The Think & Learn SmartCycle is already getting a mixed reaction. In the five or so minutes I stood in front of Fisher-Price’s booth at tonight’s CES kickoff event, reactions ranged from excited to confused to downright disappointed in the human race. And indeed, it’s easy to see why someone might complain about the necessity of such a device, but here we are.
Kids aren’t getting enough exercise, learning stuff isn’t always that fun and young eyes are glued to screens more and more these days. The SmartCycle lives at the intersection of all these phenomenon, a stationary bike with a tablet holder that plays educational, interactive games.
The system ships with four different apps, designed to teach math, STEM, reading and science/social studies. It’s a bit like those higher-end interactive bikes you’ve seen for grownups, where peddling and steering interact with the game — only with more learnin’.
In the reading game being shown off at tonight’s event, the player (in this case, an adult rep who was a bit too big for a kid’s bike) rides around collecting letters to form words. A number of other apps will also be available for download, running $5 a pop.
The system also works with set-top streaming devices, so it can be played on the big screen via Apple, Amazon Fire and Android TV. It’s scheduled to arrive this fall priced at $150.