By Andrew Liszewski
From what I can tell, globes just seem like a way to prove to grade school kids that the Earth is indeed round. Other than that, if you actually need a map of the world, a printed atlas is a far more convenient way to look things up. So in an attempt to make their SmartGlobe more appealing to the younger set, Oregon Scientific has included an interactive base and a Smart Pen that allows kids to participate in one of 36 different learning activities and quizzes. Content includes facts and figures about countries, capitals, large cities, populations, languages, history and current events, and to keep those events current, the globe can even connect to the internet to download weekly updates.
It’s definitely an improvement over the globes we had in school, which could really only spin, but I have my doubts that it’s still enough to pull kids away from other electronic activities. The SmartGlobe is available on the Oregon Scientific website for $129.95, and while the weekly internet updates are free for the first year, the site seems to indicate there’s an additional annual fee after that.