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Tech Toys at Toy Fair

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Technology in toys. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The Toy Industry has been holding it's annual gathering and New York and it seems that toys without chips are getting harder and harder to find. For instance... SilverLit has a doll that uses a hoola hoop... following your motion through an infra red sensor...

"So you move in one direction, she's going to move with you. You speed up, she'll speed up. You slow down, she'll slow down."

At Vtech, which has been making computer learning toys for kids for years, there is a new line called Smart Sensations, designed believe it or not, for newborns. Vtech's Jeff Jackson... .says the crib toys use proximity and sound sensors to respond to a baby's movement with music and sounds... ..

"The would actually trigger different responses and then you go into the nice soft jungle music." And with a stuffed animal... "If the baby's in proximity of the product and starts to cry, for a period of about a minute, the sound sensor would automatically pick up that cry and activate a soft lullaby until mom could come to the baby."

The products are due to arrive this fall. Oregon Scientific... is licensing the Barbie and Hot Wheel brand names from Mattel for a line of learning lap tops. But my favorite is a steering wheel PC peripheral with software that lets kids simulate driving through cities around the country. Executive VP Steve Jackson...

"They will see the monuments, they will be able to visit the museums of those cities and actually play trivia games."

Drive Across America sells for about sixty dollars. I'll have more on tech toys in the days to come. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.