Hot Stuff

Hot Business: Toddler Tech

Just when you thought there were no new frontiers for the computer industry . here comes lapware-software for babies and toddlers that reacts to the simplest stimuli: tapping on a mouse or the keyboard. This industry grew 18.5 percent in sales from 1997 to 1998, with units sold growing by 63 percent. Be warned, however: Much of the industry is controlled by large corporations, but true lapware-that is, for infants-is still relatively new turf. And the Web is the last frontier for the drooling set. Most pre-readers aren't yet attracted to the mostly text-based Web-that is, until your site full of interactive animation, games and photos goes live.

For examples, check out a Web portal for 3-to-7-year-olds at www.alfy.com, multimedia activities aimed at kids at www.mamamedia.com, or baby software at www.babywow.com

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This article was originally published in the December 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hot Stuff.

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