Lately I’ve been hearing a lot from parents who are introducing their kids to mobile technology at a younger and younger age. It’s apparently not unusual for kids as young as 18 months to pick up on how to use an iPad, and apparently even babies love the iPhone and iPod touch. Granted, there are plenty of child-focused apps for these devices, and kids are attracted to the gadgets their parents use. But is it a good idea to let a baby play with expensive electronics that they might break? Nevermind the loss of money–that broken iPhone can also cause serious physical harm.
Since it seems that parents are giving into their children’s demands for their electronics, Fisher-Price figured they might was well make things a bit safer. Thus the $14.99 Laugh & Learn Baby iCan Play Case. This wheel-shaped product looks like a crib toy (complete with rattle rings and teething-friendly handles) that holds an iPhone at it’s center. Babies as young as six months can still interact with the phone by tapping and swiping, but they won’t be able to access the home button. When the iPhone isn’t in the case, babies can still be entertained by the mirror on the back.
Fisher-Price will also release some free Laugh & Learn apps made for babies to use with the iCan Play Case. Animal Sounds, Where’s Puppy’s Nose and Counting With Animals are all geared toward babies and have multiple levels of interaction. Taps, swipes, even movement makes things happen on the screen.
Currently the case will fit all versions of the iPhone and iPod touch. It’s not out until June of this year, so presumably it will fit the iPhone 5 when it arrives.
The iCan Play Case solves the whole safety issue, as babies can drop the toy and you don’t have to worry about it shattering. (How well your iPhone will fare inside may be a different story.) Still, is it such a great idea to treat a smart phone like a crib toy? Parents, let us know what you think.