Image says, "3 lessons on voice tech in animation." Includes cartoons of 4 cute monsters and some fun colourful shapes.

Are you an animation professional, storyteller, or artist? Eager to learn more about using voice technology in games, apps, toys, and tv shows for kids? 

At the recent Cartoon Digital Conference, Founder Dr. Patricia Scanlon and Head of UX Declan Moore shared key insights into how voice can be used to deliver more engaging and immersive experiences for kids. Here are 3 takeaways to get you started:

1. Why consider voice? 

Voice makes what’s passive interactive. When a digital character like Dora the Explorer can stop pretending to listen and actually listen to a child’s response or command, that’s a joyful and exciting experience for the child. It’s also so much more engaging and immersive.

From simple commands to natural language interactions and dialogue, voice tech allows kids to be heard and turns on the magic of animated, interactive experiences.

2. Privacy comes first. Second comes Accuracy.

When shopping around for voice technology, be sure, first and foremost, to ask about privacy — how will the voice data be gathered, stored, processed, used, or re-used? For more about privacy-by-design at SoapBox Labs, go to our privacy page

Adults know how to behave to maximise the chance of getting an accurate response from their home or car-based voice assistants. Kids don’t work like that. They often blurt out what they want to say, elongate, over-enunciate, shout, or even sing their wishes and commands! Add background noise and it’s easy to understand why voice experiences for kids need to be designed using kid-specific voice technology.

Without accuracy, the novelty and engagement you earn from voice-enabled experiences wears off pretty quickly, and a poor voice experience may damage your brand credibility.

3. Fear not! Voice tech enhances your role, rather than overshadows it. 

The tools and skills you rely on to create fun experiences for kids are exactly the same as the ones you’ll employ when adding voice to your games, toys, apps, and shows. 

Take character development for example. In your animated world, understanding how a character will respond, and the tone they would use, is a huge part of creating an engaging voice experience for kids.  

You — the designers, storytellers, and artists — remain the experts. You know how your character will react or what they will say or do in any given situation. That’s why you’re also in the best position to add voice to your experiences. Voice technology will just sit in the background to make them even more fun, immersive, and engaging for kids.

Watch the recording of Patricia’s and Declan’s Cartoon Digital presentation here.

And while you’re here, catch up on our latest insights on all things voice tech for kids.

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