Speak & Spell Returns To Store Shelves

February 11, 2019

© Matthias Weinrich | Dreamstime

While kids today grow up with smartphone, touch tablets and video streaming technology, children of the 80s had to settle for simpler devices, such as the Speak and Spell. The Texas Instruments toy was introduced in 1978 and it was a marvel of technology that taught many of us how to spell up to 200 words.  While the spinning "see and Say" taught us how a cow moos, the computerized voice of the Speak & Spell, created using one of the first microprocessors, has a special place in our hearts. Basic Fun, the toy company who rekindled drying from dysentery in The Oregon Trail for today's generation, has released an updated version of Speak & Spell, which looks and feels like the original. The kid-friendly, dust-proof, alphabetically-arranged, keyboard is still here, as are all of the original game modes and the simple segmented display that’s been updated with semi-modern LCD technology. While the voice has been re-created, it has been cleaned up a bit as the original Speak & Spell’s computerized voice was at times hard to understand. While the original Speak & Spell used a synthesizer that generates spoken words from a bunch of coded instructions, Basic Fun!’s Speak & Spell uses voice recordings that have been processed to sound like they’re being generated by a computer, which does sound slightly different. Look for Basic Fun!’s Speak & Spell sometime this fall and with a price tag of $35, perhaps it may be a cheaper and more playful substitution than playing with your smartphone.

SOURCE: Gizmodo

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