PC is child's play with Intel, Mattel

Toy manufacturer Mattel and Intel last week announced the first fruit of their cooperation -- two PC-enhanced toys designed for interactive play.

The toys, a PC-based microscope and a PC-based video camera, will be shown at the American International Toy Fair in New York on Feb. 8-12, according to a joint statement from Intel and Mattel.

The Intel Play X3 Microscope and Intel Play Me2Cam will go on sale in the third quarter and will cost approximately US$99 each, the companies said. The toys were jointly designed and developed by a team of engineers and toy designers from both companies.

The Intel Play X3 Microscope uses digital video imaging technology to let children magnify and display microscopic objects on their PC screens, according to the statement. The microscope can also be lifted off its base, so kids can walk around with it. The software included with the microscope also lets them capture video and still images, or create time-lapse movies of the object. Children can also print out the results, e-mail them to someone or create a show on their PC screens.

The Intel Play Me2Cam allows children to see themselves on the computer screen and use their own bodies to navigate in a virtual world, the companies said. It comes with a digital video camera and CD-ROM software. It will also ship with an accompanying CD-ROM suite of games called Fun Fair, the companies said.

Both toys come with instructional software to guide parents through the set-up of the toys.

Intel: http://www.intel.com.au.

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