Playful Invention Company Introduces the PicoBoard: Control Your On-Screen Creations with Real-World Sensors

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Playful Invention Company (PICO) (http://www.playfulinvention.com), a leading developer of creative learning experiences for girls and boys, announces the debut of the PicoBoard (http://www.playfulinvention.com/picoboard.html), opening a new category of creative play activities connecting physical and virtual worlds.

Playful Invention Company (PICO) (http://www.playfulinvention.com), a leading developer of creative learning experiences for girls and boys, announces the debut of the PicoBoard (http://www.playfulinvention.com/picoboard.html), opening a new category of creative play activities connecting physical and virtual worlds.

The PicoBoard is designed especially for use with Scratchâ„¢, a new graphical programming language that enables kids to create their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and is available for free download at http://scratch.mit.edu

With the PicoBoard, your Scratch projects can sense -- and respond to -- things happening in the world outside of your computer. Using the sound sensor on the PicoBoard, for example, you can program a virtual character to hop up and down whenever there is a loud sound in the room. Or, using the PicoBoard's light sensor, you can program the scene of your Scratch project to change whenever you cast a shadow over the PicoBoard.

The PicoBoard includes four built-in sensors (light sensor, sound sensor, button, and slider) and ports for four make-your-own resistance sensors. The PicoBoard plugs into the USB port of your computer (cable included). The PicoBoard sells for $50 USD plus shipping and can be purchased at http://www.playfulinvention.com/picoboard.html

"As children create interactive stories and games with Scratch and the PicoBoard, they learn to think creatively and systematically -- critical learning skills for the 21st century," says Mitchel Resnick, Chairman of PICO.

About Playful Invention Company (PICO)
PICO develops new technologies and activities that engage children in creative learning experiences, providing girls and boys with new opportunities to explore, experiment, and express themselves. The company's flagship product, the PicoCricket, is a tiny computer that can make things spin, light up, and play music. You can plug lights, motors, sensors, and other devices into a PicoCricket, then program them to react, interact, and communicate.

(Scratchâ„¢ is a trademark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)

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Lewis Fein
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