By Dennis Abrams
For Ken Law, CEO of Hong Kong-based MotherApp, the desire to build better children’s apps led to intensive discussions about parents with iPads. All too often, parents are forced to be away from home during the early evening hours when their children are often reading, keeping them from sharing in that child’s experience. And it was the desire for parents to connect, to once again make reading a family activity even when the family is apart, that led to the creation of FamLoop, proudly presented at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
<It’s a simple concept. The purchase of the FamLoop children’s book iPad app gives the young reader access to titles from publishers like Reader’s Digest Children’s Books, British Council, and The Salariya Book Company. Along with interactive features such as MagicFlap that brings the old-school pleasure of lifting-the-flap from physical books into the digital age, there is also an array of in-story activities, like singing a song, coloring a picture or playing puzzle games. And with the addition of the free FamLoop iPhone app, those creations are then shared with other members of their family.
Say, for example, that the child colors a picture in the book on his or her iPad. That picture is then sent to all family members in the loop. Those family members have the opportunity to respond, perhaps with a video praising the child’s drawing that gets played back in the child’s iPad as part of the book, or perhaps with a recorded message that’s played back through one of the book’s animated characters.
Law suggests that, unlike the perhaps overly widespread use of social networks like Facebook, FamLoop is a safe, COPPA-compliant family-friendly network substitute for parents and close relatives, allowing them to share in a child’s reading and learning activities from wherever they are.
As an added bonus, with the Famloop iPhone app, parents can learn about new books from publishers, purchase books for children (or grandchildren) and encourage their child to develop their reading and creative talents.
But for Law, the bottom line is a simple one — turning reading into the family bonding experience it was always meant to be.