Much to our delight the project has gained a lot of attention around the world. The concept has been featured on CNN, FastCompany.com, MIT Tech Review, Gizmodo and Vivanews just to name a few major sites.
Social media is here to stay, so shouldn’t toddlers be given a chance to dip their toes in at an early age? After all, in just a few years they will have to be fluent in using all the new tools available.
We think the answer is a firm YES. That is why we have created the first social media tool for toddlers.
The prototype is a device with which toddlers can update their status to their friend. Usage requires no special skills. No reading, no computer skills, nothing that a toddler does not naturally master.
The actual status update is done by placing the appropriate block in its designated place on the box. For example, an “eating” update is sent by placing a block with the “plate, spoon, fork” -icon in the square-shaped hole on top of the box. This results in the illumination of the corresponding status light on the friend’s device.
As any parent knows, mornings and evenings are possibly the toughest moments during the day. In the evening everyone is tired from work and play and in the morning we often have to rush to get everyone out the door in time. This is why the prototype is focused on activities that occur during these times, namely eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth. The interactive toy 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.”
Not wanting to unnecessarily introduce more stuff in to already crowded homes, we wanted to base the prototype on an existing object. A popular childrens’ toy that is used to practice hand to eye coordination proved to be perfect, as we already had a few lying about. The toy also has quite a short lifespan. We have observed that once a child figures out how to insert the blocks in the corresponding holes use of the toy rapidly decreases. The prototype extends the life of the box and also has a working logic that the child has previously mastered.
The boxes have been outfitted with led arrays and sensors that detect the presence a magnetic field. Magnets have been embedded in the wooden blocks to trigger the sensors when the block is placed in the right spot.
The Iobridge module and web service are used to provide the functionality and relay the sensor signals from box to box. The Iobridge allows the boxes to work anywhere as long as an internet connection is available.
The prototypes have been up and running for a couple of weeks now. We are definitely talking about our friends more often than previously. On the downside, the girls are so eager to send updates that we have had to agree on turns to avoid conflict.
The Passi family has a slightly later schedule during the evening, so they have been able to use their box to motivate their girls during bedtime routines.
All in all, we feel that the first prototype works as planned and will definitely get an upgrade in the future.
Cool! I can see you guys expanding this to alphabet blocks to move things to a more educational direction.
Minulla tuli tämän pohjalta mieleen eräs palveluidea koululaisille! Hyvä, moneen suuntaan laajeneva perusmalli siis.
pni: Alphabet blocks are a very good idea! Thanks for the tip
Virve: Kerrohan lisää?
Ripatti: Yep, I’ve got these good ideas ;)
[…] you are interested in learned more, visit the website passiripatti.com to find a breakdown of the project, photos, and other amazing […]
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Hienoa, että jengi kehtaa esitellä elektroniikkakerhon harjoitustöitä hyvässä paketissa. Vähän kunnianhimoa, jäbät, pliis!
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Would there, eventually, be a website corresponding with the device? What are the future plans with this?
Great concept design and prototyping.
I hope that you guys already have made a business analysis/plan, which would show [—]’s potentiality as a mass product for the international markets.
Keep up the good work, and I truly hope that heads and dollars will turn towards Helsinki in the future as well.
Aika hauska muuten, mutta ärsyttää tuo [—]. Miksi ihmeessä pitänyt vääntää [—]sta tuo nimi?
Kimberly: At the moment we feel that this concept does not necessarily demand a website as it is more focused at a small circle of people and the family. Right now we are looking at some commercialization options and some continued testing with our kids. Please visit again, we’ll definitely keep everyone updated on the progress and other prototypes as well.
_T: Looking in to it as we speak ;)
S: Kiitos kannustuksesta. [—] on itseasiassa yksi keskeisistä syistä miksi konsepti on olemassa. Laatikko on [—] ja palvelu, jonka avulla data liikkuu on Iobridge.
Kirjaimellisesti heräsin eräänä yönä siihen kun nimien yhdistelmä ja konseptin ydin iski kerralla tajuntaan. Joskus tuntee kun asioita ei kannata enää sorkkia ja tässä se aavistus ainakin osui kohdalleen.
Muistan, kuinka ekaluokkalaisena jännitin, osaanko alkaa ajoissa laittaa takkia päälle ja ruveta suuntaamaan kohti koulua. Sosiaalisena mediana toimi kodin ikkunasta näkyvä toimisto, jonne alkoi valua ihmisiä noin klo 8, muistelen. Toimistotyöläiset vahvistivat uskoni, että olin lukenut kelloa oikein. [—]:n avulla olisin voinut katsoa, että kas, nyt valo syttyi – kaveri alkaa siis laittaa vaatteita päälle – ja nyt se lähtee kouluun… Kohta tavataan kouluraitilla.
[…] designers Passi and Ripatti say it’s time for toddlers to get on the grid with their [—]. Their technology has a portal in which toddlers can insert building blocks to tell […]
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[…] I had a great time. After the meeting, one of the people in attendance brought to my attention this blog, which demonstrates a new social networking for toddlers prototype. This is not yet for sale, but […]
[…] are these messages communicated to other [—] users? The Passi and Ripatti blog describes it best: the boxes have been outfitted with led arrays and sensors that detect the […]
[…] フィンランドを拠点とするスタジオ「Passi Ripatti」は、世界初となる、幼児向けのソーシャルメディア玩具「[—]」をリリースしました。歯ブラシのイラストがついた丸型、ベッドの絵が描かれている三角、お皿とスプーンの四角という、積み木のような3つのパーツと、それぞれの形にくぼみがついた本体ボックスで構成。このパーツを形に合わせてボックスにはめ込むと、パーツの底についているマグネットを通じて、「食事」「歯みがき」「就寝」といったメッセージが認識され、インターネットを経由してお友達の「[—]」ボックスを光らせる仕組みとなっています。 […]
[…] Two Finnish designers designed a device, called an [—], where toddlers can update their “status” to another little toddler friend. Toddlers can do this by using blocks with icons for sleeping, eating, or brushing their teeth, and fit them into slots to indicate what they’re doing. Then, the [—] transmits the “status update” using a web service, which lights up the corresponding block-shape on an [—] in another household. The [—] was built out of an existing toy called the [—] [—] [—] box. See video below to see how it works. […]
[…] Aqui tem mais informações de funcionamento. […]
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[…] the designers’ Web site: “The actual status update is done by placing the appropriate block in its designated place […]