An adorable photo of a soldier trying to read a bedtime story to his child over the internet has inspired an ingenious new reading app for parents who are separated from their kids. Four college students came up with the idea for the Caribu app after coming across a photo of the soldier’s awkward pose. It allows parents and children to read picture books at the same time over the internet.
The co-founders, Philip Linnemann, Ben Mallett, Alvaro Sabido and Si Dhanak, all from Imperial College Business School, in London, say that while the app was inspired by a soldier, they see numerous uses for it. It looks perfect for grandparents, families separated by divorce, people who travel for work, or even people who have odd hours. My dad used to travel for work all the time, this would have been perfect for me growing up. According to Mallett:
“We wanted to create an app which helped families defy long distance and bring each other closer together. So many families are separated these days, with divorce, travel, and even long working hours meaning families don’t spend that much time together. This app is about bringing families together through technology and allowing them to share important moments in their days like bedtime stories – wherever they are in the world.”
The app itself is free and is available on iTunes. It comes with a free story to get you started, and more can be purchased after you set up your user account. There is a dual screen where you can face time with your loved one, and underneath you can both see the story and pictures. You can even point and highlight sections, to make the shared experience even more interactive.