Elmo recruited for app that helps potty train kids. TODAY (Purchase App)
Remember way back when you didn’t yet know how to use a toilet?
It’s (probably) been a while since you mastered the art, but ask any new parent and they’ll tell you it can be arduous trying to teach their toddler bathroom skills. A few years ago, the Toy Lab team at Ideo began exploring ways to ease the experience, and found that guidance from older siblings was hugely beneficial. Leveraging a three-year relationship with the Sesame Workshop, Ideo developed a prototype where Elmo — who is often seen by tots as an older sibling figure — would offer encouragement over the phone. (As a 30 Rock aficionado, I have to point out that Pete Hornberger used this technique — iPhone, Elmo voice, potty training, and all — in an episode from 2007.)
The concept tested incredibly well, and it was apparent that extending the character’s furry reach would be beneficial in aiding other elements of growing up. Elmo Calls is the result; the interactive app allows kids to share moments with, and learn from, the iconic bright red resident of Sesame Street, who can be enlisted (by parents) to make contact for video and audio calls and voicemails that cover everything from "it’s time to exercise" to "it’s time for bed."
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