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Learning

Deep neural networks have studied millions of images and some can now recognize the object...

Computers aren't best suited to visual object recognition. Our brains are hardwired to quickly see and match patterns in everything, with great leaps of intuition, while the processing center of a computer is more akin to a very powerful calculator. But that hasn't stopped neuroscientists and computer scientists from trying over the past 40 years to design computer networks that mimic our visual skills. Recent advances in computing power and deep learning algorithms have accelerated that process to the point where a group of MIT neuroscientists has found a network design that compares favorably to the brain of our primate cousins.  Read More

Learn Immersive generates scene descriptions and text translations from scans of real-worl...

The trouble with learning a foreign language is that to become fluent – or even just to be passably coherent in a reasonable timeframe – you need to be immersed in it. You need to live in a country where that language predominates. But cost or opportunity often make that infeasible. San Francisco startup Learn Immersive wants to create the next best thing. Its two-man team has built a virtual reality platform that transports you to real-world environments and helps you understand them in their native language.  Read More

The Magnet allows a smartphone to record close up video footage of guitar playing

Playing back recorded video of energetic string picking or frantic fretboard gymnastics in super slow motion can be of great help when trying to nail minor technique problems, but mounting a weighty camcorder to a guitar is not really very practical. Even a minicam can be a somewhat awkward affair. Happily, advances in smartphone technology have come to the rescue of the study guitarist, but that still leaves the problem of mounting. This is a problem for which the Magnet was developed.  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

New research demonstrates that action video games can result in improved learning capabili...

You're moving ever so cautiously through the abandoned village, with one eye on the radar and the other trained on the vacant window ahead. Then in an instant the enemy appears, causing you to spray your weapon in the general vicinity, guided partly by your action hero instincts but mostly by pure hope. Thinking through these video game situations may take less than a second, but new research shows it can also enhance real-world learning capabilities, enabling the brain to better anticipate sequences of events.  Read More

Fuhu's Nabi DreamTab HD 8 is a fully featured, sophisticated Android tablet for kids with ...

Prying your iPad or Kindle Fire away from a child's fingers can get old really quickly. If they're clamoring for their very own device, it can be tricky to find them a kids tablet that delivers the kind of performance they've gotten used to. Enter Fuhu's Nabi Dreamtab HD8. Packing a Tegra quad core processor, this children's tablet is filled with themed kid-friendly content.  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

The robot features HD cameras to scan the surrounding area for people

With their ability to navigate through tight spaces and unstable environments without putting people at risk, disaster response is one of the most promising applications for robots. Researchers from Mexico's University of Guadalajara (UDG) have developed an algorithm that could come in handy in such situations by allowing robots to differentiate between people and debris.  Read More

Tiggly Counts uses physical toys and the iPad to teach basic math

Last year Tiggly Shapes introduced young iPad users to different shapes with its interactive tactile toys and accompanying apps. Now the firm behind it is hoping to teach three to six-year-olds basic math skills in the same way. Tiggly Counts combines a set of Cuisenaire rod-inspired math toys, with apps which respond when the toys are placed on the screen.  Read More

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