“Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street” is a question that’s been on my mind since the mid 80’s and I was still in pre-school. Certainly we could go to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania or visit the Children’s Television Workshop. My parents and I would also see Elmo, Big Bird and the other’s in holiday parades, but still the question loomed on.
Well last year, Sesame Street teamed up with 2 Bulls and Qualcomm to make the answer to the question, “Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street” easier. Of course it requires mobile technology, technology that we use everyday.
Now Sesame Street themed apps are nothing new. There’s a variety of interactive web and mobile content already available for your child’s consumption, but there’s still no way to get to Sesame Street, you know actually in the television.
Thanks to second screen technology, powered by Alljoyn, the Sesame Workshop and Two Bulls Interactive are inviting viewers and their families into an interactive second screen experience.
The project is still in beta and under development but Sesame Workshop’s Mindy Brooks, said that they already have an SDK of the Sesame interactive environment available to iOS and Android developers.
Through games like Grover’s Block Party and other titles forthcoming Sesame Workshop aims to bring Sesame Street into the immersive mobile environment. Educators have seen a 40% increase in responsiveness towards educational content when content consumers can do it in a second screen environment.
What this means for the future of Sesame Street, is more interaction and an even clearer focus on education. There could come a time in the not so distant future where if your child hasn’t mastered the intertwined lesson of the episode by the end of the episode, there could be mobile app content specifically for them to enjoy throughout the day, reinforcing basic language, reading and math skills taught everyday on Sesame Street.
What’s even better though is that Sesame Workshop, 2 Bulls and Qualcomm also see an opportunity to help children with disabilities through the second screen experience as well. During their panel at SXSW they said they were definitely working on content for children with Autism and special needs. Their R&D departments are welcoming the challenges presented by children with special needs and say we could even see a version of the second screen experience enhanced by eye tracking.