Making a browser may not exactly be child’s play, but there is still a need for one children can play with.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based KIDO’Z is taking a crack at it by launching its custom media browser for kids today, so if you have any young children who use the internet on a regular basis, you might want to give this one a whirl.
KIDO’Z is a pretty nifty Adobe AIR-powered desktop browser app that gives kids a safe and fun environment to play games, watch videos and/or visit pre-approved websites. When you first install the AIR app as a parent, you can configure the age and gender of your offspring as well as your location and preferred language (there are 17 available).
What’s nice is that all these settings are taken into account at a content level, so KIDO’Z automatically caters the media it think is most suited for your kid(s) at first launch. As a parent you get password-protected access to an admin panel where you can add more or restrict access to certain content, set limited time frames for usage, and so on.
All content only shows up when a KIDO’Z team member approved the content beforehand, and to add more layers of security all scripts, file downloads, pop-ups and any other attempts that could lead to content which has not been approved, are thoroughly blocked.
To use the app, kids won’t need to know how to read or write since obviously the whole UI is quite visual of nature, and very colorful to boot. The main menu of the KIDO’Z browser currently consists of three categories: games, videos and websites. All media can be opened and viewed inside the app’s interface, and in fact kids can only leave the KIDO’Z environment by exiting the browser altogether. CEO Gai Havkin tells me the tool will later be extended to a closed network of communication tools, including e-mail and instant messaging features (see last screenshot), making it more of a social experience but without the security and privacy hazards of existing services.
KIDO’Z is currently completely free of charge, but the startup plans to start offering paid content packages in about three months, so parents can buy additional video material, games etc. for a couple of dollars per month. The company also told me it’s currently in the process of closing several deals with computer manufacterers to get KIDO’Z pre-installed on machines, and it expects to announce a number of partnerships soon.
Other media browsers specifically targeted at kids include KidZui, KidRocket and BuddyBrowser.