Summer last year saw the announcement of the Son-X Octavia, which has been described as a solar-powered “interactive sound device” that is now shipping to schools across Europe. I guess despite the economic troubles that the region is going through, it still makes sense to splurge for the little ones to have a memorable childhood, no? The Son-X Octavia looks like some sort of digital coconut, where it is strapped onto a conventional swing set. This is a neat idea when you think about it in the long run actually – how many times do kids spend their summers outdoors these days any more? By bringing technology outside, perhaps things will change for the better.

Anyways, back to the Son-X Octavia – it was specially designed to cater for educational institutions that have pretty low budgets, hence making it totally wireless and self-contained, harnessing the power of the sun for all of its electrical needs. I sure hope future versions of this, if it takes off, will be able to have a solid state solar panel incorporated as well to increase its longevity. Swingers are able to activate a trio of aural games, where each of them has been programmed to “awaken the natural curiosity in children to explore the possibilities through activity.”

You can also upgrade these over time, where new titles are released on USB drives. Each of these puppies will retail for €499, but you cannot walk into any toy store and pick it up over the counter as the right business end connections are required.

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