June 30, 2010, 2:51 PM

Leapfrog leaps into mobile apps

The educational products e-retailer's apps let kids play games and read e-books.

Lead Photo

Leapfrog Enterprises Inc. has launched a new a system that lets kids play games, read e-books, watch videos and do other things across a new Leapfrog Explorer handheld device and the Leapfrog web site. After creating a virtual pet on the handheld device in the new Leapfrog Explorer Learning Experience, for instance, a child could transfer it to the LeapWorld online play section on Leapfrog.com, where the pet could perform tricks the child taught it in the handheld app.

The child can also take the pet back and forth between the web site and the handheld app via the company’s Leapfrog Connect application, letting the pet earn virtual treats and accessories along the way, the retailer says. Leapfrog is No. 385 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

The Leapfrog Explorer handheld features Flash and 3D graphical content accessible through a touch-screen interface. The Explorer Learning Experience system also comes with an “auto-leveling” feature that records a child’s progress in playing educational games, then automatically adjusts a game’s level of educational challenge to coincide with the child’s current ability.

The system also enables kids and their parents to load into games particular sets of content, such as spelling words and mathematics, which matches a child’s learning level.

“We know that children are just as interested in today’s hottest technologies as their parents are,” says Craig Hendrickson, senior vice president and chief product officer. “So we are particularly excited to introduce Leapster Explorer, which combines cutting-edge capabilities like finger-touch and downloadable apps with solid educational content and kid-friendly durability. Add the online LeapWorld for kids and Learning Path for parents, and you have a breakthrough device that supports an incredible variety of ways to learn and play.”

The Leapster Explorer device, which Leapfrog will start selling in July, comes with 18 downloadable Leaplet Learning Apps as well as 12 cartridge games. The Leaplet Learning Apps include an app that provides kids word-by-word support as they read through a Dora the Explorer e-book; another app provides instructions about letter sounds in the Letter Factory video.

In addition, parents can get automated e-mailed updates of their child’s progress as recorded in the learning apps.

Leapfrog says that more than 120 million of its educational products are in circulation among users worldwide.

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