(From eSchool News Online, July 20, 2005)
This fall, LeapFrog SchoolHouse will release its latest tool for learning–a computer the size of a pen. Dubbed FLY, the new “pentop computer” works with a special brand of electronic paper that lets students interact with their own drawings. Using the magic-marker sized device, students can write a word in English, then hear the word translated via a special voice synthesizer to Spanish; draw a piano keyboard, then listen to the notes played back to them by tapping the keys with the pen; or make a calculator that performs mathematical operations by touching the pen to a combination of handwritten digits. Executives say the FLY pentop computer is the first consumer electronics device to give users real-time audio feedback as they write and draw on special FLY paper.
The pen itself is expected to sell for about $99, and the applications are expected to range from $7.99 to $29.99, the company said. The pen is powered by a single AAA battery. LeapFrog has yet to announce when the product will be made available in bulk to schools, but the company did say it plans to offer special education pricing discounts.