Views and news curated for you
November 14, 2014
When Boston Dynamics recently released a video of its Atlas Robot doing the “crane stance” from Karate Kid, I, like many others, had a mixed reaction. I was part amazed – I had never seen a robot balance like that on one foot before; part unimpressed – It didn’t even attempt the kick; and part bemused – other than for taking over the world Terminator style, what is its application? Science and engineering are advancing at such a phenomenal rate that real world applications for new technological abilities seem to come quite a long way after the original invention. However there is one area where the latest technology always seems to end up… toys. I often wonder if it is an in-joke amongst the world’s top research labs? -
April 25, 2013
Life is tough for parents, not only do they need to make sure they can earn enough money to put food on the table and a roof over their family’s heads, they also need to worry about education, their child’s safety, if they are bringing up a child that is going to be a positive member of society etc etc etc. The last thing they want to worry about is deciding where to go on holiday, what movie to watch in the cinema or what smartphone to buy. Making the right decision on what restaurant to go to for your sons 8th birthday can end up generating an unfathomable amount of stress, getting it wrong is just too costly.
March 20, 2013
Part of the 9 stages of childhood development series.
I did a degree in photography, well it was actually more specialist than that, it was a degree in photographic and electronic imaging sciences. The main bulk of the course was studying the science of how photographic film and print creation works. We learnt how the camera takes in the light and through the magic of photo chemical reactions, converts that light into a negative; we learnt how to develop that negative and then how to convert that negative into a final print. I would like to argue I have the most redundant vocational degree of anyone my age.
March 8, 2013
The old stereotype of a ‘gamer’ was a teenage boy in a dark room shooting people, but this simply isn’t the case anymore. According to the ESA the average gamer is now 30 years old, the same age as the average new parent, and just as likely to be a woman as a man. The stereotypical ‘gamer’ has grown up, moved out of their parents’ house, got married and are now having children of their own, and they are bringing that love of gaming with them into their family life.
According to Goldsmiths University and casual games company PopCap, a third of parents in the UK play video games with their children, in the US this goes up to 52%. Playing video games together as a family is now seen as a great way of spending time together. Last Christmas, UK Interactive Entertainment Association discovered that families were more likely to play video games together than they were to go to a carol service or a nativity play.
February 28, 2013
I hate tomatoes, honestly just the concept of them makes my stomach turn, I am actually feeling a bit queasy as I write this sentence. My older son, on the other hand, eats them like candy, he actually requests a handful of cherry tomatoes to go in his lunch box, I often find it hard to conceal my disappointment. I know it’s great that he loves to eat fruit and vegetables, it’s the right thing, it’s what a growing boy should be doing, I should be celebrating it, reinforcing good behaviour… but tomatoes go against everything I stand for… why does he chose to like them? I’ve yet to sit him down and explain that they are actually part of the nightshade family, or the deadly nightshade family more appropriately, but if this continues I might just have to.
February 8, 2013
Control Freaks are stage 3 of our 9 stages of childhood development series.
For a 6-8 year old life can be tough: they are now in ‘big’ school and are beginning to comprehend completely new things like gender differences (i.e. it’s no longer cool to hang out with girls if you’re a boy and vice versa). Their pets are dying and they understand what that means, they get sad when their parents argue and they worry about getting into trouble.
January 25, 2013
When we think about kids we try not to think of them as a demographic, i.e. as ‘an 8-year-old boy’ but instead we focus on the stage of life they are in and their behaviour, after all, one 8 year old boy can be VERY different from another.
We feel that as long as kids have food in their bellies, a roof over their heads and a degree of stability from those who care for them, the number one thing they are doing is developing a sense of self. Kids are trying to understand, who am I, what do I stand for and how do I fit into my ‘tribe’ and society as a whole? It is these stages of personal realisation that form the core of the stage based typologies we have developed.
January 14, 2013
With CES now over for the year and the world’s technology companies (with the notable exception of Apple) having shown their wares, I thought I would write a brief report on what seems to be coming down the pipe for kids and families with the technical know how and the financial acumen to get the latest and greatest gadgets.