Four New Educational Technologies at the CES 2020
COVID-19 and China
Exhibitors present latest 3D printing technology at CES 2020. Image credit: CES official website.

Talking about China only, the amount of venture capital pumped into EdTech last year reached up to USD 5.2 billion, with global education market size is expected to reach USD 8 trillion by 2025. 

As far as the latest technologies are concerned, the projected market size of AR/VR software in education is estimated to reach USD 0.7 billion by 2025. 

Leading up to it EqualOcean has selected four major education technology trends revealed at CES 2020:

The integration of 3D printing and children’s education

3D printing technology refers to the use of a 3D printer to connect the computer, the image formed in the computer, the use of powdery metal or plastic and other adhesive materials, by layer printing. The principle of 3D printers is similar to that of ordinary printers, except that the raw materials have changed from paper and graphite to metals and ceramics.

Several advantages of using 3D printing technology for educational product production and classroom learning were demonstrated at CES 2020.

Reduction of difficulty and waste in creation of resources - Traditionally, when manufacturing complex items, not only is the production troublesome but  if it goes wrong, a lot of material will be wasted. 3D printing technology uses a layer-by-layer bonding manufacturing method and the data for a flawless production is all on the computer. The output is convenient, fast and needs little to no manpower.  

A variety of tangible shapes – The three-dimensional shapes allow students to experience and understand in a clearer way than 2D images or other traditional materials.

Realizing ideas – Students can use 3D printing to turn the ideas in their heads into something they can feel, improving their hands-on ability through practice, and increasing their interest in learning.

After considering all the above points we need to add that 3D printing technology is expensive, and it remains difficult for education companies to integrate the technology into their classrooms.

Two of the latest such technologies showcased were the MoonLite DLP 3D printer and the FDM Desktop 3D printer.

STEAM-related products are in demand

From toys, games, apps to websites, the STEAM education sector is developing at a very fast pace.

For the first time ever, Ubisoft demonstrated the newly developed JIMU PRO series, which is a STEAM education product using artificial intelligence technology. It provides PBL (Project Based Learning), with up-to-date scenarios that draw the learner in and develop skills and contextual knowledge.  Children aged five and above can use it to understand the working principles of robots and also acquire relevant knowledge about human exploration of Mars. 

Beijing based Bell.Ai exhibited BeBO, a smart classroom solution provider. It is being developed using block-type innovation and interactive teaching to perfectly integrate the curriculum system and the teaching system; it employs advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and biometrics, integrating various intelligent hardware and software. 

The instructional language system used in BeBO teaching is based on cognitive developmental theories related to young children – by imitating the conversational thinking of children of the same age it engages them with the rhythms they follow as they become social actors. They can also bond and grow up along with unique virtual characters.

The winner of last year’s CES Innovation award, Mabot was displayed again this year. Mabot is a spherical educational robot also developed by Bell.Ai.  Different from traditional teaching aids, Mabot adopts a modular design and is composed of different balls with different functions. Children can quickly build various interesting configurations and use graphical programming software. They may then follow programming instructions and engage with building block puzzles etc. 

AI-powered home assistant robot to have intelligent interactive scenarios

Following last year's touchscreen projector Puppy Cube, Puppy Robotics has once again attracted attention with their new product, the AI touchscreen projector ‘Hachi Infinite M1.’ It turns any table into a touchscreen – a surprisingly responsive one.  It has Android 9 so that you can run apps and basically use it as a big tablet. It also adds AI functions for fitness education and cooking.

Hachi InfiniteM1 uses Google's TensorFlow learning framework, combining intelligent vision and family scenarios to make children's education more immersive and interesting. In its desktop projection mode, the machine recognizes the alphabet blocks through the front-end camera and aids children with learning.

AR and VR

Samsung-backed company Star Labs demonstrated a virtual human being called NEON. Digital Trends reported that the product is described as an “artificial intelligence” designed to be the best partner for its users. The company claims that it has the ability to "show emotions and intelligence." It can "connect and learn more about us, gain new skills, and evolve."

Last but not least, Japan's ASATEC, which is also committed to the field of virtual reality content, is developing an educational toy called ‘Keard’ that uses AR and cards to help children learn English words very effectively.

EqualOcean recently published an article in which you can find the key insights from the historic show – and how it differed from 2019.

Editor: Luke Sheehan
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