A great little repurposing of technology I saw in January at the International Consumer Electronics Showcase was the ArtSee Studio. The TLDR; version of this is it’s a transformative, protective cover for an iPad that allows a child to interact with it using attached easily held tools.
The case that surrounds the iPad is made of durable plastic and prevents the power button from being accessed inadvertently. It also protects the iPad from almost all manner of drops and bangs.
The ArtSee comes with six easily-lost tools that snap into place magnetically and scream to have a string or something attached so they don’t end up separated from the Studio, but your mileage may vary on that.
Each of the tools serves a different purpose. There’s a Stampee, a stamp tool, a stylus for drawing lines called a Doodlee (although I would have it a Drawee,) a sound tool called Melodee, Pointee the animation tool, Rollee a roller/texturizer, and Funnee which is a game/mode changing tool.
The games that are included include a connect-the-dots game, a game that sounds like Simon, a coloring book that you can see demonstrated below, and many others that are not listed.
The great thing about the ArtSee studio is you can download more games later, and if your child is done playing with it you can just pop out your iPad. Or use it as a television when you’re on a car trip.
I asked them how well this protected iPads, and they said they didn’t have an exact answer at the time but they had given several of these out to daycares to see how well they fared, and they managed to all survive without any broken iPads or ArtSees. Your mileage may vary, but an iPad is a pretty strong hunk of glass and metal.
It also has a parent mode, so it’s a bit difficult to get out of accidentally. It’s pretty neat.