Dad of Divas' Reviews: Kids and Technology

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kids and Technology

Once upon a time, a set of building blocks or a click 'n view toy was all you needed to entertain a child. However, as technology continues to play an integral role in our day-to-day lives, our kids are becoming more interested in -- and savvy with -- electronics and gadgets. While it's remarkable that technologies have become so intuitive that even a child can operate them, it is important to consider how home electronic systems may need to be adapted.

A CEDIA professional can provide a series of tips that can help families work together to understand the best technologies for their lifestyle and provide examples of how the systems can be designed to respond differently to each user. For example, CEDIA members can create a system that will allow a child watch television during designated hours but may restrict certain channels and be set to a time limit, based on a password that is required to activate the remote control. Another home electronics system might text parents when their children disarm the house alarm after school.

To learn more, you can log onto, where you can find a CEDIA professional in their area.

Here are some additional perspective on integrated home systems that are family-friendly from Joe Calise, President of Sights - N - Sounds in Seaford, NY and CEDIA member:

Do your kids use your home system mostly for entertainment, or for other benefits/functions as well?
Mostly entertainment. However, many kids shows provide education, as well.  We prefer a more hands on approach to education, but certainly don't mind them watching educational programming if they are going to watch TV.

What are some elements of your home system or your clients' systems that are beneficial to both parents and kids?
Having a system that a 3-year-old can operate gives them more freedom to learn. It also enables them to be more self-sufficient when they need or want something. 

Have you adapted your system designs to account for the fact that kids today are becoming more and more adept at technology?
I believe you have to.  When it comes times to show how a system works, usually the first thing asked is for the kids to watch so they can operate the system!  After grabbing a pen and notepad, they are usually very surprised that they did not even need to take notes. With the kids, when technology does not do what they expect it to do, it gives us insight on what we need to focus on for our next project.

Additional thoughts/perspective:
With technology becoming more converged, and simplified, we as an industry need to do more to prove our value, and how we can make systems customized to their own environments.  This is a challenging task, but it's important to adapt to the times.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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