Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe – educational toy par excellence
By Mike Hanlon
August 15, 2006
August 16, 2006 We love educational toys because inquisitive little minds are like computers (garbage in, garbage out) and the more compelling the toy, the better the grasp of the subject will be. With the SmartGlobe, Oregon Scientific has taken the traditional globe and integrated interactive technology to create something much greater than the original all- you- can- do- is- look- at- it globe with more than 30 activities and the potential for hours of fun and head-to-head game play for up to four people about world facts. Indeed, the SmartGlobe has been designed for both children and adults, and can be customised with three age-based knowledge levels from 5-8, 9-14 and 15 to adult. Now while we give this ten out of ten as an educational toy, we figure there’s some serious mileage to be had by hooking the Smartglobe together with Google Maps to create something even more special – maybe that’s next year’s model.
The feature-packed SmartGlobe has been designed with a number of fun interactive resources based on four key knowledge areas: 'Touch', for information about a country; 'Compare', everything from population to distance and time; 'Find' will challenge your geography skills; and the 'Knowledge' option will provide a range of amazing facts and interesting trivia from around the world.
What's more, the SmartGlobe will never go out of date with information downloadable using the USB connection for data updates (SmartUpdate) via the Internet.
The Smartglobe we saw was developed specifically for the Australian market, the SmartGlobe featuring local Aussie maps, state flags, in-depth local information and, when the talking globe speaks, it is in Australian English.
For convenience, there are three sound modes available, a built in speaker, SmartPen speaker and there is even an option for headphones.
You’ll only get the Aussie version via Oregon Scientific Australia, but if you’re somewhere else, the online world will be your best bet as competitive forces are driving prices forver down.
And if you fancy one of those old analog globes, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper one.