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The Toys of Tomorrow

Boot Camp feature for Friday, February 16, 2001

The toys of tomorrow. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. It's where they turned those good old fashioned Legos... .into high tech toys. The MIT Media Lab turned Legos into programmable robots. Today the kits from Lego Mindstorms are hot selling toys... .and they're just the beginning. Professor Michael Hawley says the world of toys is changing fast...

"You know historians are going to look back around the year 2000, they're going to see that for as long as there've been human beings we've been inventing toys and all of those toys up until this point were wood or metal or plastic and were not connected. There's going to be a very rapid step forward where suddenly toys become connected. I can tell you with confidence that in ten years we will not be able to ... we cannot accurately predict right now how much technical capacity will be embedded in a toy in ten years. It exceeds our abilities. It certainly will be far more powerful than the most powerful computers we have day to day... like this Apple that I'm clunking around. And, those toys are going to be connected to every other resource on the planet."

There are toys now in development that interact with children... communicate with kids and with each other...

"It's hard to even know how to think about such a radical transition, it's bigger than a renaissance in a way."

And rather than stifle the imagination of children... the professor is optimistic the technology will be used constructively to engage them... and challenge them like never before. You can find more information at toys.media.mit.edu. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.