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Tag Reading System

Tag Reading System



The Bottom Line
An exciting new reading device that holds five different books in its memory and can be connected to the Internet to download additional books.
The Tag Reading System is a web-connected reading system that centers on the Tag reader. The Tag reader is an outsized pen device that is about 6 inches long and uses 2 AAA batteries to run. By tapping the device over specially-created Tag books, the Tag reads the book.

The Tag device houses a computer processor, a stereo audio system, and a small infrared camera on the end of the device. It works by quickly photographing dots that are printed on special dot-matrix paper. By processing these dots' location, the device can to recognize letters, words, and other symbols printed on the paper and then "read" or respond.
When a child uses the Tag, they hold it like a pen and tap icons, words, or images in the book. By tapping the "Read the Story" icon, the Tag reads the whole book, while indicating when the child should turn the page. Alternatively, the child can tap the "Read the Page" icon or a specific word. Your child can even drag the pen over a series of words to have a sentence read. Touching illustrations will also provide an exciting audio response.

In addition to reading, the Tag can initiate games involving the story or the characters. For example, in one, the Tag sends your child on a scavenger hunt to find specific words or pictures when given hints like "Look for a picture that is a home for bees."
The Tag comes bundled with one book: "Ozzie and Mack" by Trish Holland. But, it can hold the audio for five books at a time. At launch, the TagReading System has 16 books, two activity boards, and two card sets that work with the Tag reader. Parents can choose which classic and or activity storybooks they want to add to their child's library by purchasing them at $13.99 a piece. They then connect to the Internet to download the audio content into the Tag for free.

The audio downloads are found on the new Leapfrog Connect, a website which automatically launches after you install the application on your Internet-connected computer with the included CD and plug in the Tag with its USB connector. From the Web site, you can easily swap out which five audio downloads you want to reside in the Tag. The process is very similar to managing MP3 music files.
The Tag reader is truly remarkable to hear and watch in action. Leapfrog has partnered with a number of book publishers to bring some of the best children's classics to this new reading format. You can purchase "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," "The Little Engine that Could," "Olivia" and other kids' favorites. Leapfrog also offer books featuring popular branded characters including Diego (from "Go Diego Go"), SpongeBob SquarePants, and Kung Fu Panda, with Jack Black's voice featured in the audio.

The Tag's sound is clear, and accompanied by music and ambient sounds. Kids can attach headphones to the Tag, so that they won't bother others when reading. The games come on three levels of difficulty, and the Tag knows to turn itself off after five minutes of inactivity.
But, Tag's greatest feature is that it makes reading fun. With Tag, kids want to touch the words to hear them spoken. The games Tag plays with kids systematically teach reading by working on vocabulary, phonics, reading comprehension and by playing word games about rhyming and letter sounds. And Tag always provides positive feedback so kids feel good about themselves when playing with this electronic reader.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Tag Reading System
Company: Leapfrog
Price: 49.99