LEAPFROG EPIC ACADEMY EDITION $119.99
Educational toy a good choice for holidays
If you are looking for a present for younger kids this holiday season, the LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition might be it. The educational Android tablet is preinstalled with 20 academic games to help kids learn skills such as science, math and reading. There’s also a safe web browser called LeapSearch to let kids safely surf. Parental controls are included so you can add safe apps.
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OREGON SCIENTIFIC ADVENTURE SMARTGLOBE $79.99
This globe is enhanced by a phone app
This one’s for kids 5 and up. The Oregon Scientific Adventure SmartGlobe with Augmented Reality works with a smartphone app to learn all sorts of geographical and other facts. You hold the phone up to the globe and tap on the information that appears as you spin it around.
The app features more than 4,000 facts and information on more than 220 countries. There are 25 games included, and the globe also opens so you can explore Earth’s core.
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SAMSUNG HMD ODYSSEY $499.99
A good introduction to augmented reality gear
For the kids at heart of all ages, perhaps an introduction to augmented reality would hit the mark.
Virtual and augmented reality are all the rage among tech companies, but it’s been a little inaccessible to most people.
Samsung’s HMD Odyssey is one of several headsets on sale for the holidays that aims to lower those barriers and get more people excited about these new technologies. It has dual 3.5-inch screens and a 110-degree field of view. It also comes with controllers for your right and left hand, so you can interact with the virtual world.
The Odyssey should work with most newer Windows 10-compatible computers and requires much less setup than pricier headsets from Oculus or HTC.
The headset is comfortable and immersive, meaning that it won’t detract from whatever virtual reality program you’re playing.
Virtual reality may not be for everyone — particularly those who get nauseated easily — but those who have been on the cusp of trying it out might want to take the leap now.