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iPotty new tool that teaches your toddlers to go – erm, seriously…

There are, without question, some grave concerns about how much information technology our toddlers are being exposed to.  The iPotty has just about underlined our fascination with getting kids to log on and, well, log out at the same time, all the time.

iPotty - log on and log out at the same time

iPotty – log on and log out at the same time

God bless America. Not only have Apple given us toilet-training apps, but now we have the iPotty that holds an iPad as toddlers get to grips with going.

And they say us Brits are the world’s worst for toilet humour, but this invention is just taking the piss.

Oh, so you think that’s bog awful, do you? Just take a look at this little selection of the 300+ comments this thread posted by Mike Elgan has picked up in the Google+ stream – they run rings around my crack:

Rick Wolff posed the question:

Do you need an I Pee address?

Stig-Ørjan Smelror came up with two crackers – politically correct brigade, look away now:

I guess they can play Angry Turds on it, too…

And there’s lot’s more toilet humour where that came from.  But of course, with every article of note on Google+, there are the ‘those against’ arguments.

That’s those who totally ignore the ‘don’t take yourself too seriously’ clause in the Google+ guidelines.  This post about the iPotty is, unsurprisingly, no different.

iPotty has its fans and foes

Andy Bisby was a tad more philosophical:

Hopefully this isn’t going to create some sort of Pavlov’s Dog conditioning. Are we going to create a generation of people who become constipated when their iPad’s don’t work. Or a generation of people who mess themselves whenever they touch an iPad?

A point with which I totally concurred; the effects of overuse of the iPotty could have lasting damage on joints as well as psyche:

I’m with Andy Bisby – let’s hope this fascination doesn’t lead to a repetitive strain injury too early in our toddlers’ lives…

I think that one went over everyone’s head.  Next, Ben Kuhl offers advice that we could all do with harkening, especially if taking the iPood to the bathroom is as unsanitary as some suggest:

It’s important as parents we teach our kids to disconnect from technology sometimes…. if you can’t d/c in the bathroom, where else would you?

I’m sure Ben’s “d/c” is an abbreviation for disconnect, not dump/crap.  But with the reaction the iPotty has received on Google+, little would surprise me.

Unbelievably, there are already toilet training apps available in the iStore.  What’s more, according to CNET’s original iPotty article from which Mike gleans his information, this contraption is gaining serious credence at the CES 2013.

It comes with

  • a plastic sheet to protect the iPad from any lingering fingertip germs
  • an extra splash guard for little boys
  • and the iPotty comes apart completely for cleaning

I have to say, even without the plumbing, this idea is clean round the bend, even for the US market.  If you’ve not got a hold of your latest iPad yet, there’s a link to all Tablets on Amazon.co.uk through the image, below:

Have your say:

  • Is the iPotty a completely potty idea that ought to be canned?
  • Or is there mileage in teaching your kid to crap using an app?

How kids use tablets – an infographic

Infographics are wonderfully visual adaptations of data. The perfect example of what I mean is in this featured presentation by überflip, demonstrating how kids use tablets in the US.

Tablets and Kids: The Future Consumer

Despite infographics getting us wordsmiths pissed at their simplicity and popularity, showing at a glance what we strive to put eloquently into words, they’re nonetheless very effective tools.

One of the reasons I chose überflip’s simplistic infographic is because it not only portends the future, but also underlines the very point above. By understanding how children use tablets, us writers can adapt our style as such.

As the sub-heading of the ‘how kids use tablets’ infographic suggests, children are the consumers of the future. With buying power becoming ever-closer to a one-click process, us writers need to get in at the sharp end. And quickly.

The iPad, iPad Mini, Android or any other form of tablet you care to reference has indeed moved on from its predecessor, the Etch-a-Sketch. Drawing a circle, for one, is a lot simpler these days than back in the 70s.

How kids use tablets so effortlessly is baffling

As adults, we often marvel at how quickly children adapt to modern technology. Seeing how kids use tablets so effortlessly only serves to rubber stamps that theory. But it’s not by chance that children seem to inherently understand this medium.

