As we noted in our Modern Family Macro Trend, technology is creating new family dynamics – particularly within multi-generational homes, where family members share devices.
One product launch that addresses this opportunity is the Big Tab by Fuhu, a US company that makes children-focused gadgets. The world's largest Android tablet computer, the device is designed to be shared by family members.
The Big Tab offers two different operating modes: a 'nabi' children's mode – featuring educational apps and games, as well as books, films and TV shows – and a parent mode, which runs in the same way as a standard Android tablet. The 24-inch version of the tablet will retail for $549 this autumn.
Meanwhile, Evermind is a new system that lets family members check on vulnerable or elderly loved ones remotely via everyday appliances. Priced at $199, with a monthly fee of $29 for connectivity, the system does not require a home internet connection.
Evermind consists of a series of sensors – which look like plug adaptors and can connect to the internet. These sensors send out SMS or email notifications and alerts when a friend or loved one switches certain electrical appliances on and off. They monitor the data for unusual behaviour – appliances left on or a lack of activity.
The system is another example of the useful applications arising from the various networked devices that are beginning to populate the Internet of Things (IoT).