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They Are Not Toys

The gadgets that enable you to play back TV shows and movies are coming. Have you been to Toys 'R' Us lately? Or maybe the toy aisle of Target? If you haven't, start chasing down there now. You're likely to find some of the best new technology in these aisles.

Hand-held video devices are some of the tech you'll find in the toy stores. There are two toys you will want to look at in particular—VideoNow and JuiceBox.

They may be in the toy aisle, but they are anything but.


Last Christmas, your kids were probably hammering you about this product. At about 60 bucks, it seems really cheap. What you get is a neat, candy-colored hand-held device with a business card-sized screen that allows you to watch movies. The catch is that you are tied to the VideoNow catalog (only about 100 titles). VideoNow is definitely focused to the kid market. Unless you are big fan of Hilary Duff and Tony Hawk, you'll find the selection of materials limiting.

Just last summer, VideoNow released a color version of its player. Its products also keep popping up in kid flicks such as Agent Cody Banks 2.

There is potential with this product, but my gut is telling me that the manufacturer just wants to release a gimmick gift to kids.


The product I'm really intrigued with is JuiceBox, which has a price point about the same as the color VideoNow. As you would expect, JuiceBox comes with a lame supply of titles. The cool thing, however, is that the JuiceBox uses conventional Flash memory sticks to store data, which makes moving data from your computer to your JuiceBox a snap.

The JuiceBox also plays movies, images, and music. In many ways, it is the cheapest portable multimedia device on the market. This is a product I can really see growing if it can get the right marketing behind it.

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