This AR helmet for kids hones creativity by scribbling and drawing in 3D space without any limitations

Honing the creative bend of kids in their early life is important, and their best tool is drawing. That, however, comes with a menacing aftermath for the parents who have to ensure the kids don’t etch the walls of the living room or bedroom with a permanent marker or a hard-to-wipe-off crayon.

To create a good balance between the incremental increase in kids’ creative levels over time without having a messy home, virtual and augmented reality are the best solution. That’s what this AR Helmet concept is all about.

Designer: Designer Dot

With Metaverse applications gaining traction all this while, a product like this one is imminent. It lets children go wild with their scribbling skills without parents having to worry about messed-up walls, tables, or anything else the little ones perceive as the perfect canvas. The combination of the AR helmet having a smart wiser screen to display the augmented interface and the pen controller to let the imagination loose makes this concept highly feasible. Moreover, the unique element of the gadget will appeal to children as well who are becoming tech-savvy by the day.

Both the helmet and the pen controller are lightweight for obvious reasons. The AR elements on the helmet wiser screen guide the kids to draw meaningful shapes by inducing learning. The easy-to-use UI comes with interesting tools to increase productive engagement. Things such as in-built example drawings and the ability to sketch with friends or play educational AR games. The pen controller with one button control is equally easy to use.

The ergonomic comfort of the helmet is paramount so it comes with vents on the front and back to keep active airflow while used for long hours. The chin strap is magnetic for easy clasp action and easily adjustable depending on the head size. AR helmet is charged via a USB cable, and the pen controller attaches to the right side of the helmet for recharging.

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Learning science and engineering gets more effective, accessible, and fun with this portable teaching box!

STEM subjects have evolved since I was a student. With assistance from projectors and computers, the teaching methods have changed in the process to provide interactive ways to impart learning. In most educational systems, old-school methods are still prevalent, and the first-hand experience in the classroom suggests that students often find it difficult to grasp scientific concepts. This means that there is scope for a method of teaching science and engineering, and this is where the ‘grasp it’ comes into the scene.

Designed by Augmented Haptics, and brainchild of Greg and Fabian, the rig is a demonstrative method of scientific teaching that classrooms will adopt instantly. The website of the product notes that – Dr Gregory Quinn (Gerg) and Fabian Schneider, design engineer and computer scientist respectively, came up with the idea of grasp it with the intention to make learning in engineering and science more effective, accessible and fun.

From how it appears, it’s a very portable and convenient box of possibilities. The suitcase-style teaching equipment made from wood can be easily carried by teachers into the classroom and opened up to reveal endless possibilities of interactive, haptic and demonstrative learning. Using the grasp it, comprising a set of LEGO-like plastic pegs that can be attached together to form various tangible structures that can be tweaked, twisted and rebuilt depending on usage. These modules can be fastened to the board (attached to the equipment) through the holes built into it.

Interestingly, the grasp it presents a teaching method that keeps both teachers and students active. It is convenient to use and setup and inculcates the power of observation, thinking and reasoning in students. To this end, grasp it creates unlimited pedagogy possibilities using the power of touch and digital augmentation. The product comes with a small drawer that houses a tactile stick and a projector. When the interactive class of engineering demands, the projection can be turned on and the structures created using the plastic pegs can be applied with pressure at various points (using a tool). This can demonstrate the class with torque and force being applied on the creation to help them understand the reliability of a structure per se.

Grasp it is still a work in progress and limited to learning of science and engineering. It is expected to expand into many more STEM subjects including electronics, thermodynamics, computing and more.

Designer: Augmented Haptics

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This watch’s infographic face helps children understand time and build their daily schedules

The easiest way to break down the concept of time to a young-one is by explaining the activities associated with it. Morning is when you brush your teeth and get to school, afternoon is when you eat lunch and take a nap, evenings are for recreation and dinner, and the night is to sleep without creating too much of a fuss.

Rather than teaching kids the concept of time by straight-away throwing them into numbers, hours, minutes, and seconds, the Daycare-At-Home watch gives kids a primer by taking the traditional 12-hour clock and using it as a clever infographic to guide the child through the day. The watch’s face comes in a 12-hour format, breaking the day into two parts, 12 hours of wakefulness and activities, and 12-hours of rest and relaxation. The watch sports an hour, minute, and second hand, but in the preliminary stages, the red hour-hand is all that matters. It points to zones of the watch’s face, which instead of being broken up into numbers, are split into zones and color-coded with simple pictographs. These simple icons allow kids to differentiate between study-time, play-time, nap-time, etc, while the size of the zone helps them understand the duration of the activity. The pictographs even cleverly help differentiate between breakfast, lunch, and dinner by creating plates of different sizes, emphasizing the value of the meal! The icons stop around the 7PM mark, indicating bed-time to kids, and resume after a full 12-hours at 7AM to begin another day!

With its unique approach to time-telling, the Daycare-At-Home watch doesn’t just teach children the concept of time, it teaches them the value of time too!

Designer: Studio PAULBAUT (Paul Kweton)

This $65 DIY furniture kit is designed to creatively balance at-home learning and play!

Kids have been home since March and although it has just been a couple of months, it feels like years for parents as they juggle work from home with school from home! As we all adjust to the new normal, we are also swallowing the hard pill that schools may not reopen for the rest of the year. Even if they do, it will only be part-time so children will still be home for the majority of the time. To make adjusting easier for both parents and the kids, Rosan Bosch, a Danish designer has collaborated with the innovative furniture maker Stykka to give us Wonder DIY –  a set of simple cardboard kits that encourage learning as well as provide functional usage.

Wonder DIY has four different kits that come with cardboard elements that allow your child to create their own learning landscape. As they make their own ‘desks’, it gives them a sense of owning their space and creating a physical learning environment outside of school. Children can learn and be entertained as they build, re-build, and re-invent their learning space – playfulness and purpose make the core of these kits! “Adults are not the only ones who feel like their lives are out of control because of the coronavirus,” says Bosch. “Children are feeling it as well. These kits are designed to empower them and make them feel in control of their environment on some level.”

The design equips the child to continue active learning through curiosity and creativity – the modular nature of the boards let them build their own study-play area and the blank cardboard also serves as a canvas for art projects. The four models are SUN, CAVE, ISLAND, and TREE. The SUN is a theatre setup for kids to practice their presentation skills and the CAVE lets them concentrate and reflect in an ‘open cave’ that transforms into a hiding place when a blanket is draped on top (I can imagine some adults really liking this one too!). ISLAND has one of the most practical functions as it offers a table and exhibition wall that provides a surface to study and be creative while TREE lets them showcase ideas and sit under a ‘tree’ – alone in concentration, or together in collaboration.

Recycled cardboard was chosen as it is affordable, easy to assemble/disassemble, lightweight, and durable for children to work with. All sets are made to be modular and flexible to maximize creativity. “We have developed a practice with six principles to guide the design of learning environments for the 21st century. Wonder DIY is based on these design principles that empower children to reflect on and plan their own learning journey,” says the team. Everyone is a natural born creative thinker, all they need are the right tools to make wonderful things happen!

Designers: Rosan Bosch Studio and Stykka

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wonder diy

Coursera makes courses available for free to the unemployed

Coursera is opening access to its online education in a bid to help those newly unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gizmodo notes the service has made 3,800 courses and 400 specializations available for free through government agencies hoping to...