Wearable Tech (for bedtime stories?!)
For all of the parents out there who've been forced to actually read bedtime stories to their kids using "out-dated techniques" like "reading aloud" from "a book," Thank goodness for Smart PJs!
Gone are the days of searching for the right pajamas followed by the search for just the right book. Thanks to Smart PJs, you get both at the same time! Neal Augenstein at WTOP.com has details:
Smart PJs are storytelling pajamas, that use mobile technology, similar to a QR code, to display bedtime favorites on a smartphone or tablet.
Juan Murdoch, founder of Smart PJs, came up with the idea while using QR codes in his Idaho real estate work. The stories are contained within the polka dots on the blue or pink colored pajamas. How does it work?
"You scan one of those dot patterns on the kid's pajamas - there are 47 different ones - and each one of those dot patterns is a bedtime story," says Murdoch.
To choose a story, parent or child launches the Smart PJs Stories app (free, in Apple Store for iOS, or Google Play for Android), and holds the device's camera over the dot patterns.
"You take the picture, and it automatically launches the story," Murdoch says.
What kind of stories are we talking about? I know my daughter Molly was very partial to The Grinch, and my son Spencer couldn't get enough of the Berenstain Bears.
Murdoch says most of the stories contained in the app are in the public domain.
"It's all the classics," Murdoch says. "Cinderella, The Gingerbread Man, Old Mother Hubbard, Humpty Dumpty."
Murdoch hired voice actors and artists to record the stories and illustrate the slides that correspond with the story.
Since many children practice reading while reading books at bedtime, Murdoch says he attempted to make the app educational, as well as entertaining.
"We put the actual words to the story on the screen," Murdoch says. "As the narrator is reading the story you can actually follow along."
Okay. I'll admit to being initially skeptical. I mean, how much intrusive tech is too much? But, after recalling how I read The Grinch to Molly every night for over a year (employing every voice I could summon up to keep it entertaining. My Elvis as Cindy Lou Who was enthusiastically received), it might have been nice once in a while to lean on some technology for a break.
Who knows, maybe Victoria's Secret has some story-telling negligees on the drawing board for grown-ups who need a bedtime story too.
For a look at Smart PJs in action, click here.