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Fisher-Price "drool-proof" iPad seat and CTA iPad potty stand draw sharp criticism from some

It may sound like an April Fool's joke or a fake news story from The Onion, but with children using tablets at younger ages, toymaker CTA Digital has offered up a unique and controversial new accessory for Apple, Inc. (AAPL) fans -- a toddler toilet that allows the youngster to use their iPad while potty-training.

I. iPotty -- Abusive?

The product is real and is dubbed the "The Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat".  It's made in China, stands a foot high, weighs 2.6 lb, and features garish orange and green plastic accents.  It doubles as an "activity seat" (although that might be a ticket to stinky city).  It can fit all but the first generation iPad into its holding bracket.  It has a MSRP of $39.99 USD, but retails for as little as $31.99 USD on, Inc. (AMZN). And it's drawing both attention and controversy.

First shown off at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), this "iPotty" didn't receive much attention until the holiday season.  But in an example of why there's no such thing as bad publicity, it's now a hot topic, thanks to it scoring the advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood's (CCFC) "TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year."
CTA iPotty

The director of the parent advocacy group CCFC, Dr. Susan Linn, attacks the accessory, stating:

Throughout history, kids have mastered toilet training without touch screens.  The iPotty is a perfect example of marketers trying to create a need where none exists. In fact, the last thing children need is a screen for every single occasion.
CTA iPotty
She adds, "Once again, the TOADY voting reflects the growing resistance to the toy industry’s cynical and self-interested promotion of screen-based products for infants and toddlers."
II. Fisher-Price Offers up a "Drool-Proof" iPad Seat
CTA isn't alone, though, in peddling product for the world's most popular tablet.  Other companies are pushing iPad-toting tot product of their own.
Mattel, Inc. (MAT) is offering a Fisher-Price branded "Fisher-Price iPad Apptivity Seat, Newborn-to-Toddler".  That seat drops the toilet "app", serving as more a high-tech toddler chair.  It's much more expensive, at an MSRP of $79.99 (Amazon price: $75 USD) and weighs more (12.5 lb) than the CTA "iPotty", but it does offer some safety features like a 3-point restraint.  It also "locks your iPad device securely inside case to protect from dribbles and drool" and is adjustable as the child matures.
Fischer Price iPad Seat 2/2
Fisher-Price's website states that the company's philosophy is:

We believe in the potential of children and in the importance of a supportive environment in which they can grow, learn, and get the best possible start in life.

But the director of the parent advocacy group CCFC, Dr. Susan Linn, questions that commitment.  No fan of the iPad seat, she tells The Washington Post:

[The Apptivity Seat is the] ultimate electronic babysitter, whose very existence suggests that it’s fine to leave babies as young as newborns all alone and with an iPad inches from their face.  Fischer-Price should stay true to its mission to foster learning and development by creating products for infants that promote, rather than undermine, interaction with caregivers.

University of New Mexico School of Medicine professor Victor Strasburger, MD, admonishes both products, declaring, "Does anyone out there think that kids need more screen time?  There is no need to hurry to expose kids to new technology, certainly not babies — or newborns!"

Fischer Price iPad Seat

Fisher-Price has yet to comment on the controversy, but CTA's marketing associate Lois Eiler told The Washington Post:

Most families have technology in the home, and the reality is that kids are exposed already, and parents are trying to find the best ways to adapt into their lives the technology in a way that is safe and thoughtful.

Not all parents are convinced.  The CTA seat has an average rating of 3/5 stars on Amazon, owing to a number of low reviews.  The Fisher-Price iPad seat is faring even worse, at 2/5 stars.

CTA and Fischer Price iPad products

One angry parent writes in an Amazon review of the Fisher-Price seat:

If you want to damage your child’s development, buy this chair. Children of a very young age are genetically programmed to respond positively to interacting with PEOPLE. Even if they are just watching the world go by. This is a horrible gadget.

