It's hard to believe how many classic children's toys are getting modern makeovers these days – from the Etch A Sketch to toy helicopters to footballs – and now it looks like even the playground swing set is getting a slight upgrade with the Son-X Octavia. When attached to any swing, the Son-X will play different soundbites depending on how high or long a child swings, encouraging them to go higher.
The attachment is made with a hard plastic casing and powered by small solar panels on the top that work even on cloudy days. A speaker built into the attachment points downward to play either sounds of applause, a dance beat, or an orchestra as a child swings. The sounds change slightly, getting more and more robust as a child either swings higher or for a longer period of time – the applause will start as just a few light claps and then change to cheers and howls, for example. With the solar cells and battery buffer, the Son-X can be used without interruption for up to four hours - enough to tire out even the most energetic of children.
Unfortunately, the one downside to encouraging kids to swing higher is ... well, encouraging kids to swing higher. Almost everyone had a young friend or two who was injured from jumping or falling off a swing after going much too high. On the plus side though, it might be helpful for parents to have an audio warning for when their children are swinging as high as the device can register.
Check out the video below to see one young demonstrator showing off how the Son-X Octavia works.