Evaluating commercial screen-based devices for children’s connection and engagement with remote contacts
Parents in recent times have been reliant on using digital technology as a parenting assistant and a means of distraction for children. With the growing number of interconnected screen-based devices and voice interfaces being used inside home, parents have been more receptive to their children’s use of these devices for entertainment, education, and connection with family. Their use has been more prominent in the recent past, where parents found themselves in circumstances where they had to be confined at home with children for extended periods of time, where these devices aided them in performing a variety of family-oriented and child-oriented activities. Considering the growing positive attitudes and reception of these devices by the parents, we want to put Amazon’s newest “Glow” device to the test, which aims to bridge physical distance between children and their remote family members. With this study, we plan to understand how commercial screen-based interactive technologies like a Glow device, which are designed primarily for children, can be used to engage them, and where they fell short of providing the sense of communication and engagement. After using the device for a week, families will participate in a follow-up interview to describe their experiences and perceptions related to the use of this device, and their suggestions for improvement of their experience with such child-focused commercial devices.