DESIGNTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

TOYS TO EXCHANGE MESSAGES

22 November 2016 — by Fabio Guaricci

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DESIGNTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

TOYS TO EXCHANGE MESSAGES

22 November 2016 — by Fabio Guaricci

Toymail is a new way to let kids stay in touch with their grownups and friends. Kids can receive and send messages through their toys. It’s like voicemail but in more experiential way. How does it works?

This smart toy connects wirelessly to a home wifi network to receive messages sent anytime, from anywhere in the world. When there’s a new audio message waiting, the toy alerts the child and the child can press play, listen to the message and reply to the last sender directly from the toy by pushing a button. Conversely grownups can talk to little ones from their phone using the Toymail App. Using toymail to share moments is very simple and fun.

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There are also many other nice features for the user to enjoy. The “Voice Magic” function allows user to change the pitch of voice recordings by applying filters. Another function is the “Reminder” that is able to help kids to remember when it is time to do their chores, homework, brush their teeth, etc. It’s also possible to store all incoming and outgoing messages and to expand the toy with other contents as music, educational activities, stories, games and more.

Toymail was created by Gauri Nanda and Audry Hill. They started with a simple question: “Can toys be made to evolve every day?” Yes, Toymail is a physical, easy to use, social and dinamic toy. With user created content, Toymail evolves every single day and progresses as children do. Each toy will become a composite of all the important people in a child’s life.

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In fact, Toymail is not just any talking toy, it is a dual functional device. The primary function is to exchange voice messages for two-way messaging. The secondary function is to create a really physical, emotional and child friendly toy. Toymail is an innovative toy not for what it does, but for how it does works!

The user experience is the winning key of this project. Kids don’t interact with a cold screen but with a storytelling toy. The user-centred-design method allows to create a system where kids and their trusted circle of parents are actors that participate in the same play. In conclution, a good way to design technology for kids is by making experiential toys.

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Therefore, thanks to Toymail, kids can discover a new dimension of communication and express a variety of emotions through the play.