Featured in Parade! STEM and Science Toys for Girls (and Boys)

https://parade.com/627489/rachelweingarten/stem-and-science-toys-for-girls-and-boys/

Stem-toys

A few weeks back I was the keynote speaker at a gathering of cosmetic chemists; my topic was encouraging women not to be the hidden figures in the sciences. One of the things I learned while researching my speech was that to have women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics–or STEM–fields, you need to find new ways to reach girls, and teach them through action that science isn’t just for boys.

So, if you’re interested in nurturing your own budding Marie Curie or Ada Lovelace, these games are great for both girls and boys. Some are strictly STEM, while some also incorporate the arts.

  • Augie is both a coding robot and toy developed to introduce children to coding language. It also fuels their creativity by challenging their imagination. It’s hard to explain just how fascinating this toy/not a toy is and how it helps build and enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It’s also a way to introduce kids to artificial intelligence and takes digital nativism to a new level.
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5 Surprising Tech Trends That Are Shaping Children’s Toys in 2017

Read the original article here: http://www.chipchick.com/2017/03/toy-fair-tech-trends.html

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Pai Technology is betting its company strategy on AR. Their storybooks take traditional kids books and add AR features. Cube-tastic, another Pai product, uses AR to teach kids to solve Rubik’s cube, while their Ocean Pets game asks kids to use clay to shape fish that come alive using AR technology.

AR Presence Strong at Toy Fair, But VR Interest Seems to Be Declining

http://www.mesalliance.org/2018/02/20/ar-presence-strong-toy-fair-vr-interest-seems-declining/

NEW YORK — Augmented reality (AR) continues to be incorporated into a large number of toys and games targeted at kids, but interest in standard virtual reality (VR) requiring headsets seems to be on the decline among toy makers, according to interviews the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) conducted at the annual American International Toy Fair Feb. 17-20.

Interest in artificial intelligence (AI), however, seems to be on the rise among companies making toys.

The incorporation of AR, VR and other technologies into toys was included by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) in its list of the top toy trends for 2017 that were announced at last year’s show. And TIA announced Feb. 18 at Toy Fair that it “expects to see more affordable and user-friendly virtual and augmented reality toys, interactive and buildable robots with new features” this year.

While the AR part of that prediction was underscored by our conversations with several Toy Fair exhibitors, the VR portion of the forecast was cast into some doubt by what most of the exhibitors we interviewed said.

In addition, one of the companies fielding VR products at the show last year – Seedling – wasn’t among the exhibitors this time. Uncle Milton, meanwhile, didn’t announce any new VR products at the show this year after touting several such items there in 2017.

Pai Technology

The main story at Pai Technology’s Toy Fair booth this time was Augie, a $199.99 coding robot for kids, equipped with AR technology, that was developed to introduce kids to computer coding language, according to the company. The robot also was designed to engage kids’ imagination and creativity while helping them to improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, Pai said. Augie works in conjunction with an Android and iOS app.

Pai showed a prototype version of a coding robot at Toy Fair last year, but a finalized version of Augie was shown for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Sherry Wu, the company’s global business strategy director, told MESA Feb. 17.

It’s already being sold by Amazon and 32 Barnes & Noble stores, she told us. Augie is also being sold at Barnesandnoble.com.

Pai is in talks with additional U.S. retailers to widen its availability, Wu said.

Also touted by Pai at Toy Fair was Circuit Conductor, a $69.99 educational kit, also featuring AR, that teaches kids about electricity, currents and magnets.

The company, which opened a Santa Monica, California, office in 2016, has positioned itself as a provider of AR STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) experiences. STEAM (often STEM, minus the art) has been a dominant theme at Toy Fair in recent years and that trend continued for 2018.

STEM Gadgets for kids still big at tech show CES despite concerns

Read the full article here: https://ph.news.yahoo.com/gadgets-kids-still-big-tech-show-despite-concerns-093605307.html

The timing may have been unfortunate following revived concerns of the dangers of too much technology for young children.

