News

Kids predict the future of technology

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor
July 12th, 2011

"I would like it if my computer could convert images or food and make them real." —Female, 10, Pakenham, Australia

There might be a reason why the iPad is so popular with young children: It’s intuitive, touchable, and an extension of oneself—features that, according to a new survey, young children are asking for.

According to the study, titled “Children’s Future Requests for Computers & the Internet,” kids ages 12 and under are predicting that the future of media and technology lies in better integrating digital experiences with real-world places and activities.

They’re also suggesting that more intuitive, human-like interactions with devices, such as those provided by fluid interfaces or robots, are a key area for development.

The study, conducted by Latitudeº 42s, is part of an ongoing series of open innovation studies in which the company, an international research consultancy, publishes in the “spirit of knowledge-sharing and opportunity discovery for both established companies and emerging entrepreneurs.”

Latitude asked more than 200 kids from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, “What would you like your computer or the internet to do that it can’t do right now?”

"I want a computer that talks to me when I'm playing my games. It helps me build adventures of my own, and avoid obstacles in the game." —Male, Athens, GA, United States

Parents also answered questions about their children’s technology use and their participation in various online activities, as well as basic demographic information.

The goal of the study was to “catch a glimpse into possible futures for technology as seen by digital natives, and to highlight actionable opportunities for new content, user experience, and technology offerings,” says the company.