Smart Pajamas For Kids Are Here But I Just Don’t Get It

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bedtime-story-readingDoes anybody remember that scene in the movie Big when Tom Hanks, playing a kid trapped in a grown up’s body, is sitting in the conference room at a toy company discussing a new toy (a building that transforms into a robot)? All the adults are so excited to get this fancy toy out on the market, but Hanks raises his hand and says, “I don’t get it.” Annoyed, the executives ask, what don’t you get? “Well, it’s a building. That transforms into a robot. And back into a building. I don’t get it.”

Well, that’s how I feel right now.

Smart PJs, created by Juan Murdoch, are white pajamas covered in various dot patterns that work like QR codes. Just point a tablet or smartphone at a code of your choice and a brief story or lesson will appear like magic on your device.

From NBC News:

There are currently two apps, available for iOS and Android. Each app has 47 different entries, coinciding with the unique dot patterns on the pajamas. In the Smart PJ Stories app, this means brief readings of Mother Goose, the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen classics. There’s text, too, so you or your child can mute the narrator and read along.

I am not anti-technology by any means. I’m still a little cavewoman-y with my Android phone and often have to run crying to my husband when something isn’t working, but that doesn’t mean I think we all need to go back to using the abacus and reading books by candlelight.

Nope, I love me some technology, but I see so many practical issues with these smart pajamas for kids. Their inventor has six little ones, and the article implies that the Smart PJs will help hold everyone’s attention at bedtime. But if you can only scan one code at a time, and each one gives its own mini lesson, aren’t the kiddos going to be preoccupied with who gets to go next? And how do you keep track of which codes you already scanned? It just seems like one of those things that would be SO cool for a day and completely forgotten the next.

Or maybe these PJs are really just a prototype, and this will all get more interesting as time goes on. Hell, I should know by now that just because something doesn’t appeal to me doesn’t mean my daughter won’t adore it (crumpled paper, wearing socks on her hands and carrying things around in colanders are all examples of this phenomenon).

I guess I would need to see this modern take on storytime in action to decide. But one thing’s for sure: until they make them in different colors and not so space-age looking, I will probably be opting for old-fashioned bedtime stories.

(photo: Zurijeta/shutterstock)