Does your Vision for Technology Match Your Child’s?

July 13, 2011

“What would you like your computer or the internet to do that it can’t do right now?” was the question posed to kids ages 12 and under in a global study conducted by international research firm Latitudeo. The results are phenomenal, and beg the question of how in touch are you with where technology can take us?

Among kids ideas were:

  1. Removing the distinction between online and offline. Children across the world imagine technologies that “seamlessly meld online and offline experiences”
  2. Shifting from seeing to interacting.  Nearly 4 in 10 kids imagine immersive experiences in physical spaces (e.g., real or simulated travel) or devices that assisted physical activities (e.g., playing sports)
  3. Ditching the keyboard and mouse. Kids want to interact with technology more intuitively. Of those kids who specified an interface, only half suggested the traditional keyboard/mouse configuration, while 20% explicitly requested verbal/auditory controls, and another 15% wanted touchscreen interfaces.
  4. Humanizing devices. 77% of kids wanted a more dynamic, human-level responsiveness (often anthropomorphized as robots or virtual companions), and 43% drew themselves or another person interacting with their creations, seeing devices as merely an extension of oneself.
  5. Better access to knowledge. Kids envisioned instant access to people, information, and possibilities. One-third of kids invented technologies that would empower users by fostering knowledge such as speaking a different language or learning how to cook.
  6. The Urge to Create.  A quarter of kids’ inventions centered on art or design, envisioning entire platforms for creating games, Web sites, action figures, and so on. Kids’ interest in a host of design fields—industrial, landscape, fashion, Web, and more—reflects the visual richness of the online world, as well as the can-do creative drive that tech encourages.

That’s pretty cool stuff coming from the minds of under-12-year-olds. Now we just have to help them achieve these dreams in an environment that is safe, secure, and protective.