Print 13 comment(s) - last by OoklaTheMok.. on Jan 12 at 12:58 PM

Be warned your child may be screaming for a tablet soon

As if "Tickle-me Elmo" wasn't bad enough, now the Sesame Workshop -- makers of Sesame Street -- have to come along and whip children into a frenzy over smartphones and tablets.

At a humorous section in Qualcomm Inc.'s (QCOM) Tuesday morning presser, Sesame Workshop director and chief operating officer H. Melvin Ming talked about how he never knew what he was going to face for the day -- adults or screaming kids.  He quipped, "I'm relieved to be in a room today with tech-savvy adults."

H. Melvin Ming

Soon Grover took to the stage for a jaw-dropping (for Grover at least) demo of a hot new high tech toy from Sesame Workshop.  The Sesame Street Playset is a series of nondescript blocks, but it uses Qualcomm's Vuforia -- an augmented reality (AR) and 3D modelling suite -- to bring the objects to life.  

Sesame Street Qualcomm

By taking pictures of the 3D characters (think little Sesame Street action figures), Bert and Ernie sprung to life on the smartphone/tablet, talking to the observer.  You could take more pictures of objects to add more vibrant objects to the room -- such as a TV that insulted Grover's waiting skills and a jukebox.

Sesame Street
Sesame Toys

Of course the thing is a great deal for both Sesame Workshop, Qualcomm, and smartphone/tablet-makers everywhere because in order to get this hot new toy you have to both buy the playset and a compatible Qualcomm-equipped smartphone or tablet.

Sesame Street demo

But ponying up the likely $300+ USD cost of the system is for a good cause, they insist as the playset reportedly helps children build:
  • social skills
  • language skills
  • creativity
Grover drew slightly less enthusiasm from the audience for his promised upcoming electronic eggbeater.  But can you blame him for trying?

All images © of Jason Mick and DailyTech LLC.

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RE: Electronics are not for children
By hankw on 1/11/2012 1:01:41 PM , Rating: 3
You obviously don't have kids. You are not always available to interact with your children 24/7. This is much better than sitting them in front of the TV.

RE: Electronics are not for children
By Taft12 on 1/11/2012 2:21:13 PM , Rating: 1
I have kids and they don't need to interact with ME when I'm not available to interact, they have each other.

I don't think this is all that much better than sitting them in front of a TV, and it's definitely no better than "creating a virtual world" using educational software for a PC (much cheaper!).

Their list of educational benefits is pretty lame. It'll be a hot toy for parents that have money, but without free time to spend with their kids (that used to describe me!)

RE: Electronics are not for children
By hankw on 1/11/2012 3:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
That's assuming you have more than one kid and that they are old enough to play with each other. (Think of the age group this Sesame Street targets)
I don't think anyone is claiming that this is something that your child should do exclusively, but I see no issues in letting my child have some fun with these kinds of apps/games.

By OoklaTheMok on 1/12/2012 12:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I have kids, three kids in fact. Two whom had regular tv and media exposure, and our youngest without regular or frequent tv and media exposure. Our youngest is much more patient, inquisitive, self-entertaining and balanced than the older kids at the same age.

Additionally, if you were familiar with the report from the Journal of Pediatrics, you would know that young children should have very limited "screen time". Screen time is any exposure to a tv, computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.

While you are not always able to drop everything to interact with a child, they should be able to engage themselves with other things such as puzzles, looking at books, drawing, banging on things, etc.

A screen is not an educator, a friend, or a babysitter.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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