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Child's play of the future

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In this ICE Breaker, we look at how smart tech - if designed interactively - can help children learn, make their own toys, explore and find new ways of play, indoors and outdoors.

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Child's play of the future

  1. 1. 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 family room. The Future of Play: How Technology Is Changing the Way Kids Play - 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 http://www.coolhunting.com/ tech/osmo-tangible-play Review: Lego Mindstorms EV3 means giant robots, powerful computers http://arstechnica.com/gad- gets/2013/08/review-lego-mind- storms-ev3-means-giant-robots-po werful-computers/ Interested in future reports and projections for your business? Check out ice.humanfactors.com | Write to us at ice@humanfactors.com ICE breaker by IMPLICATIONS FOR UX CHILD’S PLAY OF THE FUTURE

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