LeapFrog debuts talking pen for tweens

/ Source: The Associated Press

Educational toymaker LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. on Wednesday unveiled a talking computer pen that can translate foreign languages, spell words and do math calculations, among other interactive functions.

LeapFrog's FLY pentop computer reads and responds to handwriting, giving audio feedback geared at helping children learn to read, write and count.

The device carries a range of educational applications specifically tailored for "tweens," or children ages 8 to 13. Other programs, such as games and music applications, are available for younger children.

The company created its FLY pentop computer with Swedish technology firm Anoto Group AB, which develops ways to transfer printed and handwritten text from paper to digital formats. The pen, scheduled for release in the fall, will retail for $99, while applications will range from $7.99 to $29.99.

The FLY pentop computer springs ahead of the company's flagship LeapPad learning system, a book-like device which recites text and spells words when prompted with an attached pen sensor.