The internet of toys: benefits and risks of connected toys for children

Dr Louise Kay and Professor Jackie Marsh are working on an international collaboration with PI Dr Donell Halloway from Edith Cowan University focusing on the benefits and risks of connected toys.

A parent and child are using an iPad together - image

Funded by the Australian Research Council, this project aims to investigate the emerging world of the Internet of Toys (IoToys) where toys relate one-on-one to children and also connect to other toys, other children and/or database data.

Four families from Sheffield have been interviewed as part of this project with the aim of finding out parental perspectives about connected toys and how children engage with a small robot called Cozmo.

Using a ‘children’s digital rights’ framework and research methods germane to media and cultural studies, the project investigates the benefits and risks of these toys in terms of children’s communicative and play practices, as well as children’s data privacy and security.

The project combines perspectives of international experts with a rigorous investigation into the implications of these toys for policy, practice and communicative play.

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.