'Screen free social network', Elfkins smart toy launches

The messaging robot allows kids to keep in contact with loved ones without the need for video chat software.
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Empath Interactive has announced the launch of the Elfkins Communications robot, the new smart toy that enables safe, screen-free communication between children and their loved ones. 

Pitched as a screen free social network, Elfkins allows kids to send messages to friends and loved ones via the connected toy, designed to overcome the frustration with challenging schedules, disparate time zones and difficulties with younger children staying on camera.

“Capturing and experiencing moments when children are feeling expressive can be fleeting,” said Dr. Anne Cunningham, PhD in Developmental Psychology, professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education and Empath advisor.

“Children by and large live in the present, their proclivity is to talk about something fun or interesting that happened to them in thatmoment. Current technology solutions may connect us, but they are not designed with a young child’s needs in mind."

“The toy market is undergoing an evolution. Over the last few years we’ve seen a rush of technology entering the industry innovating both traditional play patterns as well as creating new ones,” said Tom Kalinske, Empath advisor, toy industry expert and former CEO of LeapFrog, Sega and Mattel.

“At the same time, expectations for digital toys and devices are at an all-time high. Parents want to ensure quality, learning and long-term engagement, and kids desire a simple user interface and entertainment. Elkins is a product designed with a great balance between user and market needs.”

Retail deliveries will first roll out in the US, expected to hit in September 2017.

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