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Interactive tech playgrounds entice children

SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC 4 News) – Playgrounds are no longer looking they did in years past.
SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC 4 News) – Playgrounds are no longer looking they did in years past.

Blinking lights and sounds are enticing children to get off the couch and exercise outdoors.

An interactive technology based color gamed called NEOS is in operation at Mountainview Park in Cottonwood Heights.

“The fun part of it is when the colors change from red to green and green to red,” Jessie Griffin, a 9-year-old girl, said.

With technology taking over children’s lives, playground developers wanted to created something that got youngsters moving, but kept the concept of video games.

“Yeah, we like to get high scores,” Colby, a 5-year-old boy playing with NEOS, said.

Construction is underway at Evergreen Park in the Millcreek area. The Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Department says it will be the first full electronic playground to entice kids off the couch. It opens in August.

“Whatever we can do to design and build and engage kids, we're all about that,” Morgan Selph, project manager for Evergreen Park, said.

A box based near the playground can track high scores and even calories burned by children and send the information directly to Salt Lake County offices.

The equipment was created by a Danish developer and the technology is in no danger of breaking. Selph said the materials used to build the park can withstand a bomb.

“I think it's fun for them because they're already used to technology,” Ingelil Eggleston, a mother of two, said. “It gets technology and activity together.”

The flashy features are already keeping kids on their toes.

“It’s good exercise because you get to run around,” Griffin added.
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