Innovation That Matters

iPhone app narrates stories for young kids


It couldn’t have been long after the invention of the cell phone that parents discovered how useful the devices can be for distracting and entertaining young children. Aiming to provide a more enriching experience than simply playing with the buttons or watching movies, iStoryTime is a new iPhone application that’s designed to bring stories to life. Parents with an iPhone 3G, iPhone or iPod touch can now turn their handset into educational entertainment for kids aged two to seven while they’re on the go. Six original narrated stories with illustrations are currently available for USD 1.99 each on the iPhone App Store, with many more in the works, including versions for Android. “Binky the Pink Elephant,” for example, tells the story of a little elephant’s discovery that being different can be good. iStoryTime’s self-navigating and self-narrating book application is designed for use even by two-year-olds, flipping the pages automatically while the child follows along. Kids can choose between two narrators—an adult or a child’s voice—or read the book on their own. In addition, the words to the story are included onscreen so beginning readers can make associations between what they hear and the words they see. Graham Farrar, founder of California-based iStoryTime and parent company FrogDogMedia, explains: “iStoryTime provides mind-enriching entertainment for the kids while making life a little easier for mom or dad. Instead of having to resort to movies or video games to occupy your child when you need a few minutes to finish the grocery shopping, are out at a restaurant, or stuck in traffic, you can give them a story they’ll will want to hear and see again and again.” Launched in April, iStoryTime’s e-books are available globally, but only in English. One to partner with for regional translations…? Spotted by: Susanna Haynie



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