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Leka is a smart toy for learning-disabled children

The smart toy prototype shown at CES 2017 is designed to help children improve fine motor skills, visual cues and social skills.

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The Leka is like a magical glowing orb that's designed to help special-needs children improve fine motor skills, visual cues and social skills. The smart toy costs $700 to $800 and is available for preorder now; however for a limited time there's a CES 2017 deal that lowers its price to $490. Converted, that's about £570 to £650, with a deal price of £400, or about AU$960 to AU$1,100 with a deal price of AU$675.)

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The Leka is recommended for ages 3 and up.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

In conjunction with an app, the Leka features a variety of learning activities. It has built-in sensors that detect and respond to a child's interaction, soothing lights wrap around it and there's even a multiplayer game for family and friends to join in on the fun.

The interactive responses are supposed to help children better understand social and visual cues, and multiplayer games aim to improve their socializing skills.

The Leka is recommended for children ages 3 and up. It charges wirelessly and right now, with heavy use, its battery life lasts around 3 hours.

We saw an industrial-grade prototype at CES 2017 and, though it was plagued by bugginess, it temporarily allowed me to play a game that required me to touch the ball in the specific areas when lit.

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The Leka is available for preorder.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

I can't attest to how successful the Leka is at accomplishing what it claims, but the smart toy is an innovative (and expensive) way to use technology to help the disability community.