Digital technology solutions provider Findaway has announced the debut of the Playaway Launchpad tablet for teens and adults, featuring a selection of pre-loaded interactive learning apps, brain games, comics, and casual games. The new line of pre-loaded tablets was developed with feedback from librarians following the success of the original Playaway Launchpad for children, which debuted in April 2015. Findaway founder and CEO Mitch Kroll noted that the tablets, which start at $99, could help libraries bridge the digital divide.
“Launchpad provides equitable access to tablets and app content across the country through libraries,” Kroll said. “We know that for many Launchpad is the first-ever tablet experiences [some] kids have had, and we believe that this will be extended to teens and adults.”
Designed for circulation, both Launchpad lines feature double-tempered glass screens, reinforced USB cords, a case, and a one-touch reset feature that erases previous user data when devices are returned. The devices do not have Wi-Fi or camera capabilities, ensuring a controlled, secure environment.
Like the company’s handheld, preloaded Playaway audiobook devices and Playaway View video players, the Launchpad is designed with simple controls and a straightforward user interface.
“It provides access to a tablet and access to apps in their simplest form, so that every library patron can have the ability to interact with a tablet and understand apps.” Kroll said.
Brand manager Brittany Gonzalez offered additional detail to LJ regarding planned content for the teen and adult Launchpad line, explaining that learning apps will include tools curated to build knowledge and master new skills, such as language learning, or high school curriculums like algebra or physics. Brain games will include trivia, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and other games, while casual games will include just-for-fun apps such as racing, action, and adventure games.
The original Launchpad for children has continued to build its collection of apps and other content, and recently added a new “Lexile Leveled eBook” series matching children with stories at their literacy level, as well as new digital book apps with titles from Dr. Seuss, The Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, Smithsonian, and more.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response from libraries,” regarding the original Launchpad, Kroll said. “We got great feedback that expanding the audience [to teens and adults] to give equitable access to all would be really well received, so that led us down this path.”