|VTech to release the first tablet for kids|
Monday, 13 June 2011 14:18
Parents who are tired of perpetually having to pry their iPads from their young children’s little hands will finally be able to give them a tablet device all of their own to play with.
VTech Holdings, the Hong Kong-based company renowned for developing educational tech toys for kids – such as the Kidicam we have written about here – has just announced that it will be releasing the very first tablet developed especially for children.
The toy tablet, called the InnoTab, is geared towards the four to eight-year old set and has been described as an ‘iPad for Kids’. The gadget is actually several different electronic devices in one, transforming from art studio, to ebook reader, to games console, to video and music player – all at the mere touch of a little finger.
Despite those transformative tendencies of the InnoTab, VTech claims that the versatile device is so intuitive, that the youngsters will find it extremely easy to use.
Allan Wong, co-founder and CEO of VTech Holdings, says that the InnoTab, like many of the company’s other kid-oriented versions of adult gadgets, was spawned from the idea that kids “love to have what their parents are using.”
“I have seen parents give their iPhones to their kids to keep them quiet,” he says. “But would you buy an iPhone for your kids? Probably not. That’s where we come in.”
The InnoTab will boast a five-inch (12.7 centimetre) colour touchscreen, a built-in media player, , calendar, address book, several ‘child-friendly’ apps for painting and drawing , games and a tilt and motion sensor.
Games for the InnoTab will be based on popular children’s franchises like Toy Story and SpongeBob SquarePants. To prevent kids from surfing the Web unsupervised, or prohibit them from spending their parents’ money on purchasing and downloading games, the InnoTab will not have wireless connectivity. Instead, the games will be available as plug-in cartridges, or as computer downloads from VTech’s Web site.
The InnoTab is slated for a UK release in August and should be available in the US by September or October. With a price tag of £79.99 is already tipped to be one of the hottest sellers during the 2011 holiday gift buying season.
However, not everyone is sharing in the enthusiasm surrounding this toy tablet, with experts in the UK fearing that it could contribute to young kids becoming increasingly addicted to technology, leading to a generation of ‘iKids’ who may have trouble learning to read, write and speak properly.
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