High tech, kids, interactive toys and the "why" question
Yet another article about how toy makers push high tech for tots, nothing so new there but it tackles some issues related to this phenomenon:
"The cool thing about that is that kids are role-playing what they see around them, and they see their siblings using digital cameras and using digital phones," Rice said. "They see their parents using those, and so that's what they want to role-play with." (...) Newborns may be too young for plug-and-play TV games, but that doesn't mean they're left out of the digital revolution. VTech, for example, has a high-tech toy aimed at newborns, the Explore & Learn mat -- where infants are introduced to numbers, letters, colors and shapes as they touch various parts of an electronic but machine-washable play mat. (...) The toys are popular not only because they help impart cognitive and emotional intelligence, but also because they involve parents in the process.
"When kids are that little, parents are one of their favorite playthings, so having their parents' time and interacting with their parents is great," Rice said.
It also underline a very important trend:
"Today's kids understand computers and the technology from the get-go. It's part of their world; it's like the air," he said. "They don't question it; it's just there."
Why do I blog this? I am wondering about this would impact the relation society has with technology. Anne discussed the issue of the "inevitability" of technology from the designers point of view; in this case here it's a bit different since it's a reflection of what market researchers perceived from kids' behavior towards technology: as a natural component of their world.