Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Education

The first Hello Hub has been installed in Suleja, Nigeria (Photo: Tom Saater)

In many parts of Africa, a lack of adequate infrastructure means that it's simply not practical to build a school and employ a teacher to give kids an education – but there are alternatives. The Hello Hub is a solar-powered kiosk that features two touchscreen computers loaded with educational software and an internet connection to help kids and adults learn and get online. The first Hello Hub kiosk was recently installed in Nigeria, and there are more planned for next year.  Read More

The Skoog 2.0 is described as a totally new kind of musical instrument

Initially developed for kids with disabilities, Edinburgh-based Skoogmusic has spent the last four years delivering its colorful and tactile Skoog digital music-making instrument to almost 2,000 schools around the world. Now the company is eyeing the consumer space with the development of version 2.0, which benefits from a much-reduced cost of entry, new mobile companion apps, wireless capabilities and battery-powered portability.  Read More

The wearable DynePod

American startup Dynepic understands something every small child does: toys can, and do, talk to each other. And you can talk to them, too. Dynepic is aiming to develop an "Internet of Toys" architecture where toys and their controlling devices – the DynePods – are connected and controllable via an open source cloud system which can be programmed from an iPad.  Read More

The Maker Club's Carduino RC car bot

As confirmed by a strong robot presence in our round-up of the best tech toys for kids this year, there's something captivating and fascinating about interacting with robots. But rather than just play with a factory-assembled robot like the mesmerizing MiP we got to control at IFA back in the September, many folks want to build and customize their own. The Brighton, UK-based Maker Club has launched a project developed for the home and educational market that combines a custom control chip, a mobile app, an online learning package and 3D printing.  Read More

With US$15 million up for grabs, XPrize is hoping to inspire a revolutionary set of educat...

Having tasked technologists with challenges as diverse as Ted Talkin' artificial intelligence and bringing Star Trek's iconic tricorder to life, XPrize has now turned its attention to an equally ambitious task. Millions of children around the globe don't have basic literacy skills, presenting a problem that cannot be solved without some big picture thinking. Launching today, the Global Learning XPrize offers US$15 million in prize money for the development of software that teaches children these vital skills in the space of 18 months, without the presence of a teacher.  Read More

Taj Pabari (left) has developed DIY tablet kits designed as educational tools for kids

Less than one year ago, 14-year-old Taj Pabari was like any other kid, toiling away on a 3D printer at school (ok, maybe not quite like any other kid). An assignment required the class to sandwich two pieces of plastic together, but where some students simply saw air, Pabari envisioned the makings of a new kind of educational toy. Fast-forward some 10 months and he finds himself shortlisted for a Young Innovator of the Year award and pitching his product to potential investors. So what is it that has catapulted Pabari from the classroom to rubbing shoulders with industry leaders in the space of a year? Gizmag caught up with the Australian entrepreneur to learn all about his Lego-inspired tablet kits and how he plans on changing the face of IT education.  Read More

The new Digital Drum 2.0 from UNICEF and partners

For the past couple of years, UNICEF Uganda and partners have been designing, developing, prototyping and rolling out youth-focused community computers that can operate on mains power where available, or solar-power in remote rural areas. Work has just finished on the design of the second generation Digital Kiosk, and the UK's fanless computer specialist Aleutia is now working on a new open source, low power computer system to squeeze into the table-topped repurposed oil drum that will become the Digital Drum.  Read More

The tinyTelsa musical Telsa coil from oneTesla

The folks who successfully crowdfunded a DIY singing Tesla coil kit last year have taken to Kickstarter again to bring a smaller version into production. Like its older and bigger brother, the tinyTesla shoots out bolts of artificial lightning while playing MIDI music using the electricity itself. It looks like that polyphonic MIDI version of Danger High Voltage by Electric Six might just come in handy after all.  Read More

Monash University's Michelle Quayle shows off part of the Printed Anatomy Series kit

While we might not hear much about a "worldwide shortage of cadavers," the fact is that in developing nations and other places, they are in short supply. It costs money to properly embalm and otherwise prepare the bodies, plus they need to be kept refrigerated, and they can only be dissected under strictly-regulated conditions. A team from Australia's Monash University, however, has developed what could be the next-best thing – highly-realistic 3D-printed cadaver body parts.  Read More

Google's new Made With Code initiative hopes to encourage more women and girls to take up ...

According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), less than 1 percent of high school girls in the US see computer science as part of their future. Google is seeking to increase this figure with a scheme aimed at inspiring girls to code. Made With Code includes coding projects, resources and support.  Read More

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