Actev Motors Arrow Smart-Kart

Actev Motors Arrow Smart-Kart for kids (too much safety?)

Saw this little tech bulletin about an electronic “toy” for kids called the Actev Motors Arrow Smart-Kart. Basically a battery-powered go kart. It debuted at the New York Toy Fair which took place at the Javitz Center in Manhattan a week ago.

I bring this up because it covers many aspects of life as we know it in 2016 – and is food for thought to comment on the changes happening around us.

Apps replacing authentic parenting?

For starters – it’s a WiFi-connected “smart” device. Complete with an “app” that controls it’s features and limitations. A battery operated go kart that a parent will be able to tweak via their app.

They claim it’s a product that will fill a void – as there are apparently hardly any similar products out there.

But Actev refers only to gadgety electronic products – but gas-powered go karts have been around forever! Why do people pretend they don’t exist?

A product like this would hardly work in Hoboken. Especially not on the streets or sidewalks. Maybe at a park – but that fun wouldn’t last long. And that video paints an unrealistic example of life in “suburbia,” where there are no cars parked in the street, and everyone lives on a Cul-de-sac.

What bothers me most about any similar product that has a robotic “leash” to keep kids “safe” – is that it’s diluting the importance of real experience and human interaction between parent and child. It off-loads the responsibility (or most of it) to an “app,” thus causing the parent to be less in tune with their child (directly). And with invisible controls (sans parental feedback – i.e., yelling “slow down now!”), the child isn’t really learning anything. Just silently “controlled.”

And by eliminating the possibility that the kid might want to push the limits via experience, a very important aspect of growing up is removed from the equation.

Yeah, technology evolves, but is anyone seeing at what expense?

Actev smart go kart

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