Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Learning

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

The du-touch from Dualo

A few years back, mathematician and musician Jules Hotrique combined two passions to develop a new arrangement of musical notes called the dualo principle. After creating a number of keyboard instrument prototypes based on this patented geometric model, he joined forces with his computer engineer and musician friend Bruno Verbrugghe to form the Dualo Company in 2011. Last year, the startup sold 40 pre-production twin keyboard prototypes, and now the first market-ready du-touch controller (for computer-based or MIDI instruments), synthesizer, multitrack looper/sequencer and follow me song learning devices have started shipping.  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

Jibo is claimed to be the world’s first 'family robot'

Looking like a cross between Pixar’s Luxo Jr lamp and Apple’s iMac G4, Jibo is an interactive electronic buddy that is touted as the "world’s first family robot." Designed to engage with people in a human-like way, Jibo takes on various roles around the house including mail deliverer, environment controller, storyteller, telepresence device, event reminder, and cameraman.  Read More

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