Have you ever seen a child under the age of six operate an iPad? It’s a pretty amazing — kids born in the technology age, or digital natives, seem to be able to find their way around new technologies intuitively, and generally catch on to new gadgets much more quickly than adults.
One company recognized the intuition digital natives seem to have for technology, and decided to look to this unlikely demographic for new innovations. Latitude, a research consultancy company that helps clients create content and technology, recently took its first step into publishing with their book KIDS Vision. The book is a compilation of illustrations and accompanying commentary of kids’ ideas for technology innovation.
On their website, Latitude explains why they made the interesting choice to reach out to children for new ideas in technology:
Young people shouldn’t be merely passive recipients of media and technology, as they’re often thought to be — rather, they should be active participants in imagining and creating the future of the Web. Why? Because “digital natives” have a more intuitive relationship with new technologies than many adults have, and because they have different expectations about technology. They instinctively expect it to respond to them in very human-like ways — to motivate and empower them, often serving as a sort of companion, rather than merely a tool for solving specific problems.
Latitude conducted several innovation studies over the last few years with children around the world, asking them, “Where should the Web take us? How can technology help us learn, play, and live better?” They compiled the results of that study in KIDS Vision, the 62-page book that contains new ideas from 549 kid innovators. One of the ideas featured in the book by a 12-year-old boy from South Africa is pretty darn cute:
RJ is a cool dude robot. He looks like a transformer robot, and with a click of a button he shows me his screen. It then looks like a laptop. I may type my work into the laptop, instead of writing. Then RJ fixes my spelling, and tells me when my sentence is wrong. That way my teacher does not see all the mistakes, but can see how good my idea is.
KIDS Vision is on sale now, and you can check out a preview of the illustrations featured in KIDS Vision here.
Do you know any kid innovators with a great idea? Are you a kid innovator with a great idea? Share your stories with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.