Inside the Social Platform Connecting Grandparents and Grandkids

Spending more time with grandma and grandpa just got easier.

— -- Grandma and Grandpa now have a new digital tool at their fingertips to help them stay engaged with even their grandchildren no matter how far away they may live.

HomeTeam, a service created by Panasonic launching publicly today, helps connect several generations of family through a unique social platform.

While the site offers video chat, what distinguishes it is the option for grandparents or other relatives across the country to connect with younger family members by reading books together and playing games such as memory or checkers in real-time

Although HomeTeam was originally designed by Panasonic's Health and Wellness team for parents to connect the grandparents and grandchildren of the family, the ease of use also makes it ideal for divorced parents or those looking to stay engaged with their children while on a business trip.

HomeTeam is available for download on iOS and Android tablets, along with use available on PCs and Macs. The first month is free. After that, users can continue to enjoy free video chat or can upgrade to an $8.99 per month premium membership, which includes access to games and hundreds of children's books.

There's room for both sets of grandparents on the Home Team since one account covers up to five family members.

The team hopes the iPad service will reach as many as 5 million Japanese seniors by 2020. There are also plans to tailor it to different markets around the world.