There is something fascinating about globes; when you’re a small child the idea that the world is so huge is just mind-blowing.
We agreed to review the Smart Globe Myth from Oregon Scientific which is a clever globe for children aged 5+.
What’s in the box?
The globe and stand comes in one piece. The whole globe including stand is around 13 inches tall and the globe itself has a diameter of about 10 inches. It is a good size; large enough to see the countries clearly but not so big that you’ll wonder where to put it.
It takes 3 AA batteries; there are demonstration batteries included but these needed to be replaced quickly. It does not come with a mains adaptor, although it can be USB powered and there is a USB cable in the box.
There is also a set of instructions.
What does the Smart Globe Myth do?
As well as clearly labelled countries and capital cities, the SmartGlobe Myth has built-in stories and facts.
There are buttons to select from. If pressed, the Fairy Tales button will read one of ten fairy tales, Rumpelstiltskin, Three Little Pigs, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea, The Gingerbread Man, The Frog Prince and The Golden Goose.
These are all read in a very American computerised voice, which wouldn’t be my first choice but the kids don’t seem to mind.
It also has 69 short facts about the earth and 12 Zodiac legends, telling the myths of the gods/constellations. You select the myth, story or fact you want to hear by using the arrow buttons. There are three different volume levels which can be controlled using the volume button, and there is a play/pause button to stop mid-story if required.
The Smart Globe Myth has something very special to offer; it has a map of 88 star constellations. When it’s dark, press the light button and you will be able to see the night sky lit up, with the names of the constellations.
There are three levels of brightness; press the bulb button one, two or three times to illuminate it brighter.
My only criticism is that if you leave it on, it turns itself off after a little while with a loud ‘GOODBYE!’ so you need to turn it off before you leave the room so it can’t be used as a night light. I couldn’t work out how to turn this off.
Augmented reality (AR) app
There is a free app which you can download for use with the Smart Globe Myth.
Point the app at the globe to access AR content including animals, landmarks, dinosaurs and weather facts.
To use it, it asks you to ‘scan’ the globe. This means pointing the camera at the globe until it ‘locks on’ and the AR figures appear. It’s pretty cool stuff although it’s tricky to move the globe around and remain locked on, and scanning it in the first place can be a little tricky. I could not get it to work in ‘planet’ mode but we managed to get dinosaurs, animals and landmarks up on the screen.
It may be easier with a tablet rather than a phone.
Price and where to buy
The Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Myth with day and night mode, constellations, stories and augmented reality mode has an RRP of £39.99 which I do think is a good price. It would make a great Christmas gift for a curious child.
It can be purchased from national retailers and Amazon here.
We were sent this Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Myth for free for the purposes of this review, however I have retained full editorial control and all pictures and words are mine.