The new PlayKids+ app from Sandbox Group features an adaptive UX that adjusts automatically as a child gets older, ensuring the content they see is age appropriate. Sky Brazil is among the telco and Pay TV partners that will pioneer the new app.
The user interface reflects the learning stage of a child, so for the youngest users, content selection is based around their favourite characters, like Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam, and is rich in colour to appeal to pre-schoolers. For older children the app has darker colours, showcases banners, displays text, and allows for content search.
If parents input the child’s age at the outset, the app becomes age-aware and uses its own calendar to adjust for the major learning stages – pre-school and early school, with an update coming that will introduce a third change when a child turns nine (the pre-teen UI presentation).
PlayKids+ is the new generation of Sandbox’s existing PlayKids app and includes a large library of mixed media that includes licensed and original shows (with over 1,000 videos) as well as games (150+), podcasts and music. It combines Sandbox Group’s existing children’s learning platforms including Hopster, Kidomi and Curious World.
At launch the app is ready for tablets and mobiles but will be deployed on television sets in the coming months.
The kids service has been developed with B2B partnerships in mind and the creators promise simplicity of execution for service providers and telcos – and that could include content discovery via universal search and recommendation. Hard bundling is an option: Sky Brazil includes the app in its standard Family Entertainment plans, for example.
Sandbox Group is collaborating with historic partners TIM, Vivo and Claro (as well as SKY Brazil). The company has long-standing relationships with telcos and Pay TV operators across Europe and North America too, but no additional customers have been named yet.
SKY Brazil (which offers Pay TV via satellite and streaming) has been offering PlayKids for over three years. According to André Ribeiro, Vice President of Marketing and Product at the company, “We’re delighted to offer the PlayKids+ new experience to our broadband and TV customers – allowing kids to enjoy quality and safe screen time on all screens, and therefore increasing the value of the services we offer our customers.”
After school age, curation is more focused on interests, but the PlayKids+ app uses a hybrid recommendation system that combines AI-driven insights and editorialisation. The content offered adapts in real-time to usage. Sandbox Group is currently working on an easy switch feature for user profiles so there is no need to sign-in when a second child is present, and the app will support profiles for up to five users in a forthcoming update.
Parents can control screen time, giving the ability to combat binge-watching! The app supports English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, with new languages also on their way. The tablet/mobile versions of the app are already available globally in the App Store and Google Play Store, free to download but costing 8.99 USD/ 8.49 GBP/ 29.90 BRL monthly to unlock the full content library.