Researchers have figured out a way to get kids more connected. They've turned an ordinary shape sorter box into a communication device called an IOBR. Here's the example of two toddlers, we'll call them Brandon and Sara. Brandon and Sara both have a shape sorter with a square, circle and triangle. The shapes have icons on them - one for eating, one for sleeping, one for brushing teeth. When Brandon is eating, he can put that shape - a square - in the box and press on it. It will then light up the square on Sara's box, so she knows Brandon is eating.

Say the scientists:

The IOBRs have been up and running for a couple of weeks now. We are definitely talking about our friends more often than previously. On the downside, the girls are so eager to send updates that we have had to agree on turns to avoid conflict.

The Passi family has a slightly later schedule during the evening, so they have been able to use the IOBR to motivate their girls during their bedtime routines.

All in all, we feel that the first prototype works as planned and will definitely get an upgrade in the future.

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