Family Communication Study

How do families with young children keep in touch?

We asked this question during a broad study of families and their use of tech, carried out in the summer of 2008. In home visits, we observed many difficulties of communicating remotely with young kids. Most of the families were using phone for communication and a few were adopting Skype, too. But these interactions were usually brief since kids didn’t have the conversational skills, nor were they interested in chitchat!

Video was an improvement over phone calls since kids were able to show things and invent new practices, such “skype kisses” (kissing the camera). Seeing these intimate family moments, we asked ourselves: how can we reimagine video chat for families in a way that supports co-operative play and learning, while also focusing on building relationships?


• Our report: Best paper award at CSCW 2010
• Understanding Technology Choices and Values - CSCW 2011