It’s Time for Your Own Time Machine! Circa App is the Fun and Easy Way for Kids to Learn World Time

Circa for Kids

 

“When are you?” That used to be a just a funny thing that kids liked to say. Now, it’s how we live in the global economy. Kids see news from around the world every day. They play games online with other kids on different continents. Often their parents or relatives have to do business on the opposite side of the world.

It’s time kids learnt how to communicate and interact with others across continents and time-zones in an intuitive manner. The Circa app makes it fun for everyone.

Kids can see our lives becoming globally interdependent and connected. As parents, we owe it to our children to make sure they develop the right skills and mindset to handle the emerging challenges of globalization. To truly become global citizens, we will have to internalize a visual representation of global time zones and the world clock. Now there is a fun and practical way to make it real for them.

Circa is an iPhone app that gives kids a playful way to compare times in different places around the world using a dial. It was specifically designed to promote self-learning and experimentation with a delightful tool that they can control.

Kids can enter their favorite cities or travel destinations so they can instantly visualize their favorite question: “What time is it there?” Entering a range of times is where Circa really gets fun. Kids can see meal times, play times and bed times on distant continents sitting side by side on their screens.

The Circa app presents kids with a friendly 24 hour dial, with colorful, concentric arcs representing time periods in other cities around the world. When it’s 6:30 p.m. on a Tuesday evening at home in San Francisco, a child can immediately see that its 10:30 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro and 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Kiev. The child enters the cities and the hours when friends and family will be available. Circa takes care of the rest.

Imagine your kids are interested in Japanese cartoons. They can enter a range of times in Tokyo and it will appear on the Circa dial, right next to their own time zone. Maybe they love Egyptian mummies. Now they can check their phones to see when the sun is going down on the pyramids.

What if Mommy has to fly off to London for a business meeting? When will she be done with work? When will she be having tea or riding the London Eye? Kids won’t want to call her after she goes to bed or before she wakes up in the morning.

Even within the US there are six time-zones. When kids are in Hawaii on vacation, they would love to know what their pets or friends at home are doing at that moment. More than just a sophisticated toy, Circa helps them learn how the world clock works in the real world.

Here’s another fun fact that kids will love about time zones in the US: If you drive just 96 miles along State Route 264 near Tuba City, AZ, this summer, you would go through 7 time changes! Arizona doesn’t recognize Daylight Savings Time, but some Native American reservations do. You can see it magically on Circa as it always shows your local time!

Information sticks in young minds when learning is fun. That is one of the fundamentals of education that is often forgotten as we strive to prepare our kids for the world ahead of them. Charts and lists of time zones just aren’t as effective as a cool, interactive app that they want to use.

labs108 is committed to engineering the technology that will improve K-12 education by stretching kids’ imaginations and putting the latest innovations right in their hands. We deploy our expertise in design and development to help children engage with technology and show them a brighter future.

Circa is already prepared for the next wave of technology. The Circa app has been optimized on the Apple Watch and other wearables. Now, when your child asks, “What’s Circa?” you can just download it from the App Store and say, “It’s about time.”

Advertisements

BEFORE YOU BUILD A SMARTWATCH APP – Your app in the world of “Apple Watch” and “Samsung Gear Live”!

labs108_smartwatch

For decades, the Dick Tracy videophone watch was always the symbol of “the future.” While that particular feature hasn’t caught on, the development of smartwatches by Apple and Samsung could make high-tech wrist-wear a part of the culture. If your app fits the format, it could be a handy opportunity to boost your revenues.

In the same way that apps helped the iPhone establish the idea of a true smartphone (as opposed to a cellphone that happened to have an Internet connection), Apple’s Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Gear look set to open up a whole new arena for mobile app developers. If all goes according to plan, it will create a symbiotic relationship where the more apps that are available for the watches, the more people will want them, and the more attractive that audience will become to app developers.

So should you put the work into redesigning your existing app for the smallest of screens? It really depends on what your app does and whether it can take advantage of the watch’s hardware features. If your app is all about the visuals or consuming multimedia, it’s probably not going to transfer well and could even hurt your brand image if you have to compromise on size.

Similarly, apps that are based around information may not be a good fit unless you’re focused on key alerts such as messaging.That said, the Watch does include a new hardware feature called the Taptic Engine that can produce a range of different “pressing” sensations on the wearer’s wrist. If your app can turn this from gimmick into a genuinely useful tool, the Watch could be a lucrative market.

If your app is based around physical movements, however, the watches could be a great opportunity. For example, the Apple Watch has a built-in accelerometer that can measure everything from walking speed to how long users spend standing up or sitting —and third-party apps will be able to access all of this data. That means anything fitness-based could be an ideal fit, as well as any app where hand or arm gestures will improve control rather than being a gimmick.

Apple’s Watch will also include a remote viewfinder for the camera on the paired iPhone, so if you have a video or photography app, it could be an opportunity to enhance the experience for users.

The other big question is whether the watches will attract a big enough audience to make optimizing or redeveloping an app worth your time. While a smartwatch may sound like a gimmick to many people, Apple in particular has a knack of getting people to fall in love with something they never knew they needed: it didn’t invent the MP3 player or the tablet computer, but it soon turned them into something people couldn’t live without.

The cost may be an issue for some buyers, but there’s certainly a theory in the industry that smartwatches may, appropriately enough, bring culture full circle. Back in the day, wristwatches were so ubiquitous that they became a status symbol. While some people bought the cheapest models available, others saw it as a great way to combine practicality with luxury. Apple and Samsung are both clearly trying to market smartwatches as stylish rather than merely utilitarian, so even if they don’t achieve critical mass in sales, they could attract plenty of customers with enough disposable income that they do not think twice about app purchases.

Targeting the smartwatch may not be the best use of resources for every app developer, but if your app fits the bill, it could be more feasible than you think: producing a quality smartwatch app in four to eight weeks is a realistic proposition. All the best and do take advantage of this exciting new frontier in personal tech.