Welcome to the first edition of High Five, a bi-monthly curated list of 5 items focused on family tech.
One might say it has been a while since we wrote anything here, and that is true. I would answer it is due to a lack of time, some laziness and maybe a pandemic mood. But mostly it is about wondering whether it makes sense to write at all. Long story short, yes it does. It makes me research, it makes me think of why something might be interesting, and mostly it keeps me curious. And curiosity is one of the many blessing of kids. So let’s get started.
1. The coolest VC I didn’t know exist
How do you keep an almost 100 years old kids brand on the brink of innovation. Apart from being Scandinavian, smart and passionate about what you do, you could spin off a Venture Capital out of your company. That’s what Lego did with Lego Ventures. Founded in 2018, LEGO Ventures wants to help transform the future of learning through play and their portfolio already looks quite exciting. They invest at any stage and have even launched their own incubator studio which is by the way recruiting for pretty cool jobs.
2. Kids hack the crisis
At the end of October 2020, UNICEF organised an online hackathon with kids from all over the world. The purpose was to solve problems impacting them since or due to the pandemic. More than 1200 kids from over 70 countries registered to participate. Now that the winners have been identified, it is time to transform their ideas into reality. The Unicef is looking for partners which might see potential in developing one of the kids’ ideas. You can find the results and contacts here (in swedish).
3. An intriguing music box
Christmas is coming and this year Santa had to figure out how to satisfy the wish of a 5 & 1/2 years old : “I want to do DJ, I want to make music and beats”. Not being a DJ or able to support, and not wanting to just download a DJ app on the iPad, we looked for something more tactile, with less screen and tailored for kids. Say hello to Dato Duo. A mini synth, built to make music together, designed with the kids in mind. Santa is not there yet, but we will not fail to share our thoughts in the next newsletter.
4. A new content startup
They say if your kids like dinosaurs, it will be a smart kid. Maybe that’s why Hellosaurus, a new content startup out of New York, picked this name. Their tagline says “screentime, reimagined” and they look to augment video content with interactive elements on screen. With fresh funding in the bag, they seem to be recruiting some top youtube creators to join their platform and port their show to their custom formats. I am a bit skeptical of the mixed format and how suitable it is for form factors such as the iPhone but it is exciting to see people trying to challenge the status quo in this space.
5. Video games can be good for ADHD
To finish this list, a bit of research published last year going against what one would expect. A team of researchers at the Institute of Sports Science at the University of Bern found that exergaming (think of games which are like exercise) can help kids suffering from adhd with executive functions and motor capabilities. The only catch? You can’t just pick up a Wii and run Mario Tennis as the games probably have to be specifically developed for this purpose and audience.
That’s it, thanks for reading. Let us know if the content was interesting, and until next time, High Five.