Monday, August 20, 2012

Do we need separate gadgets for kids?

I have found a sure-shot way to befriend my friend's kids and keep them occupied while we catch up over dinner. I introduce myself, "Hi, I am Nisha. Would you like to play a game on my iPad/ phone?" Obviously, no kid will turn down the offer.

I am amazed by the confidence with which kids will pick up a device that is completely new to them (even an operating system that's completely new) and navigate without hesitation to the games and figure them out. It takes them no time at all to learn a new device. I know adults who own a device since some months and still can't figure out basic things. 

So, I was wondering about the spate of kid-friendly gadgets like LeapFrog's LeapPad2. While I know that durability, bright colors and kid-safe design are helpful for gadgets, I think kids would still be more excited to go after dad's cell phone and tablet. They just represent a more tempting source of fun. This is not to say that gadgets for kids are dumbed down. Just that the beauty of gadgets is their universal appeal to everyone. 

And I wonder whether you would spend USD 100 for a kids' tablet like LeapPad or just buy or pass on an old refurbished iPad in an impact resistant case. Or even your old smartphone sans SIM card.

I would be interested to know what parents think about the topic, and what they think their kids would want!