Manufacturers and service providers are starting to design, test and launch a stream of new products specifically for young children. To support the development of these new products and services, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has published a guide.

The leader of the task force which produced the new guidelines, Anne Clarke, says that ‘children under 12 years of age are becoming a significant consumer group for advanced computing and communications services. In some cases, children as young as four or five are using 3G phones and the Internet’.

ETSI unites around 700 member companies active in telecommunications and broadcasting from nearly 60 countries, including manufacturers, network operators, administrations, service providers, research bodies and users.

One of the features of the guide is the description of the attributes and requirements of young children, for ICT services, at various stages in their development. This means that the telecoms industry and service providers have, for the first time, an understanding of the age-related requirements of this key market segment. The guide also contains technical rules and practical safeguards.

The next step in the programme is to develop guidelines for service providers who are providing services specifically for young children.

Read full story (by task force leader Anne Clarke in Usability News)
Download ETSI Design Guide (type in the guide number “202 423″ to search for it)