IOBR - Social Networking for Toddlers
2011-01-20 0:00

By Siddharth Basrur | Tech2.in.com



When you’re in the habit of being logged into Facebook or Twitter 24/7, you’d expect no less from your kids, right? And I’m not talking about your pre-adolescent son on your teenage daughter, but your toddlers. Yes, you heard that right! Two Finnish designers have come up with a social networking tool for kids called IOBR.

IOBR is a device that toddlers can use to tell others what they are doing. It has no reading or writing involved (duh), just what toddlers usually pick up when they’re growing. The IOBR has a set of different shaped blocks with an icon on each of them. For example, an eating block has the image of a fork on it, or a sleeping block will have the image of a bed with a horizontal figure on it. So if the toddler is taking a nap, all he or she has to do is place a triangle shaped block in its respective hole. The other toddler who has the IOBR will be notified immediately, as the block will light up on their device.

The IOBR was built from an existing toy, the Brio Shape sorting box, and the status updates are triggered using magnets in the blocks. Apparently, the two designers say that this device has been a huge hit with their children, especially the girls.


Article from: tech2.in.com




IOBR

Video from: YouTube.com




Sign of the Times: Toy Blocks That Teach Toddlers Social Networking
By John Pavlus | FastCoDesign.com



Finnish designers give the short set a way to update their status besides whining and screaming.

Crying, yowling, whimpering: Evolution has already equipped infants and toddlers with myriad ways of communicating "status updates" to their parents. But let’s face it -- they’re pretty ambiguous. So two Finnish designers decided to expand kids’ repertoire into the digital age by creating the IOBR: a classic block-sorting toy that also functions a bit like Twitter. So even if they can’t yet read or type with their cubby little fingers, toddlers armed with these things can trumpet their current doings to parents and friends.

Sound like a harbinger of the apocalypse? Actually, it’s clever and cute: pre-verbal tykes grab colorful blocks with icons for sleeping, eating, or brushing their teeth, fit them into slots to indicate what they’re up to -- that is, what their parents are trying to get them to do -- and the IOBR then transmits the "status update" using a web service called Iobridge, which lights up the corresponding block-shape on an IOBR in another household.

The designers focused their efforts on simple morning and evening activities that bookend kids’ days (and are parents’ "toughest moments"). They claim the IOBR "can be used as a small game to motivate children to be more swift in their activities: ’Let’s see if you are in bed before your friend.’"

They built the IOBR prototype out of an existing toy, the Brio Shape sorting box, to avoid introducing more clutter to the household. Magnets in the blocks activate sensors in the IOBR box that trigger the "status update."

So far, the two designers say that the IOBR is a big hit in their respective families -- especially among the girls. But does it portend future texting addictions? Only time will tell.

Article and images from: fastcodesign.com









Related Articles
SocialMiner: New software allows employers to spy on Twitter, Facebook, social networks
Social media addiction can ruin your health
Students experience violence, poverty, social injustice in global "conflict zones" with new game
TV Is A Psycho-Social Weapon
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says privacy is no longer a ’social norm’
No Social Networking for U.S. Marines


Latest News from our Front Page

Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
2015-04-17 23:33
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk. An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated. The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call. The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
2015-04-17 22:09
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime. It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise. "It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen. Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
2015-04-17 22:47
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, wants to punish people who don’t get vaccinated. The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports: “A leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australia’s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
2015-04-17 22:20
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology. For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet. Like ...
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
2015-04-17 22:29
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies. Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
More News »