Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Social Media for Toddlers

Designers turn a classic children’s toy into a medium for nonverbal status updates.
November 29, 2010

Parents who want their children to succeed in life begin training them in the necessities of modern society at an early age. These include reading, socializing, and now, learning to use social media before they’re even able to speak.

A pair of designers have enabled “social media for toddlers” by modifying Brio shape-sorting boxes–the cubes topped with holes that accomodate wooden blocks of various shapes–so that each of the three blocks represents a different common toddler activity, including dinner, teeth brushing and bedtime.

It’s the pre-kinder equivalent of “g’night, Tweeps!!1!”

On their blog, the designers explain the operation of the IOBR with a video:

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 the square 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.

Despite its outwardly simple appearance, the IOBR relies on some fairly sophisticated technology to accomplish transmission of tyke status updates from one household to another. It uses an ioBridge module–which alert readers will remember having been incorporated into home automation systems and tide gauges–to transmit signals from the device’s sensors via the web.

Future iterations of the device aimed at more advanced children might use alphabet blocks to allow transmission of more complicated messages.

Follow Mims on Twitter or contact him via email.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Death and Jeff Bezos
Death and Jeff Bezos

Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever

Funders of a deep-pocketed new "rejuvenation" startup are said to include Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.

tonga eruption
tonga eruption

Tonga’s volcano blast cut it off from the world. Here’s what it will take to get it reconnected.

The world is anxiously awaiting news from the island—but on top of the physical destruction, the eruption has disconnected it from the internet.

mouse engineered to grow human hair
mouse engineered to grow human hair

Going bald? Lab-grown hair cells could be on the way

These biotech companies are reprogramming cells to treat baldness, but it’s still early days.

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.