Preparing Children for the Internet of Things (Cartoon)


Grandma and grandpa grew up without jet flight and TV, much less mobile internet and sensor-loaded fitness devices. Children of today are likely to grow up into a radically new world, too. Though our estimations of what it will be like will probably be naive, connected and networked devices are likely to be a big part of the future.

How do we talk to children about such a radically new relationship with technology that will charecterize the world they’ll work and play in as adults? Machine to Machine connectivity is not as easy to grasp as the prospect of people communicating with new devices. That’s the approach that Web of Things community member Dominique Guinard took when asked by French childrens’ science magazine editor Olivier Lascar to explain these concepts to teenagers in the newest issue of Science et Vie Junior.

Guinard called the article he collaborated on a “savory mix between vulgarization and facts.” You can read more about his experience and access the full magazine (in French) here.

Below, an illustration from the article. Under the illustration are my best translations to English of all the things these connected devices are saying to the teen pictured (thanks Google Translate).

What do you think? Are these plausible scenarios and well chosen examples? All this increased connectivity is going to require waves of new software developers, workers at network providers, etc. Is this a helpful picture to pain in the minds of children to prepare them to work in that world?  In other words, is this really how it’s going to happen?  I think it’s a pretty good start as accessible illustrations go!

Convincing young people that they’ll grow up into a connected world will probably not be that hard.  Convincing the manufacturers of all these devices to build in connectivity may be another matter.


Freezer: I was thinking about defrosting today.

Clock: Aren’t you supposed to have left the house already by this time?

Faucet: I dripped all night! You should call the plumber.

Toaster: Do not give me too big a toast toast, this time, eh?

Cooking utensils: I remind you that you have not eaten any greens for three days.

Washing machine: And my clothes? Who’s going to extend it? (I don’t understand French washing machines.)

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