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A Digital Camera for Toddlers?

Techstination feature for Thursday, February 16, 2006

A digital camera…for three year olds. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Toy makers learned a long time ago…that what kids like to do…is imitate grown-ups. So if mom and dad are taking digital pictures….and listening to iPods…that's what kids want to do to. In rolling out its line-up of toys to be introduced this year….Mattel is including a digital camera and a digital music and story player….designed for little ones as young as three. Mattel Brands President Neil Friedman….

"Well children love to play with their parents' cameras. Always have. It's always been a major feature. But they can't play with a digital camera because if they drop it, it breaks. Now we have one where the child can play with it, if they drop it, it doesn't break, single button, easy to use." And the photos can be transferred to a PC? "Photos can be transferred to a PC, absolutely." You're also making a digital song and story player that can download content from a content store. Kind of sounds like an iPod and iTunes… "Again, it is an MP3 player that's really for the pre-school child, the child that mom doesn't want touching her iPod because if they drop it, again, they'll break it. This is safe, the child can drop it and yet we have mom approved content."

There are special headphones for kids….and the device can plug into a sort of boom box with external speakers. The digital camera and music player are scheduled to go on sale this summer for about 70 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.