But the products appear to be selling; the Fisher-Price seat is ranked 15th in its category on Amazon, while the CTA "iPotty" is ranked 26th in children's training toilet products.  One potential defense of these products: neglect concerns aside, the iPad is seeing growing adoption in the public school system.  So these companies could spin it that their products are simply preparing the child for their future education.

Sources: CTA The Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat on Amazon, Fisher-Price Ipad Apptivity Seat, Newborn-to-Toddler on Amazon, CCFC, The Washington Post

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RE: I dunno...
By Wazza1234 on 12/12/2013 5:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
Only on this site would someone lack the intelligence to see why your comment is flawed and think you made good points.

Lets start with your premise:

'bigger things in the history of humanity have proven us to be really prone to being idiots'

Even if you managed to prove this, would it go any way, whatsoever, to proving that the original comment about iPhone users was correct? If I claim that A is correlated to B, a correlation between B and C does not prove that. So your comment is wrong right from the start. Ironically your comment which discusses logical errors.

'Only the Jesuits, Greek Scholars, a few sailors as well as the "Orient" (as it were called) didn't believe the world was flat then'

Lack of information <> unintelligent. You yourself would also have believed that the world was flat back then, yet you're now trying to prove that they are idiots? So are you an idiot? If not, this is an invalid point.

'the Earth as the center of the universe! Talk about a doozy on that one. Oh wait and then'

Exactly the same argument applies here.

'Anyone not believing in your "God" a heretic. We burned, sliced and done tons in that arena for non-believers'

Essentially, religion is an argument for mass idiocy, yes - but as I pointed out in my first comment, a certain action constituting idiocy is not a prove for a random other action being related heavily with stupidity.

'Can you conversely PROVE that there aren't 50-100 million idiots worldwide?'

You only have to PROVE something if you're CLAIMING IT. The person who CLAIMED something here was retrospooty - that a 'LOT' of iPhone users are idiots. Tony was asking him to clarify what he meant by a 'lot', and asking for evidence, not making any counter claim. The burden of proof (and clarification) is therefore on retrospooty, not Tony.

'And actually you can call users of a specific platform "idiots". Why? Its called an opinion you idiot. Ever heard of it? Its in fact an opinionated statement too. I can even add that your both a hypocritical idiot as much as a moronic idiot to give an example. Do I need proof for that? No. Its, again, a statement of opinions founded on nothing else than what one believes, assumes or likewise. So honestly, retorting with the "back up your claim" is almost the equal of saying "please stfu unless you can find that particular science journal stating it". Guess what, its a forum and at the end of the day there is more than one person saying it.'

Actually Tony is assuming that retrospooty isn't as unintelligent and irrational as your comment might suggest. He is assuming that retro actually genuinely believes that iPhone users are less intelligent (because if he doesn't, his point is completely removed), and while you can obviously claim you have an opinion of anything, being asked to back it up is a perfectly reasonable request. For example, if I told you that Android users were less intelligent on average than iPhone users - and you asked me to back it up, I would point you to the surveys showing that iPhone users are better educated on average. An opinion without substance is just fanboy rhetoric, something you're happy to claim on Retro's behalf but something he would vehemently deny.

RE: I dunno...
By retrospooty on 12/12/2013 7:08:18 AM , Rating: 1
And look, the thread drew out the king idiot himself. Welcome back tg. I knew the idit beacon would bring you running. Like a cat to catnip, captain of all idiots has arrived.

But no, if you bothered to read the thread I wasn't even the one saying anything at all here.

Here is where I came in - Tony acting above it all and I replied here - "So... When you do it, its OK but when others do it to Apple, it "speaks of a deep anxiety" - "Childish insecurity" "tedious" and "crass."

RE: I dunno...
By retrospooty on 12/12/2013 7:22:52 AM , Rating: 2
And BTW, nice job on completely missing the point once again. You typed how many paragraphs about a totally missed point? LOL

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