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Developed in Israel by a company run by young parents, Sparkup is an innovative book reading and recording system for children. In a bold attempt to try and wean young kids away from digital screens, the device simply clips to the top of any book.
A tiny built-in camera takes an image of the front cover and every page as it's turned. Recognising that parents or grandparents may not always be around to read stories at bedtime or during the day, Sparkup enables these family members to record their voices whilst reading the book in real-time, and then miraculously play it back whenever the child wants to hear it.
Known as 'The Magical Book Reader', Sparkup is distributed by Vivid in the UK. "We are all very excited about adding Sparkup to our portfolio," says Kerry Paternoster, Senior Brand Manager of the UK's biggest toy company. "Sparkup has a lot of potential as an entertainment device, but the most exciting aspect of the toy is how it assists in learning and it is a great way to breathe new life into books. If you enjoy reading stories out loud to kids, but find the fact that you might not always be available this is the perfect high tech alternative instead."
By releasing the power and recognition of the human voice through the recording of a book, the company hopes that it will help families to encourage their kids to become immersed in real books, rather than digital versions. If a recording isn't possible, the company has also made available a library of books and professional recordings that can purchased separately. Extra features such as braille reading and gesture technology are planned in the future.
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