In the words of Whitney Houston, ‘the children are our future’. With the Internet at their fingertips and wrists, and an inherent grasp of tech we can’t hope to keep up with – they’re also our future nemeses.
Smart kids are getting a lot out of their smart devices. Obese children in East London fooled researchers by attaching the pedometers meant to help them lose weight to their pet dogs. Hopefully KidFit bracelets have combated this by being something that kids want to wear and encouraging activities beyond walking. This year, many British universities have issued a blanket ban on all wristwatches to deal with potential cheating in exams via wearables.
But as kids get smarter, so is the tech that is designed for them. Look at AltSchool, the venture backed programme by Uber’s former head of global security Michael Ginty. AltSchool aims to develop ways to keep children safe at school from intruders and each other, beyond metal detectors and high fences. Then there’s the numerous examples of medtech that turn healthcare into playtime – like the incredibly charming ‘Jordi-stick’. Dieter Kirsch’s son suffers from cystic fibrosis so must complete his breathing exercises regularly and thoroughly, a process made less stressful and more fun through gamification.
If you need a reminder of just how much kids expect from their tech, watch them puzzle over a VCR. “It’s so bad, I’m just gonna barf.” Pretty much sums it up.
This list originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20150318
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