Launches Unique, 3D Interactive Chat Rooms for Kids

New Chat, Email & Bulletin Boards Let Kids Safely Build & Personalize Dynamic

Online Communities

Jan 25, 2000, 00:00 ET from

    Internet Showcase, PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/
 --,(TM) Inc., the safe Internet portal just for kids, today
 announced the availability of its suite of community products, featuring
 unique, three-dimensional, fully interactive and animated chat rooms for kids
 age six and older.  Surf Monkey chat transforms the Internet experience into a
 lively and robust adventure, where kids can not only chat, but also move
 objects, eat virtual donuts or play music.  Together, the new products allow
 youngsters to safely build and personalize dynamic online communities, as well
 as play and interact with each other in a fun and easy way.
     Chat, plus new Web-based email and personal bulletin boards are housed in
 the Surf Monkey Kids Channel(TM), a Web site and ultimate launching pad for
 guiding kids to the best content on the Internet.  The Kids Channel, located
 at, is designed to be a one-stop site for all-things
 kids, and is further bolstered by the regular addition of new features and
 fresh content.  Each component is an integral part of the complete, fun and
 safe solution for kids using the Web.
     All three new community features include built-in, parental-safety
 mechanisms and utilize's proprietary in-page filtering
 technology to protect kids from inappropriate language and potential predators
 in real time while allowing them to benefit from the full potential of the
 Internet.  Whether using personal chat, email or bulletin boards, kids can
 only communicate with individuals that have been pre-approved by parents and
 placed on a password-protected CyberFriends list.  With the CyberFriends list
 in place, parents play an active role in deciding with whom their children can
     "The Internet generation is the first, truly global generation -- online
 communities are really void of borders," said David Smith, CEO of  "'s new kid friendly community features are
 designed to protect kids from strangers and safeguard their privacy, while
 providing playful and dynamic environments for them to express themselves."
     Fully Interactive Personal & Public Chat Rooms for Kids has transformed chat for kids from a static,
 black-and-white environment into a three-dimensional, full-color, interactive
 setting, offering both personal and public chat rooms.  In addition to
 conventional chatting, participants can also interact with the cockpit's
 game-like environment by moving objects, eating virtual donuts or listening to
 music, as well as indicate emotion or mood by changing facial expressions,
 dancing or singing.
     The chat rooms are set up as a rocketship cockpit with a Bay window
 looking to outer space.  Here, chat participants choose from ten different
 multimedia identities or avatars fashioned like wacky bugs.
     "'s 3D chat and the breakthrough use of interactivity is
 ideal for kids who aren't content with just talking.  They want to be able to
 play and interact in their environment online -- just as they would in the
 backyard," adds Smith.
     Where as personal chat uses the CyberFriends feature to give kids, with
 their parent's permission, the flexibility to decide when and who they would
 like to chat with,'s monitored public chat rooms are open to
 all Surf Monkey Club(TM) members.  For added kid safety, behind-the-scenes
 chat room supervisors monitor each public session.  All profanity is blocked
 and any one using inappropriate language is ejected from the public chat
 rooms.  Public chat rooms are open from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday
 through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon (Pacific Time) Saturday and Sunday.
     Email & Personal Bulletin Boards
     Web-based email and bulletin boards are also available today.  These new
 features complete the Kids Channel's community offerings, enabling kids to
 communicate using a variety of safe and fun methods.
     Using Surf Monkey email is simple and fast, and kids can easily check
 their messages from any computer, at any time, using their Internet Service
     Bulletin Boards allow kids to pose questions, assert opinions or offer
 greetings to their CyberFriends.  As with email and chat, only people placed
 on the CyberFriends list can view and post messages to a personal bulletin
 board.   By registering as an authenticated Surf Monkey member at, kids have free access to email, personal chat and
 bulletin boards as well as pointers to the best kids content online -- all via
 the Kids Channel.
     Chat, bulletin boards and email can be found at the Kids Channel at  The Kids Channel can be accessed from any computer
 or Web browser and is available for free.
     In addition to the Kids Channel, also offers Surf Monkey
 Bar(TM), a first-of-its kind, free navigation tool, and the Surf Monkey
 Browser(TM), an all-in-one browser.  Both products are designed to protect and
 guide kids as they travel through cyberspace and can be downloaded for free at
 the company Web site.
     Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
     In related news, the company announced yesterday that it is one of the
 first to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) for
 all new Surf Monkey Club members.  The new law requires that any online
 company collecting, using or disclosing personal information from a child must
 first obtain offline consent from their parent or guardian.  By complying with
 the COPPA regulations, continues to create an environment that
 provides more protections for kids as they enjoy the full benefits of its
 community features and other Surf Monkey Club activities.
     About the Company
     Founded in 1996,, Inc. continues to define the future of
 kid-safe Web travel with its family-oriented portal and free, integrated suite
 of safe-surfing Internet products.  Leveraging real-time, in-page filtering
 and a host of parental controls, the Surf Monkey Bar and Surf Monkey Browser
 offer guidance and protection online, while its Surf Monkey Kids Channel
 steers them to the best content on the Internet.  With an ongoing commitment
 to kids online safety, has become among the first Web portals
 to comply with the Federal Trade Commission's Children's Online Privacy
 Protection Act.  Headquartered in Campbell, Calif., is a
 privately held corporation with offices in London, England.  The company can
 be reached on the Web at, or by calling 408-556-2060.
     NOTE:  Surf Monkey, Surf Monkey Club, Surf Monkey Kids Channel, Surf
 Monkey Bar, Surf Monkey Browser and are trademarks of, Inc.  All others are trademarks or registered trademarks of
 their respective companies.