups tech.  The fake candy filled phones are not a ruse that works (candy is always fun though).  Even babies aren’t tricked by their plastic teething key rings.  This actually looks like a cool direction for toddler products to me.  And breaking a 25 dollar toy is easier to swallow then a $300 iphone/blackberry



Joi Podgorny has spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on the bleeding edge of the technology and entertainment industries, from content/brand development and production to leading international support, moderation, community and social teams. Most recently, Joi founded Good People Collective, a consulting agency focused on helping companies and organizations establish, assess and pivot their internal and external cultures to help maximize their potential. She and her team are currently working on an exciting new software project, combining corporate training and virtual reality.

2 thoughts on “PDAs for kids

  1. My wife and I have found our phones (or an iPod touch) to fascinate our 2yo son. It inspired me to write my own app for him:

    There are a lot of similar ones but this one is best in class, especially because each image and sound links to the source, allowing you and your child to learn more.

    I think the kids pick up on the attention we give the devices. The wear and tear is certainly a problem which is why I’ve taken to locking my phone and keeping around my clunky old one for our son.

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