- Caribu, an app that lets parents and grandparents read bedtime stories to their children and grandkids virtually, boomed during the pandemic.
- The app grew tenfold in March, and now its co-founder Maxeme Tuchman says its expanding to the classroom and the home office.
- Now, the company is pushing for some employers to offer Caribu as a benefit, which could be helpful for parents working from home with young kids.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
If you’re familiar with Maxeme Tuchman’s background, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear she runs a company that promotes reading and education among children.
Tuchman spent more than two years as the executive director of Teach for America’s Miami-Dade branch starting in 2013. She also previously managed education projects under Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, and Michelle Ree, the former D.C. public schools chancellor.
But it wasn’t until 2016 that Tuchman and her co-founder began building Caribu, a video calling app on iOS, Android, and the web that lets children read and play games with family members remotely.
In fact, the idea originated from a photo the two came across of a soldier video-chatting on a laptop in a coffee shop.
“You see him holding up this huge picture book and facing it toward the laptop,” Tuchman said to Business Insider. “There should be better technology in this day and age for families who are distant from their kids to be able to share that ritual of reading a bedtime story together.”
While the app may be best known for its wide selection of children’s books that adults and children can read together virtually, Caribu also offers coloring sheets, games, drawing tools, and recipes that kids and relatives can cook together. The app comes with 15 free books or activities
Earlier this week, Amazon unveiled Amazon One: new technology for its Amazon Go stores that lets shoppers pay for their groceries by scanning the palm of their hand. By analyzing the shape of your hand and the unique configuration of veins under your skin, Amazon says its technology can verify your identity the same way facial recognition does.
Although Amazon One will initially be used for payments only, it’s clear the tech giant has much bigger ambitions for this hardware. In the future, it says, Amazon One could not only be used for shopping but as a replacement for tickets at music and sporting events, and as an alternative to your office keycard, letting you scan in with a swipe of your hand. In other words, Amazon One isn’t a payment technology. It’s an identity technology, and one that could give Amazon more reach into your life than ever before.
Understandably, some experts are skeptical about Amazon’s claims of convenience, and worry about a company with a spotty track record on privacy becoming the controller of a new identity standard. Whether it’s Amazon’s use of biased facial recognition algorithms or its ambitions to grow a network of home surveillance cameras, this is an organization that has proved many times that individual privacy is not always its biggest concern. Is it a good idea if Amazon knows exactly who you are from the palm of your hand?
Let’s start by looking at the technology itself, which is blessedly straightforward. Palm scanning has been around for years, and although Amazon isn’t offering many details on its own implementation, it looks to be similar to examples of the tech we’ve seen before.
As the company explains on its FAQ page, the