Newark, U.S.A. - HomeTeam is designed for family-wide use, but focuses mainly on providing a platform for closer communication between grandparents and their grandchildren. There are over 70 million grandparents in the U.S., and each year 1.7 million people become new grandparents. According to research by the AARP, Inc. (American Association of Retired Persons), over half of these U.S. grandparents live more than 100 miles from their grandchildren, and 43% live more than 200 miles away. At the same time, Pew Research Center has found that the use of communications and networking services among seniors is skyrocketing. The family structure, the distance between family members, and the growing use of social networking services point to a major shift in family communications.
This Panasonic's new service helps to reduce a communications gap that may exist due to factors such as geographical distance and cultural differences. Phone calls with young children often lack the depth and duration needed to build strong relationships and can leave callers searching for something to talk about. Panasonic built HomeTeam from the ground up to address these and other challenges facing today's families as they work to build regular and meaningful contact.
"HomeTeam bridges the gap that sometimes separates today's grandparents from their grandchildren, be it distance, culture, familiarity with technology or a lack of topics to discuss," said Todd Rytting, Chief Technology Officer at Panasonic Corporation of North America. "By providing activities that create common ground and shared experiences between grandparents and grandchildren, HomeTeam engages them in a way a weekly phone call never will. Panasonic studied how families struggled to create meaningful connections outside of family events and visits and this service was built to overcome the most common barriers. HomeTeam is easy to use and provides a natural experience with the power to unite families, anytime and anywhere."
The service delivers rich content, starting with popular children's books, plus fun, multiplayer games. Panasonic collaborated with leading content providers and well-known educational game development partners to gather quality content that is entertaining and familiar for everyone in the family. At launch, HomeTeam will offer more than 600 books and will have licensed more than 2,500 titles in total.
New users can sample the entire HomeTeam experience, including unlimited access to content and all features, free of charge for 30 days. After that, a premium subscription for continued access to unlimited content is available either monthly ($8.99/month) or annually ($89.99/year). If users choose not to subscribe to the premium content after the 30-day trial, they can still enjoy unlimited access to video chat features without access to content.
While HomeTeam concentrates on building meaningful relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren, it also helps everyone, from children to adults, to share experiences easily and enjoyably. As a result, family-based daily communication in general becomes richer, more diverse, and a lot more fun.