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High Tech Toys for Kids

Boot Camp feature for Monday, December 9, 2002

High tech toys for kids. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Grown ups aren't the only ones who like gadgets. Kids of all ages these days seem to be walking around with cell phones in one ear... and digital music in the other. There are some gadgets on the market that parents can feel good about giving to their kids. LeapFrog, a seven year old company that has been creating electronic interactive toys mostly for young children... .has a handheld device out now for middle school and even high school students.... .

"What the student does is they simply pick up their iQuest, they can pop in a cartridge that is subject and grade specific. They select the textbook they're using, they pick the individual chapter they might be studying and then they are delivered a series of comprehensive questions that summarize all the key concepts that are presented in that chapter."

LeapFrog marketing director Karen Cervantes. For high school students, the company has partnered with Kaplan to create an SAT and ACT test preparation cartridge. It sells for 25 dollars with the iQuest handheld priced at 60 dollars. Another company that is making learning fun with electronic gadgets is VTech. Its XL Series of devices look like little notebook PCs or handhelds and are targeted at kids between 5 and 9 years old. The problem I found with these tech toys for kids is that they have fairly low resolution monochrome screens. That may have been fine years ago but with kids used to PCs now... and color screens popping up on grown up hand held devices and cell phones... it's time for an upgrade. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.