COMMENTARY: Roam With Romo

Anisha.Nov26Have you ever wished that you had your very own robot? I know it seems unrealistic unless you have big time money, but maybe not. Meet Romo, the robot I’m sure anyone would love to have. By the creators of Romotive, Romo is a product of this technologically advanced age that will not only make you excited to have your own robot, but enjoy all of the things it does. Suggested for ages 8 and up, this edition of Romo is available for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPod Touch 5th generation at Brookstone.com and Romotive.com. The previous Romo is available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPod Touch 4th Generation. All one has to do is download the free Romo app, set the device onto the base, and when you open the app, you are introduced to your new blue friend.

Romo wakes up not knowing where he is, and reacts with shock when he sees a real life human being standing in front of him. He is quite the chatterbox at the beginning, with many sound effects and dialogue shown on the screen. Romo is adorable, and I found myself at many moments saying, “Awwwww.” He never saw a human being before and snapped a photo of me to send to his mom on his planet. In his curiosity, he also asked for my name, which he thought was weird. Back on his planet, they don’t have names, but numbers! Then it is up to you to decide whether to give him a name or not. My mom and I decided to name him Bluboo.
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COMMENTARY: It’s Alive! Cool Tech Brings Animal Toys to Life

Kids are always begging for pets, especially around the holidays. “Can I have a puppy?” “I want a pony!” I’m sure you’re hearing it all. But if you’re not ready to make that huge commitment to a pet and a messy house (and perhaps all of the dog-walking responsibilities), new technology that’s available is truly bringing animal toys to life.

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

The Hexbug line, from Innovation First, has used new tech to make robotic Hexbug critters that crawl on battery power. Two of the company’s newest lines expand upon this technology to make it even better. The Hexbug Nano V2 critters are gravity-defying bugs that can climb vertically through tubes. The Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole play set, the Nano V2 bugs can climb vertically, horizontally, and around corners. Kids can unleash their creativity by customizing the design and layout of the three-story set. The play set also comes with special accessories including a spiral tube and a black funnel.

The Hexbugs Aquabot line features robotic fish that really swim in water. The micro-robotic creatures have Smart Fish technology that allows it to swim, dive, and change directions. You don’t have to worry about feeding it or cleaning its tank. Aqua bots are available in five translucent colors and designed for kids ages 3 and up. [Read more...]

Icing Introduces Exclusive Monopoly-Inspired Collection

Icing.MonopolyIcing has teamed up with Hasbro to design a capsule collection of jewelry and accessories inspired by Hasbro’s popular Monopoly game. This exclusive collection is designed in metallic gold and bedazzled jewels, featuring chain link, beading, and glitter details on pieces including a charm bracelet, stud earrings, iPhone cases, wallets, makeup compacts, T-shirts, and rings.

To celebrate the launch and to encourage shoppers to showcase their “gaming” spirit, Icing will also launch an Instagram “Glam Game” promotional sweepstakes with a grand prize of a seven-day cruise for two on Carnival Cruise Lines. The sweepstakes encourages fans to express their unique sense of style by snapping and uploading a photo of themselves. Official Rules for the “Glam Game” sweepstakes can be found on Facebook.

Seamless Toy Co. Launches ATOMS

ATOMSATOMS, smart building blocks from Seamless Toy Co. that began life as a Kickstarter project, are now available. With ATOMS, kids can create things as fast as they can imagine them: For example, a bashful talking pet monster that loves hiding under tables, or a stuffed cat that “meows” by waving a magic wand.

Suitable for kids ages 6 and up, ATOMS have no exposed elements or magnets, and come in starter sets that contain everything kids need to build monsters, magic wands, and robots. They are also designed to integrate with Lego, Barbie, and action figures, giving old toys new possibilities.

Seamless is also introducing an ATOMS iOS app later this month, which enables kids to add virtual ATOMS on their Bluetooth-enabled Apple iPad, iPod, or iPhone. Screen-based ATOMS can be used to control real ATOMS from across the room, and alternatively, real ATOMS can be used via the same Bluetooth link to remotely control features on iOS devices, such as the camera and music player. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Not Your Average R/C Toys

Give a child a R/C controller, and he or she will be occupied for hours, steering or flying whatever device it is around the room or outside. Give a child an iPhone and chances are your contacts will end up being deleted, you’ll be left with 350 pictures of the inside of your little boy or girl’s mouth, and your phone will soon self destruct—but, that’s about to change.

There’s no denying that it’s now essentially encrypted in children’s nature to be intrigued by new technology at increasingly younger ages—and let’s face it, most of the time they get the hang of it a lot quicker than adults. But instead of parents discouraging their children from toying around with iPhones, iPads, and tablets (because they’re of course not toys, they’re high-tech adult equipment that are soo not used for playing Candy Crush), they can instead support a productive way to use such devices with these awesome toys.

