I’ve been somewhat limited with what I can do with my 3 month old, as much as I love playing “hold the colourful, dangly ball and bat it with your hand,” it can be somewhat tedious. I started to browse Amazon (my daily ritual at 6:07am) and tried to find a couple more interesting toys. Mission failed.
But this got me thinking, what will my son be playing with when he’s 11, 12 ….17? It will be …oh god, using baby brain…ughhh….nooo….2033!
And what about our grandkids, they may be able to take a trip to Mars! I’ve done a bit of research and we are already on our way to a Minority Report-esque world. While it may not be when my son is 17, it is looking very possible when his son is 17. Future electronics will go way beyond the iPad using holograms and other virtual reality technology. (.. I can’t even imagine my Mom trying to use a hologram…)
Anyway, here are a few toys which have either already been developed or will be developed very soon.
Coding for Kids
Linkitz is a wearable toy that teaches children how to code. Studies have found that children learn more effectively when they interact with the physical world (this is also proven for adults as well). This wearable allows children to put together links and use them in different combinations in the real world. (better brush up on my HTML5!)
Similarly, Robot Turtles, is a connected board game that teaches children programming through games and an interactive ebook.
This is my favourite as I love music and believe it’s important for children’s development. Utilising interactivity with the external world, Compose Yourself, created by world-famous composer and cellist, Maestro Philip Sheppard, is a game where kids create music in the physical world. They arrange the cards in a visual pattern, enter the codes onto the site and listen to their piece play by a full symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. “There are over 1 billion melodies you can create!”
Virtual Reality Gaming
this is an obvious one, but imagine the FUN! I would totally be up for playing this with my son. Kids are be able to step into the world of their favourite movie or, better yet, create their own world. I might just buy this one now…
Disney has already developed Playmotion, a new toy platform created in partnership with Hasbro, designed to imitate the movie: The Avengers.
a cool bracelet that turns everything you touch into a sound interactive toy. Kids can fight with toy pirate swords; be the new Jimi Hendrix and play air guitar; be the Little Mermaid with a fin that flaps in the ocean (uh hello, I would have LOVED this).
Powaband is a wristband that tracks physical activity. Children collect points by exercising, which then can be used to unlock gaming time on Xbox One, PS4, Wii and smartphones. Powaband is still being developed, but what a great way to tire the kids out, right?!
Lumo Projector is an interactive virtual game which projects images onto the floor and children physically play a game. A toy that was just developed last year, Lumo is launching more than 100 games, but the company said it will be opening up a software development kit (SDK) to developers who could potentially make their own games and apps available for projection. A great way to get your kids off their butts!
This isn’t a new technology but a new way of thinking about how toys have a major impact on our children’s development and behaviour. Generally, toys developed in the past have been made male-specific like building blocks or female-specific like hair or bracelet kits with dolls. Goldieblox is a toy directed at girls but with a building aspect. The slogan is, “Let’s get girls building.”
A report from international research consultancy firm Latitude found that kids are are more savvy at predicting that the future of technology.
They believe future technology will better integrate digital experiences with real-world places and activities, which they’ve already mentioned a few inventions that are already being developed.
A drawing from an 11-year-old predicts future computers will become three-dimensional and have a keyboard controlled by voice.
Credit: Female, 11, Copenhagen, Denmark, via Latitude
And this 11 year-old girl is not far off…
This is a big one. Google and Nasa collaborated to build the D-Wave X2 quantum computer which the Telegraph reports is 3,600 times faster than a supercomputer at solving complex problems. This is happening right now, which means that our children or grandchildren will have computers that know more about themselves than they do…. the ultimate gaming experience …NASA at their fingertips! “It is truly disruptive technology that could change how we do everything,” said Deepak Biswas, director of exploration technology at NASA’s Ames research centre in California.
Computer Chips in the Brain
Back in 2014, Obama had plans to improve the mental health of US soldiers and veterans by placing computer chip in the brain that helps with post-traumatic stress disorder and arthritis. The computer chip could be implanted within the brain’s tissue to help regulate the nervous system. Bestselling author and journalist Annie Jacobsen says Darpa is already implanting computer chips into the brains of wounded US soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
As this is already a reality, I can only imagine how this will be utilised in the future for our children. Ordering Domino’s pizza just by thinking ‘pizza’ anyone??
And interestingly, Business Insider asked kids about the world in 2050 and Their Answers Are Mind-Blowing