The meaning of toys and play for kids in the twenty-ﬁrst century is changing.
Tablets and smartphones are commonly bought by parents in households
with young children who prefer those over traditional toys. Research shows
that kids are increasingly spending a large percentage of their day online. For
play, kids adapt to touchscreen technology very easily and are getting tech
savvy even as young as 2 years old. Although there are concerns about kids
getting less adept at outdoor activities, smart tech - if designed interactively -
can help children learn, make their own toys, explore and ﬁnd new ways of
play, indoors and outdoors. In the future, intelligent toys will adapt to a
child’s needs as they play.
Kids will 3D print their own toys
…as with computers and
ﬂat-screen TVs, the price of 3-D
printers will eventually go down as
the tech becomes more widely
available. In a couple of years, your
child and her friends could be
printing their own dollhouse
furniture, animal critters, and little
planes and cars -- right from the
The Future of Play: How
Technology Is Changing the Way
- By Laura Seargeant Richardson
from Parents Magazine
Children’s media use in the US 2013
Seventy-two percent of children age 8
and under have used a mobile device
for some type of media activity such
as playing games, watching videos, or
using apps, up from 38% in 2011.
A Common Sense Research Study -
October 28, 2013
Sensors in smart toys
Speaking of LEGO-like tech toys,
the robotics toy Robo includes a
set of cube-shaped bricks
containing sensors and
microprocessors that enable kids
to be guided by a mobile app as
they build. After a robot is built,
the kids can learn how to program
it through the app.
How Sensors are Taking Smart
Toys into the 21st Century
- By Melissa Jun Rowley
Cisco Technology News Site
How might we:
• Minimize passive screen time (like TV watching) and
instead design active screen time to improve children’s
cognitive and communication skills?
• Enable DIY for children to build their own toys with 3D
printing becoming mainstream?
• Design devices that are speciﬁcally meant to be used by
parents to teach and play with their children?
• Build devices that enable children to play not only
individually but also for children in groups?
• Use opportunities to blend new technologies with
traditional toys and games?
OSMO by Tangible Play -
An unconventional IPad game platform that takes kids
beyond the screen, using mirror technology
Review: Lego Mindstorms EV3
means giant robots, powerful
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IMPLICATIONS FOR UX
CHILD’S PLAY OF THE FUTURE