Nokia really impressed us last week at CES with all their latest products like the N900 smartphone and Booklet 3G. But what seriously caught my eye was their conceptual Family Story Play. Family Story Play is a folding wooden book with two screens. Inside of the wooden book sits an actual book for the child to read. One of the 3 inch touchscreen has an interactive Elmo, who the user can actually speak too. Elmo also knows what page you are on, so he’ll speak about that, but he will not read the page. The other 3 inch screen is for video conferencing. This is a great way for Grandma to have some quality face time with the child.
Nokia puts it very well: “These Story Play features are intended to improve child engagement in long-distance communication and increase the quality of interaction between young children and distant grandparents. Family Story Play also encourages dialogue reading styles that are linked with literacy development.”
As many of us know it is not easy to converse with a child for more than a couple minutes; this is a skill that the child develops over time (which is not always the case). Nokia found during their focus groups that communication between grandma and the child was extended to about 20 minutes with a book that is only a few pages long. Unfortunately, Story Play is purely conceptual now, and its design is most definitely likely to change, but it certainly seems like Nokia is on to something big here. Take a look at the pictures—cool!