Holiday Gifts For Kids, Stuffed With Technology
Updated: 12/11/2012 12:01 AM
By: Adam Balkin
Holiday toys for kids are starting to have just as much, if not more, technology in them as toys for adults. NY1's Adam Balkin reviews some of them.
Over the past few years, holiday toys for kids have gotten less and less distinguishable from holiday toys for adults.
Take tablets for example. There are a bunch to choose from that are geared specifically towards children.
There is the InnoTab 2 from VTech for $80 and the Kurio for $200, which is essentially just a slightly pared down Android tablet with souped up parental controls.
There's also Leapfrog with its Leap Pad 2 for around $100. The Leap Pad 2 has specs that beat out the original model in ways that have you wondering who developers are trying to sell this to, the kids or the parents.
"We have a faster processor, more memory, front and back cameras that have also been upgraded to record videos," said Jody Sherman from LeapFrog.
Then you have more traditional toys that are taking on some less traditional, more high tech functionality.
Tagamoto, by the same makers of Hexbugs, is a car and track system.
What makes this different is that each car has a little barcode reader on the bottom to accompany the barcoded stickers that come with it to place anywhere on the track.
"As the car drives over the codes, then it reads them," said Esther Rawlings of Innovation First International. "It has different things like lights will turn on and off, has a radio where the radio will turn on, it streaks around corners."
The 20-piece set costs around $15 and the 60-piece sets cost around $30.
For parents who prefer old school building blocks with kids who really want tech stuff, Sifteo Cubes are easily the best possible compromise.
It's the type of toy that as soon as you touch it, you get it. The cubes all interact with one another as pieces and controllers in game apps you download.
For example, in this bejeweled type game you flip, twist and shake them to line up similar blocks to make them disappear.
In another, you shake to switch the letters in order to make words.
Sifteo Cubes start at $130 for the base station and three cubes. Additional cubes are $30 and up to 12 can be used.
The apps themselves range from free to about $12.
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