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商业 - 科技

玩具商跨界:乐高要培养编程小专家

John Kell 2017年01月09日

乐高在国际消费电子展发布了Lego Boost,希望帮助孩子利用可以下载的应用和实物玩具学习编写代码。

丹麦玩具制造商乐高上周三发布了集拼搭与编程玩法于一身的新玩具,名为Lego Boost。乐高称,这款玩具在传统乐高的拼搭玩法外增加了新体验,孩子们可以在配套应用中学习写代码。Lego Boost为7岁及以上年龄的孩子设计,今年下半年将在零售店上架,每款定价159.99美元。乐高在拉斯维加斯举行的年度国际消费电子展(CES)发布了这款新品。

乐高推出Lego Boost的目标是,帮助孩子利用可以下载的应用和实物玩具学习编写代码。这套玩具附有拼搭指引和代码指令,供孩子创造五种可能的形态,包括一部机器人和一只猫。配套应用囊括了60多种和搭建玩具及编程有关的活动。这套玩具还内置可以探知色彩的传感器。

Lego Boost是玩具业教导孩子多了解编程价值的最新尝试,这种潮流已经成为玩具销售的热门卖点。比如美国玩具制造商美泰旗下品牌费雪去年推出一款毛毛虫玩具,可以教学龄前孩子学习编程的基本知识。其他围绕编程做文章的玩具也在吸引零售商的目光,眼下无论是倡导教育的人士还是企业都在宣传学习编程的好处,因为未来人才市场对科技类岗位需求总体趋势还在增加。

在玩具市场,编程教育的热潮主要集中于STEM(科学、技术、工程、数学四大领域的合称)类玩具。业内人士称,这类玩具比其他各类玩具买得都好,懂行的零售商也非常支持。2015年,美国最畅销的两类玩具是游戏及拼图和积木组合。这一现象表明,家长更愿意花钱购买有教育功能的玩具。

乐高等等积木组合玩具制造商天然迎合了STEM类益智玩具热销的风潮,因为获益不小。此次发布Lego Boost也意义重大,因为从此乐高产品家族开始与应用关联。

同美泰和孩之宝等对手相比,乐高在开发编程相关玩具方面略显迟缓,但目标更加明确。不过三家公司都深知,孩子们在移动设备上花的时间远超添加了科技元素的玩具。所以今年的CES上,美泰专门发布了一款搭载类似亚马逊语音助手Alexa的设备。(财富中文网)

 

作者:John Kell

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

The Danish-based toy maker on Wednesday debuted a new toy called Lego Boost, a hybrid building and coding set that the company says combines the play experience of a traditional Lego set with an app-based coding play experience. Lego Boost, developed for children aged 7 or older, will hit retail shelves in the second half of the year and will be priced at $159.99. Lego debuted the set at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The hope is that Lego Boost can help kids learn to code using a downloadable app and the physical toy set. Lego Boost comes with building instructions and coding commands to create five possible Lego creations, including a robot and a cat. The app also includes more than 60 activities related to building and coding. The bricks also come with built-in sensors that can detect color.

The toy is the latest bet by the industry to teach children more about the value of coding—which has been a hot space in the toy aisle. Mattel (mat), for example, a year ago debuted a caterpillar that teaches coding basics to preschoolers under the Fisher-Price brand. Other coding-focused toys are also getting attention from retailers at a time when educational advocates and businesses are vouching for the benefit of coding as it relates to education, especially because of the increased need for technology jobs in the years ahead.

Part of the buzz in the toy aisle specifically focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) toys. Those toys have been outselling other categories, toy insiders have claimed, and are getting support from retailers that know it is a hot category. Games & puzzles and construction sets were two of the top-selling toy categories in the U.S. in 2015—an indication that parents are spending more on toys that have a perceived educational component.

Lego and other makers of construction sets have benefited from that trend as those toys already naturally fit into the STEM craze. The debut of Lego Boost is also significant because it adds yet another app-connected toy to Lego's suite of offerings.

Lego has been slower and more purposeful about adding technology to the company's toys than rivals like Mattel and Hasbro (has). But all three are well aware that kids are spending more time playing with mobile devices and other toys infused with tech—so they need to stay competitive by coming up with ways to incorporate toys into play. That explains why Mattel at CES this year debuted an Amazon Alexa-type device for kids.


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