The simplification of the tablet interface for consumers who perhaps never bought into the laptop market has served a dual purpose. Firstly, it’s made the personal computing experience accessible for a generation that may have otherwise missed out on computing altogether.

More importantly, simplistic navigation has made it a whole lot easier for children to intuitively get around a PC without wreaking too much havoc.

More than three quarters of kids use tablets to play downloaded games. Had that been the case with PCs, there may never have been the Playstation/Xbox market we see today.

Almost unbelievably, 57% of kids use tablets for education, 14% more than children who use them to watch television and movies. We’ll see Big Bird down at the job centre welfare resource, then.

Education factors heavily in the tablet-buying process

How readily kids use tablets is also proving a boon for parents. Many parents are using them as distractions for children during travel, eating out or at other social engagements where kids may get ‘bored’ easily.

With so many apps for kids, it’s hardly surprising to see both parents endorsing them as well as the willingness of children to use tablets. Indeed, educational value is behind the buying process of 90% of parents when choosing a family tablet.

On average, every iPad has 8 apps for kids. With more than 700 apps focusing on the junior market in the iTunes store, there’s scope for that volume to increase almost 100-fold.

So, is how kids use tablets all that much of a mystery? Don’t get me wrong, tablets do prevent many parents’ headaches. But it’s also imperative to understand that the manufacturers are working on the prevention being better than cure theory when it comes to customer retention.

Remember, an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so they’d have us believe…

Have Your Say:

  • Is children being exposed to so much technology so young a bad, evil thing?
  • Or by seeing how kids use tablets, can it pave the way for a more intuitive marketplace in the future?

Explore more infographics like the one above on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

iPad Mini opens up a whole new market for tablets

It’s no secret: tablets are the future of personal computing.

ipad mini v ipad sizes

ipad mini v ipad sizes

…and my hairdresser and I were talking about Apple and the iCloud only today. Her youngest, who’s completed further education but yet to find work, lives his entire life in the iCloud.

iPad Mini just one of the suite of the coveted Apple products

iPhone, iPod, iTunes and iPad already connect him to his home-from-home in cyberspace.

And with an iPad Mini costing £226 (Amazon [20/11/2013], see image, left) this Christmas, he’ll have little else to open. But he’s totally, 100% cool with it.

It made me think: for some, owning the latest Apple product is an image thing. And, when your company’s footing the bill, owning the latest iPad or Galaxy, depending on your iOS or Android preference, is no problem.

However, for the majority, buying a product that syncs their life in the cloud is all that matters. Being able to access their virtual life from wherever or whenever necessary and know that it’s the same across all devices is the driver behind Apple’s success. No question.

Two aspects to consider when buying an iPad Mini:

For my hairdresser, what worries her most about her son’s obsession with i-Everything is:

  • the expense of maintaining his current status, let alone affording to keep up with his iCloud existence when new products emerge
  • the virtual aspect of living everyday so disassociated from the real world that it may lead to a substantial reality check later in his life

She’s worried that the iCloud will rob her little ray of sunshine of the best years of his life. Also, how he’ll cope now that he’s left college and got to pay his own way.

Looking further down the road – as she was – with so much of his benefit being recycled up to the iCloud, how will he ever save for a rainy day? Reading between the lines, “rainy day”, meant “afford a place of his own”.

Our conversation raised very real issues. Some I’d not considered, others I was aware of, but perhaps not to the extent she described.

I don’t regret buying a tablet (10″ Android/Ice Cream Sandwich), even if I am behind my PC every day. As such, it’s not a top brand, not by any stretch.

But even if I did get out and about, I’d need convincing that spending ‘x’ amount on Apple products is such a good thing. Especially as there are less expensive products that provide similar services and connectivity on the market.

Am I missing out on the whole point? What is it that makes Apple fans such brand evangelists?

…Have Your Say:

  • How many of you guys are hooked on Apple?  Or conversely, as my good lady wife is becoming: Android-‘appy?
  • Also, is running our life in the cloud such a good thing? Or is it so far from reality that Peter Pan is the IT guy?