IOBR - Social Networking for Toddlers
2011 01 20

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

Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
Forty Years that Unmade France
2014 11 21
Eric Zemmour is a well-known French author and television personality. Of Algerian-Jewish origin, he may seem an unlikely spokesman for French tradition, but he has emerged in recent years as a prominent scourge of ideological orthodoxy. He is unquestionably the most prominent mainstream French commentator who speaks candidly about race. Eric Zemmour This role comes with a price. In 2011 he was ...
Richard Spencer Under Fire
2014 11 21
The Flathead Beacon has a story on the mobbing of Richard Spencer consequent to the publicity over the Budapest conference. The city council is being asked to “an ordinance barring hate-group activities in the community.” As several of the comments note, the First Amendment seems to be of no concern to these activists. The article is interesting ...
More News »