I was first introduced to Orbotix’s Sphero 2.0 when someone in the office put it on my desk and said, “Here, play with this.” I looked at the box a little confused wondering what it was, and as I starSP0SPHERO003ted to read the instructions (very helpful to figuring out how toys work), I realized that this was, hands down, one of the coolest toys I’ve ever played with. It’s simply a ball, not a fancy monster truck with huge wheels and the ability to smash into the wall, crumble into pieces, and put itself back together all while singing jingle bells—or something like that. But, it’s a robotic ball with an engine and it’s really, really fast and controlled by your phone. You just download the Sphero app on your iPhone, iPad, iTouch, or android device and using a Bluetooth connection your device transforms into a control that propels Sphero at speeds up to seven feet per second across the room and off ramps. The driving accuracy really impressed me because I do tend to be a little spazzy with toys like these, but it was actually easy to maneuver the toy around bends and turns and what not. Sphero 2.0 also lights up in a variety of neon colors which looks as spectacular as it is to play. There are also a ton of other apps available to engage Sphero in a variety of games. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Unveils New LeapFrog Learning Path App

LeapfrogLearningPathLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has launched its new LeapFrog Learning Path. LeapFrog’s Learning Path is designed specifically to help support and guide their child’s learning with personalized ideas and feedback, fun activities, and expert advice. Developed in collaboration with LeapFrog’s in-house team of learning experts, the new Learning Path is available as a downloadable app for iPhoneiPad and iPod touch, a weekly newsletter, and a web resource.

The LeapFrog Learning Path provides a unique set of features that parents will use to help their child reach his or her potential:

  • Personalized learning ideas to help a child grow:Learning Pathgives parents access to hundreds of activities, learning tips, videos, printables, and more.
  • Share and discuss hot topics with other parents: Parents can join conversations with other parents, ask and answer questions, and get direct advice from teachers and LeapFrog’s team of learning experts. They can also share photos and achievements to celebrate their child’s progress.
  • Track progress and follow a child’s developing skills: As their child plays with a LeapFrog-connected product including LeapFrog’s learning library, parents will receive weekly updates on their child’s progress. This allows parents to share in their child’s success and identify and get additional support in areas where a child may need extra practice.

 

Romo Enters Exclusive Retail Partnership with Brookstone

ROMOIn an exclusive retail partnership, Romotive Inc.’s Romo, the iPhone or iPod touch-powered personal robot, will now be sold at Brookstone stores through the end of the year.

Intended for kids ages 8 and up, Romo’s charming personality and advanced robotic technology will have your kid engaged in endless hours of play, as he or she is faced with challenging missions while journeying through the galaxy. With features, including a hilarious personality, the opportunity to unlock new abilities and features by completing programming missions, and tracking software that allows Romo to follow certain objects, faces, and paths you create for him, there are endless ways to play and learn with Romo.

Romo can even be controlled using Wi-Fi from any iOS device that allows users to direct his dynamic facial expressions and send him on adventures throughout the house. The Telepresence feature allows kids to control Romo from anywhere in the world while streaming two-way video and audio.

Romo is available for iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPod touch (4th and 5th generation), iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S for $149.00 at Brookstone, Brookstone.com, and Romotive.com.

Fingerprint Unearths New Get Rocky App

getrockyFingerprint has released an immersive science and adventure app for kids ages 6 to 12, Get Rocky. This tilt-and-slide trek follows Digger as he glides, spins, and battles his way to the center of the Earth to find his son, Rocky, a young mole with a knack for trouble. As the journey heats up, players uncover scientific facts about geology.

Get Rocky is a geology-packed quest that plunges players into an underground world gleaming with rocks, minerals and scientific facts they can really dig. Get Rocky has 30 animated game leves and six layers of geologic learning in the race to find Rocky. The app also includes 18 Get Rocky comic book movies with real science facts about the journey, 12 key rocks and minerals to collect for the Get Rocky Collection with more coming soon, 20 subterranean enemies to defeat, including centipedes, goblins, and magma men; 15 power-ups, boosts, and ugrades to earn or purchase, including the laser, jackhammer, and dino suit. The app is available exclusively on the Fingerprint network for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Looski Pups Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Digital Puppies

looksipupsLooksi Pups, from Looksi, are described as a cross between Nintendogs and Tamagotchi. Looksi Pups transform a digital puppy into a physical puppy with the revolutionary 3-D Looksi Kennel. Download the free iPhone app, pop your iPhone into the Looksi Kennel, and the Looksi Pups comes to life in 3-D, tail wagging and ready to play.

The many features of Looksi Pups include seven different breeds of pups; 15 voice commands including fetch, boogie, and chase tail; voice recognition which responds only to the owner’s voice; a host of extra accessories, games, and tricks to be unlocked; interaction capabilities with other Looksi Pups, who can play in each others’ kennels; an alarm clock and “guard dog” function; games which use voice commands and the phone’s tilt sensors; and a protective tray to keep the phone safe and secure.

There is a campaign on Kickstarter to bring Looksi Pups to retail shelves that will run for 28 days. Would-be customers can pledge money towards the project in return for a variety of rewards.

Blitz Games Teams Up with DreamWorks for Shrek Alarm App

shrek-alarmBlitz Games debuts the release of DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm, the first in a series of interactive character apps co-produced with DreamWorks Animation. This app is available now on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and all Android devices.

Designed for Shrek fans of all ages, DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm features full alarm clock functionality, day and nighttime modes, and a bedtime feature, which allows you to decide when Shrek falls asleep. In addition, DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm features access to your music library so you can wake up and go to sleep with your favorite songs, Facebook integration, a world clock, a flashlight, a timer, a stop watch and an interactive weather feature with your five-day forecast.

DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm is available now worldwide from the App Store and Google Play.