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LeapFrog uses the Fly to lure tweens
February 1, 2005

LeapFrog uses the Fly to lure tweens

ELA pioneer LeapFrog is jumping into new waters again with its latest platform, the Fly pentop computer. In development for fall 2005, the system gives a high-tech upgrade to the most basic learning tools of all – pen and paper. Using licensed optical scanning technology, the Fly lets kids interact with what they write or draw on special paper. If they sketched a piano keyboard, for example, they could touch the keys to play a tune.

LeapFrog developed the Fly with tweens in mind, and even recruited a group of 50 kids ages eight to 13 to work with LeapFrog’s team of product designers. The system’s various software titles will let kids get help with their math or English homework, translate words, play baseball with interactive collectible cards, write in a journal and compose music. The platforms will hit consumer electronics shelves at US$99 (SRP), and applications should range from US$7.99 to US$29.99.

Gaming bigwigs throw in with Blu-ray

The Blu-ray Disc Association gained two powerful allies in the gaming industry when Vivendi Universal Games and Electronic Arts put their muscle behind the next-gen DVD format last month. The move comes as no surprise given that Sony has been quite vocal about the fact that Blu-ray tech will provide the backbone of its next console, which is expected to be released in next 18 months.

Blu-ray is an optical disk format being developed specifically to house high-definition video and high-capacity software applications. A double-layer Blu-ray disk will hold up to 50 gigabytes of data.

If the rest of the gaming industry gets behind Blu-ray, it could push key studio partners to also adopt the format, which is already supported by the likes of Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Disney. Its main competition in the battle for market dominance is HD-DVD, which is slightly shorter on storage at only 30GB. But proponents including Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema like the fact that HD-DVD disks will be easier to manufacture using the existing DVD process.

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