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Tablets For Tots Talked Up At Toy Fair

2/28/2012 01:17:00 PM Eastern

NEW YORK — Toy manufacturers of all stripes convened
at the Javits Center here earlier this month for
the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Toy Fair,
and CE toys made their mark.

Although tablets were not quite the superstars of the
show as they were at International CES, they were certainly
present and popular.

The LeapPad Explorer, a tablet designed for 4- to
6-year-olds, was named TIA’s Toy of the Year. Both
Oregon Scientific and TechnoSource unveiled kid-focused
tablets, perhaps attempting to relieve parents’
frustration at having their kids hog their own tablets.
According to data from Nielson, in the fourth quarter of
2011, 70 percent of kids in tablet-owning households
use those tablets. This is up 9 percent from just the
previous quarter.

TechnoSource’s Kurio features a 7-inch capacitive
touchscreen. It runs Android Gingerbread and has
4GB of internal storage, with a MicroSD card slot to
expand up to 32GB. Suggested retail is $199; availability
is scheduled for the spring.

Other details include a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor,
512MB DDR3 RAM, HDMI out, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,
USB port, integrated mic and VGA webcam, and five
hours of battery life. A rubberized bumper is included.

Both Oregon Scientific and TechnoSource highlighted
their tablet’s ability to be used without cartridges
but also touted the parental control features of their
respective devices.

The Kurio allows up to eight profiles to be set up,
and parents can set up to different controls for each profile. Specific websites can be placed
on blacklists, or parents can select from
a list of subjects that they want to be
blocked, and the device will scan and
categorize websites. According to the
company, more than 450 million websites
are already categorized.

Oregon Scientific, which unveiled the
Meep tablet, said it will have its own app
store that will let users download free
and paid apps to embedded memory or
SD card. The company was still in talks
with app developers but expected to
have around 200 apps available.

The Meep features a 7-inch touchscreen, ruggedized design and rubber
silicone sleeve. It will also come preloaded
with books, and, like the Kurio,
will allow parents to blacklist and
“white-list” websites based on content.

The Meep line will also feature a line
of accessories, including decibel-limited
headphones, gaming cases, a roll-up
silicone keyboard, a karaoke mic and an
electronic drum set. Apps will be available
to interact with the accessories.

The Meep and its accessories are
scheduled to be available in the fall,
which a spokeswoman said will time well
with the back-to-school selling season.

Oregon Scientific got its start in clock
radios and weather stations and now
offers electronics in the youth, sports,
fitness, and wellness markets. It is a division
of Integrated Display Technology
(IDT), based in Hong Kong.

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