From toy and gadget maker Perpetual Kid comes the Cool Gamer Calculator, also known as the X-Cool, an attempt to combine video games and math in a hand-held, portable option.
New calculators are a hard sell for companies as nearly every electronic device - phones, desktops, laptops - have built-in options already. For those kids that need calculators in school, a mobile version or an outdated "parent" option might just do the trick to get them through. Of course, chances are that they won't exactly be over the moon to learn about math in the first place, as only a scant few of our school-aged numbers end up as super-smart math wizards later in life.
In an effort to bring the cool to school and more specifically to math, Perpetual Kid has designed the X-Cool calculator to bridge the information gap. Designed to resemble a cross between an Xbox and Playstation controller, the form of the device should be very familiar to kids of all ages. Numbers are placed directly in the middle of the X-Cool, just below a standard LED screen.
To the left is a d-pad that contains the standard mathematical functions instead of the usual "up, down, left, right" choices, as well as a large "clear" button. On the right, where the "kill the bad guys buttons" are usually found are a host of more detailed functions as well as the all-important equal sign.
The X-Cool also features two shoulder buttons, but we're not entirely sure what those do. We'd love to see triggers on the back so that kids could "shoot" their way to answers with a quick pull, but no matter what functionality the X-Cool has beyond the face, it is an excellent effort to provide kids with a "better" way to do math.
At only $13.99, this is a steal of a deal for an interesting concept that might actually see some use. Let's be honest, though - even making this look like a controller isn't going to make kids like math. They'll pick it up, excited to try a new game, and discovered that they can do square roots instead. It would likely draw positive reviews at school, but the chances of it improving interest are slim. Still, the familiarity combined with the "neato" factor make the calculator an addition to cadre of cool calculators at the very least.
Source: Perpetual Kid