Friday, 21 December 2012

When will technology for kids go mainstream?

I have been reading a lot of researches as well as observing that kids today are the new tech junkies. To them, Mobile phones, tablets and PCs are what Scrabble, hop scotch and hide and seek was to my generation. They not only use technology but are a prime influencers of technology purchase. This is not a news to anyone. Apart from a few tablets such as Micromax who have tablets which cater to kids, I don't see much action in that segment, specially by the handset makers. I am sure there are a few available but why is it not mainstream?

I see tremendous potential there. Kids today are most discerning about technology. Their use and understanding is intuitive. But what they get straddled with are either hand-me-downs or cheap feature phones for basic use. I don't think they are looking at a phone to call or text but to stay 'connected' in a larger sense. There in lies the opportunity.

Imagine an app store designed only for kids. Where they can download apps using the points they earn by playing games or answering a quiz which could be educational in nature.

A phone which allows content downloading specifically meant for kids. The developer needs to put a 'suitable for age groups x to y' rating and bingo!

A phone built for their nimble fingers yet hardy enough not to break even if they drop it a million times.

Kids lose everything. From their sweaters to water bottles name it and they would have lost it a multiple times. They are bound to lose their phones as well. So an in built mobile trakker to locate the lost phone.

A phone which pairs up with their parents so the parents keep a track of their mobile activity - who they call, what they watch, what they download - the works!

A phone with voice capability and reads out a story to a 6 year old.

The opportunity is immense. Content to user experience - there is a world of possibilities there. The way today's parents splurge on their kids, get them to believe its good for their kids and (I hazard a guess here) they will be happy to shell out money on things they don't spend on themselves.

Who knows, perhaps by the time I hit the publish button, phone for kids will be everywhere. After all tech trends do change super fast.



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