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WebRTC Use Case Spotlight: Revolutionize Video Chat for Kids

Posted On May 17, 2017 by Chip Wilcox in Blog, Ecosystem, Media, Unified Commmunications

If you’re familiar with WebRTC or have been following some of our recent posts, then you know we look for and try to feature innovative ideas and opportunities waiting to be developed. Today I want to encourage your thinking about how one might revolutionize video chat for kids.

WebRTC Use Case Spotlight: Revolutionize Video Chat for Kids

If you have a young child, I’m willing to bet that the two of you have spent at least one Saturday morning (or evening) on the couch video chatting with family. In a new study, 85 percent of parents claim to have used video chat apps with their children on at least one occasion. And 37 percent use video chat on a weekly basis.

Aside from being fun and helping stay in touch over long distances, this activity can actually be beneficial for children in other ways.

Researchers have found that toddlers between the ages of 24 to 30 months can learn a great deal from video chatting — especially when they’re interacting with family members. In fact, research suggests that video chatting at a young age can help build strong social bonds and aid in the development of language.

Revolutionize Video Chat Kids

Are those “train”-ing wheels turning in your head?

There is an opportunity here. Right now there is no shortage of messaging applications aimed at adults and teenagers. For younger consumers, the market is actually pretty barren.

Most parents just use their own preferred conferencing platform of choice when video chatting with their kids. There also grave and legitimate concerns about letting children have access to mobile devices and unsupervised use of social media and chat applications.

Still, there is obviously pent-up demand, and therefore an opportunity, for video platforms aimed at parents and toddlers. This is something that Amazon may be trying to address with the announcement of the Echo Show last week.

There are some notable products that focus on provision of family-friendly communications devices for all ages. However, imagine building and WebRTC-enabling a video conferencing platform with the functionality and security of an enterprise-grade solution, but with added, embedded, learning components and fun themes.

We’re talking about the difference between video chatting with grandma, or video chatting with grandma and an animated version of a character like Thomas the Tank Engine or Bob the Builder.

AI, Overlays, and Gamification

Things get really interesting when you start thinking of ways to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into the platform, too. The product could use AI to recognize certain keywords that you are trying to teach a child, and then display them on the screen in fun and interactive ways. So if you say the word “boat,” for instance, a picture of a tugboat (or the RRS Boaty McBoatface) could float across the interface for everyone to see – reinforcing the image for the child while also creating an enjoyable experience.

WebRTC could also be used to add a gaming component to the platform, too. Children and adults could play with virtual, on-screen toys or even painting tools. Imagine playing a serverless version of tic-tac-toe or Pictionary and having it as an overlay or integrated part of your interaction between family members.

As children get older the platform could use data from third party applications to automatically adjust to the child’s changing preferences and needs. Thomas the Tank Engine could give way to superheroes and sports themes. And toddlers’ games could give way to more advanced ones like simplified, on-screen coding lessons. Kids, after all, start very early with coding these days!

Time to take it on?

If this sounds like an ambitious project, that’s because it is. Still, it’s not impossible, and what I see are similarities in the kind of functionality we’re talking about to the kind used in applications Temasys supports in Telemedicine, banking and financial services, and even Enterprise-grade unified communications and collaboration applications.

The main difference is in how you tailor the content and the use of technology to a new audience, in an age-appropriate way.

I know that if I had my choice between a “standard” video conferencing app, and one that could make video chatting a fun, interactive and educational experience for my child, I would easily choose the latter.

Are you up to the challenge, and ready to help revolutionize video chat for kids? It’s very easy to obtain great APIs and SDKs that can help you build something like this. You can find them right here at Temasys. Let us know if we can help!

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