The Tag is a pen-like device that houses a computer processor and optical sensor. When it is touched to the surface of a specially made book, it can read the whole page or individual words. It can also create fun sound effects when touched to illustrations. Other icons on the page can trigger interactive games.
Another bonus is that the audio reading of the book can be accompanied by musical interludes and original character voices.
The Tag system comes with one book, but Leapfrog is launching it with a library of 16 other classic children's books, which will sell for $13.99 each.
From Publications International, Ltd, $34.99 (for a pen and two books), for ages 4-7, coming in August 2008
This reading pen will launch with two Disney books: "Cars" and "Finding Nemo." Like the Tag, it can read the whole page or individual words.
Touching illustrations will trigger other exciting audio interactions. Add-on books available at launch will include four classic Disney books with more books coming in October.
From Cold Fusion, approximately $24.99 (for the pen), for ages 3-7, coming late summer
This reading pen will launch during the late summer with Brainy Baby books. Like the Tag and the Poingo, the Cypher instantly narrates or produces a fun sound effect when it is held over a word or picture on a page of a specially made book.
Jinny Gudmundsen is the kid-tech columnist for Gannett News Service and USA Today.com, and is also the editor of Computing with Kids Ezine.