Talking Families: Part 9

Between September 17 and October 15, kids ages 10 to 14 and their parents/caregivers are participating in a MoMA Family Art Workshop connected to Talk to Me. After viewing and discussing objects in the exhibition, the family groups have developed their own communication-related inventions. We have invited them to share their projects here.

Inventors:  Lisa Freedman and Clark Vaccaro
Age of inventors: 46 and 13
Invention: Flexible Tablet

The Flexible Tablet is ideal for commuters who want a powerful device but also need it to be small and lightweight. The surface can be wrapped around your wrist, like a cuff, and has multiple functions as a communications and computing device. Because it is flexible, the device can conform to users’ features. This may be suitable for many audiences, including tots, and people with limited ranges of motion.

Inventors: Aziza, Rahmana, and Antoinette Abdur-Razzaq
Age of inventors: 12, 10, and 45
Invention: The Help

The Help describes surroundings for blind people and includes a GPS. A special chip allows for voice recognition and activates the speaker. The hope is that this device might make potentially chaotic surroundings more navigable, providing the blind with an assistive technology.

Inventors: Maxim, Roxanne, and Magali Tahon
Age of inventors: 11, 12, and 37
Invention: The Translator Game

This game allows you to create an avatar and communicate with people around the world. In order to facilitate communication and overcome language barriers, the Translator Game takes input languages and translates them into the native language of other players. For example, if someone speaking English says “Hi” to a Chinese player, the Chinese player will hear “Ni Hao.” Complete customization of the avatar is hoped to increase enjoyment and motivation in players as they make new friends online.

Inventors: Sophia Cook and Lisa Paolella
Age of inventors: 11 and 46
Invention: Mr. Receptionist

Mr. Receptionist provides personalized answering services for all members of the family. Users select a color and can operate corresponding buttons in order to customize Mr. Receptionist’s services. For example, if someone is not home, Mr. Receptionist can redirect calls to a user’s cell phone. If a telemarketer calls, Mr. Receptionist will answer for the user and cordially express appreciation, but lack of interest as well.

Inventors: Brandon and Yukiko Bunt
Age of inventors: 11 and 45
Invention: Sidekick

The Sidekick is a little pocket that sticks to any surface and helps to remind you of important things, like appointments and the time. You can also put items like keys, wallets, and cell phones in the Sidekick; it can expand or flatten to facilitate storage and retrieval of these useful everyday things. The Sidekick is completely customizable—you can give it a face and personality, and will also notify you to bring it with you to important places..

Inventors: Alex, Ivan, and Irina
Age of inventors: 14, 47, and 46
Invention: Dreamhouse

Dreamhouse is a customizable modular home. You can arrange and rearrange the individual sections to maximize aesthetics and functionality. The user has complete control and can refresh their Dreamhouse by reconfiguring the layout in any way according to his or her needs. Solar panels used all around make the Dreamhouse green-powered to maximize sustainability.

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