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What’s Next In Tech? Just Ask Your Kids.

What’s Next In Tech? Just Ask Your Kids.

According to the results of a recent global research study, kids ages 12 and under know more about the future of technology than adults in Silicon Valley.

Designed and run by Latitude, an international research consultancy that helps its clients harness the possibilities of the Web, Children’s Future Requests for Computers and the Internet asked kids across the world to draw their answer to this question: “What would you like your computer or the Internet to do that it can’t do right now?”

More than 200 kid-innovators, ages 12 and under, from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Panama, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States participated and submitted drawings of their imagined technologies (see gallery below).

The study was specifically designed to find out what today’s elementary school students (i.e. tomorrow’s shoppers), who have never lived in a world without the internet or mobile phones, are looking for in new content, user experience, and technology offerings.

Overall, say the study’s authors, the drawings demonstrated that kids wanted their technology to be more interactive and human, better integrated with their physical lives, and empowering to users by assisting new knowledge or abilities.

The young participants predicted 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.

In some of the examples below, it’s uncanny how similar their suggestions are to cutting-edge technologies we know to be under development.

“This study is part of our larger research initiative that gives children a real voice in the broader, often very adult, discussion of future technologies,” says Steve Mushkin, founder and president of Latitude. “Across a variety of creative exercises, kids from all over the world have proven, time and again, that they think in extraordinarily sophisticated ways about how tech could enhance their learning, play, and interactions with the people and things around them – and the ways that technology might help us solve the big global problems we all face.”

Check out some of the children’s drawings below, and tell us if you agree with their vision of the future!


See a larger selection of participant drawings here.

Top Image Credit: Flickr – chimothy27

Drawings via latddotcom on Flickr

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16 comments

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10:40AM PDT on Sep 18, 2011

thanks

6:33AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:59AM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

I wouldnt mind if my kids were into technology, but if they were addicts who'd never play outside or study then...I guess I'll beat them up. Just kidding :P

8:44PM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Some of these comments make me laugh.
What are we all doing here? Reading an article not from a traditional newspaper but off a computer screen
I think some of you are being a bit hypocritical here...

10:47AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

@ Meris M. - POSSIBLY carcinogenic. The State of California says that almost everything is possibly carcinogenic, incluidng some deck furniture. Most of the "studies" done on this in the U.S. have been done by the same people who think water has a memory, and that tiny doses of antibiotics in vast quantities can cure diseases.

9:52AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Children in general are digital computer natives. The electronic digital computer was invented in 1946 when I was three years old. I took a ten week course in programming the IBM 1401 in 1964, the same year the First Edition of FORTRAN was published.

8:59AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Our future kids will not only have poor vision, but also serious health problems from spending more hours in front of screens and using cell phones and other wireless gadgets. Let's hope the industry will find ways to protect children from the harmful electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless devices, which the World Health Organization has declared "possibly carcinogenic", capable of causing cancer. This radiation can also cause other biological effects on the human body. Children, whose bodies and brains are still developing, are more vulnerable to this radiation. Health effects may include concentration and memory problems, and hyperactivity. This could be part of the reason for the decline in school performance. Is this what we want for our children and future generations?

8:14AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

These are some great ideas - you have got to love it! I'd spend a lot less time on the computer if Care2 comments weren't so informative and entertaining! Thanks.

My computer as a teleporter? Oh, YES!

7:40AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

VEronica you hit it right on the head. And by the way all Mommies and daddies, computers are a huge cause of child obesity, why because the only that gets exercised are the thumbs, and a couple fore fingers--yeehaw huh?

If you wish to be a good or better parents, don't give the baby a computer to occupy time while you play on another or clean---do not teach letters, numbers, animals sounds on a computer--do it yourself as parents for centuries, do not let them sit and draw on a computer---give them paper and crayons to actually build hand an eye coordination and artistic skills and the act of redoing for the better, with something to actually look at, rather than just delete and start over.

Also keep in mind that children these days are very smart---they can manipulate almost any machine; YET they lack wisdom---for they are not developing the ability to think, do for themselves, create and analyze without a machine's assistence and direction.

5:40AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Thanks for sharing these great ideas.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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