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Learning

Music

The Magnet holds your smartphone while it records your finger-pickin' prowess

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

Music

Scottish company invites Skoogists to get their grooves on

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

Children

DynePod taps into the Internet of Toys

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

Games

Headshot: Action video games found to improve brain's capacity to learn

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

Children Review

Review: Nabi DreamTab HD 8 kids' tablet

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

3D Printing

Maker Club is hoping to start a 3D-printed home robot revolution

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

Music

du-touch combines controller, synth, sequencer and music learning system

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

Good Thinking

Global Learning XPrize offers $15 million to tackle illiteracy in the developing world

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

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