Hong Kong-based VTech has launched a handheld multi-function smart device called KidiBuzz.
Featuring bumpers and a shatter-safe touchscreen, KidiBuzz connects to Wi-Fi to allow kids to send texts, short voice messages, photos, drawings and animated stickers to a parent-approved contact list using the KidiConnect app. Kids can add stamps, frames and effects to their photos and videos, and the device features a 180-degree rotating camera for selfies.
Pre-approved websites are accessible through the device’s kid-safe web browser and it also serves as a multimedia player, letting kids listen to music and watch their favorite videos. Android apps are available for download, and KidiBuzz also features more than 40 learning games and apps.
KidiBuzz retails for US$99.99 and is aimed at kids ages four to nine, while the KidiConnect companion app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The KidiBuzz device is the newest in a raft of recent launches from VTech. In September, the company debuted its new Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Friends playsets featuring proprietary SmartPoint and MagicPoint technology that allows preschool kids to explore cause and effect relationships and strengthen motor skills through multi-sensory learning. The Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets, for example, feature SmartPoint locations which, when connected with a SmartPoint vehicle, respond with lights, sounds and music.
And earlier this year VTech expanded its Kidizoom children’s wearble line with two new camera-equipped devices. The Kidizoom Action Cam 180 features a 180-degree rotatable camera that lets kids take pictures and selfies from all angles, and includes both slow- and fast-motion shooting options. The Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2, meanwhile, lets kids snap pictures, record videos and use a motion sensor for active play challenges.
These launches follow VTech’s acquisition of kids tech company Leapfrog last year, which boosted its revenue by 5.9% to US$983 million for the six-month period that ended September 2016.