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New Fly on the Way From LeapFrog

Techstination feature for Thursday, February 15, 2007

A new Fly on the way from LeapFrog. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's been two years since educational toy maker LeapFrog announced a pen top computer it called the Fly. It uses a variety of software and special paper to let you do things like draw a piano keyboard….and then tap on the notes to make music….or translate languages simply by writing words. Despite the innovation…the company has struggled financially. Among the new products coming out this year, which it hopes will revive sales, is a new version of the pen top computer…the Fly Fusion. Brand manager Chad Weiner….

"Y;ou can now take your handwritten notes, upload them into your personal computer at home or at school and digitize what you've written. So you can go from a rough draft of an essay to a finalized version instantly."

The Fly Fusion…which can also function as an MP3 music player…arrives in August for under 80 dollars. On the downside, software designed for the original Fly, won't run on the upgraded model. LeapFrog is also planning to market a new tech learning toy aimed at kids as young as 3….ClickStart, My First Computer. Brand manager Lara Dorjath…

"The concept is really giving your child their first computer. We heard from kids how much they love playing with computers, typing and seeing things happen. And then we heard the same thing from mom…the value of using a computer to engage her child, to teach them pre-school skills…but the concern and fear of having them on her computer."

The ClickStart console uses a TV for a monitor and includes a wireless keyboard and mouse. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.