New kit helps kids capture memories of their grandparents

A teenage entrepreneur has set up a package to help youngsters capture the memories of their grandparents, writes Caroline Delaney

New kit helps kids capture memories of their grandparents

Looking to the future with a unique take on preserving the past could be the winning formula for one very young Kerry entrepreneur.

Dylan Mangan combined his tech know-how in developing an innovative website; with some keen business savvy in promoting it. And he’s well aware of his roots too — as his grandparents are a key part of his business concept.

Basically, Dylan, who’s only 13 years old, has come up with a handy website which helps the user to interview their grandparent and edit and save the recording.

The package he has developed, which costs just €14.99, offers a list of suggested questions to get the ball rolling, as well as tips on how to shoot the video and information on how to edit it. He also has a more advanced package available for a PC for €40.

The suggested questions in the ‘interview kit’ are quite simple — but could be perfect for a camera-shy grandad or granny — who just needs a few ideas to relax and get chatting.

There are more than 100 sample questions — typical ones include:

  • How did you typically get to school?
  • Where did you have lunch — what did you usually have for lunch?
  • Did you have any serious accident as a baby or toddler?
  • Did you go on holidays? What was your bedroom like?

So, did Dylan learn anything new about his own grandmothers?

“I learnt a lot about their childhoods so it was really interesting. When we were talking my granny remembered that she saw an automatic door in a film when she was young. She remembers thinking that something like that could never happen in real life as it was so amazing looking. That’s something we take for granted now so it was interesting to think about back then.”

Dylan is a second-year student at Killorglin Community College and came up the idea when he discovered some pictures of his grandmother as a child. Realising that she had a whole interesting life long before he came along, which he didn’t know much about, he was inspired to create

“I stumbled upon some pictures of my grandmother as a child and thought it would make a nice video to have her talking about her childhood with the pictures overlaying. I suggested it to my grandmother and she thought it was a great idea. It was great fun to make and she loved it, which got me thinking that other families might enjoy doing this as well.”

American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, said that everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being — and let’s accept that her years of research mean she knows what she’s talking about. While Dylan is mad about technology, he’s a world away from just sitting in a room endlessly playing a kill-em-all game.

Chatting to him you realise he’s a bright, confident teen who seems well aware of what it takes to run a start-up business. And the easy-to-use site he’s developed reflects this. The product is clearly described, and there are plenty of instructions on how to use his website. A ‘no quibble’ money-back guarantee is just one of the things offered to keep customers happy: “We know you’ll love this product, but if for any reason you don’t, just let us know and we’ll give you your money back.”

The kit provides users with tips on how to shoot the interview with their smartphone — how to setup the interview in terms of positioning the camera and interview tips. And there are video-editing tutorial videos for the child or teen compiling the interview.

People who have used Dylan’s website seem equally delighted with the ease of use as well as the novel way of having fun with their grandparents.

“I bought this gift for my children who are teenagers because they expressed an interest in learning about their grandparents who are originally from Italy. The downloadable booklets are fantastic. Everything we need is in these short, easy to read booklets and they give great memory jogger questions for a grandchild to use.”

“I bought this for my son who, like you, loves technology and his grandparents.”

“My girls are delighted with this product and found the step-by-step guide easy to follow and very informative. They had great fun editing their videos and learning all about their grandparents’ lives as a child. They are looking forward to interviewing their other grandparents in the UK soon.”

Dylan also has a blog in which he discusses becoming a young entrepreneur — he admits that he needed help with things such as registering his website and getting a logo designed. He offers clear information on all the hoops he had to jump through to get his business up and running; and it’s a handy guide for any other teens with a great business idea that just needs to get out there.

Dylan’s course instructions give clear info on how to add music or text to your video and you can use old photos too as part of a professional-looking interview video. There are even tips on how to upload your finished product to YouTube if you wish - so maybe make sure Grandad’s ready to be an internet sensation before you take this step.

Why grandparents are the best...

  • “My grandmother is over 80 and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.” — Henry Youngman
  • “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” —Ellen DeGeneres“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” — Proverb
  • “Elephants and grandchildren never forget.” — Andy Rooney
  • A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do. — Lois Wyse
  • “Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven’t thought of yet.” — Gene Perret
  • Two things I dislike about my granddaughter — when she won’t take her afternoon nap, and when she won’t let me take mine. —Gene Perret
  • “No cowboy was ever faster on the draw than a grandparent pulling a baby picture out of a wallet.” — Author Unknown
  • “Soon I will be an old, white-haired lady, into whose lap someone places a baby, saying, ‘Smile, Grandma!’ — I, who myself so recently was photographed on my grandmother’s lap.” — Liv Ullmann
  • “Just about the time a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother.” — Edward H Dreschnack
  • “Have children while your parents are still young enough to take care of them.” — Rita Rudner

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