New report examines the impact of the Internet of Toys

The Internet of Toys (IoToys) is part of the growing world of the Internet of Things (IoT). While certain internet-connected toys are part of some children's daily lives (such as toys-to-life which connect to video games), they are yet to become an everyday experience for most young children. Nonetheless, the diffusion of internet-connected toys is expected to grow significantly in the next few years.

A new report, "The Internet of Toys: A report on media and social discourses around young children and IoToys" aims to provide a critical introduction to the Internet of Toys, by setting its conceptual boundaries and discussing the theoretical, methodological and policy challenges it raises. It also reports on the findings of a small comparative project carried out as part of the activities of Working Group 4 of the COST Action DigiLitEY (The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children).

At this stage, internet-connected toys are an emerging market, thus making empirical research on their appropriation and use in the everyday lives of children and their families difficult. As a consequence, and in order to understand whether and how IoToys have entered play discourses, the report examines the discursive environment of smart toys, i.e. its representations in media commentaries and commercial advertisements. The report also looks at issues around the framing of risks around smart toys (such as privacy, health, and quality of play), the Internet of Toys and gender representations, and good parenting discourses.

Read the full report on the DigiLitEY website.

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