Monday, November 21, 2005

Fly Pen

After reading about the Fly over the last several months, I had to go buy one just to satisfy my curiousity. I was first struck by the weight, I thought it would be much heavier and clumsy to use. But that is not the case - well done. Then I "tapped" through the initial settings card, and was impressed that it was recognizing the areas that were tapped. Immediately you are left thinking "how does this work?"

From there I wanted to check out the letter and word recognition. I wrote a letter, and it was announced back. Again, scratching head, "how'd they do that?" That was fine and all, but what I thought was more interesting were the game and educational sheets that were included. There is a map of the United States, and you can tap on any state and have the state or capitals aanounced. Games are "built-in" to this map, for instance you are told to tap on the correct state after a city is announced. If I tapped on the incorrect state, the FLY would say "try 200 miles northeast". Thought that was cool.

In addition to the map, there are crossword puzzles, quizzes, calculator, other puzzles, music games, weird sounds, schedulers, etc.
I didn't realize all this came with the FLY, and I was sort of blown away by the power of this pen at that time. My mind started to realize that there are numerous possibilities and uses for this device which will evolve over time. Carmiel?

Before trying out the FLY I was sort of skeptical, since it isn't your normal computer with a screen and keyboard, with all interaction being audio. But I was surprised to find myself immersed in the environment. This type of interaction completely makes sense for a range of applications such as those included with this pen.

My three year old (soon to be four) watched me and then started using it. He was very excited about it, and can only play with some of the applications right now. I have seen some reviews say it may be hard to use, but that is far from the truth. The kids will have no problems. If my three year old had no problems tapping on sounds, drums, countries to hear national anthems, then anyone can use this.

To sum up my review: Excellent job done, my hats off to the designer and all those responsible for taking this idea all the way. I'm looking forward to future software applications and to my child getting older!

My kid is now only 9 yr old, and he enjoys this new FlyPem Comp. This was a unique birtday gift, thanks Leapfrog for bringing gadgets to the kids life.

LeapFrog Enterprises bets the next great computing platform will be none other than pen and paper.
Meet FLY, the incredible pentop computer that's creating a huge buzz. FLY actually reads and remembers what you write, using a powerful optical scanner and a built-in processor. Then it uses that information to help you take notes in class, manage your schedule, play games and more. It's the future of personal computing, and it's right at your fingertips.
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