But as the debate swirled, exhibitors at the Las Vegas extravaganza sought to showcase devices aimed at health, education and entertainment for youngsters, including educational robots.

Pai Technology introduced its interactive storybooks for children, which use virtual reality and according to its website “encourages a love of reading” and offers “thoughtful stories.”

Amy Braun, marketing director for the group, acknowledged concerns about kids and technology but said these devices still have value.

“Technology is here to stay, and it’s important to expose our children to technology but in beneficial ways,” she said.

“We really focus on making sure that the time that we put it in front of our children is all about learning and development. And it’s not either or.”

Braun said parents must decide on appropriate limits for screen exposure and other technology usage.

Chinese startup Dragon Touch unveiled its colorful tablet computer aimed at kids between three and six years old, with educational apps and parental controls.

Dragon Touch’s Lei Guo said the tablets may be valuable but also suggested parents supervise their use.​

“I really don’t want my kids to spend too much time on the internet,” he said.

“So that’s why we also have the parent control mode, so that the parents can set a time, for example maybe 30 minutes per day.”

– Augmented reality toothbrush –

An augmented reality toothbrush meanwhile introduced by French startup Kolibree allows children to look at a smartphone or tablet screen to motivate and educate them about oral hygiene.

“With image analysis, the application detects the brushing motion,” Kolibree’s Leonie Williamson.

The device makes brushing a game, enabling kids to earn points by holding and using the toothbrush correctly.

Williamson said the toothbrush would not be a big contributor to too much screen time for kids: “It’s just three brushings of two minutes each day.”

The electronics show has long featured devices for children, and exhibitors typically plan their displays and products many months in advance.

But the show opened just amid fresh fears that too much technology may be harmful for children.

In the United States, the nonprofit group Common Sense Media found 95 percent of US households have a mobile device in the home. Screen time has been shifting, the group said, from television to mobile devices.

Earlier this week, two large shareholders urged Apple to study whether iPhones are proving addictive for children and if intensive use of the smartphones may be bad for their mental health.

The investors cited a recent study suggesting children are negatively distracted by digital technologies in the classroom.

Apple, which is not present at CES but whose system is used by many app developers, said in a statement it “has always looked out for kids, and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online.”

At CES, Ahren Hoffmann of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, said determining how much technology to use for kids is “all about balance.”

“We want to make sure that our kids today are both getting outside and play, and that they are playing with traditional toys, that they’re playing board games, but they’re also using iPads and tech toys, and learning about coding and other things that are happening in the world around us today,” she told AFP at the show.

Pai Technology Featured in Reader’s Digest

Read the full article here: https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/gps-tracking/1/

“Times aren’t what they used to be, and parents are nervous just letting their kids walk to school, which is exactly why GPS-enabled smart watches and bands for children are increasing in popularity. Verizon’s GizmoGadget band allows 10 pre-selected contacts (like Mom, Dad, Grandma, and 911) for children to send and receive calls from, as well as offering real-time location monitoring for children wearing the watch-style bracelets. They’re popular among school-age children so parents can virtually follow their little ones with the synced smartphone app to school, play dates, and practices without hovering. (They’re also ideal for seniors with dementia who are prone to wandering.) For parents of younger children (or those you wouldn’t want to grant phone access to just yet), the PaiBand tracks children’s activities like running, jumping, and playing and has various built-in games while quietly tracking their location. Kids are excited to have what seems like a game-enhanced fitness band, while parents slyly enjoy knowing their every move. While you’re at it, keep your L.O.’s safe by never sharing these seven things about them on social media.”

Pai Technology on Huffington Post: Best of CES 2017

Read the full article here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58bafc8ee4b02eac8876cf3b. 

Pai Technology’s CubeTastic and Ocean PetsVideo games have taken over our kids’ lives so it’s nice to see some techie educational games on the market. Pai Technology’s CubeTastic is a puzzle cube that will remind parents of the Rubik’s Cube, but it uses 3D augmented reality to guide kids through the puzzle. Ocean Pets lets kids create their own fish, scan them with their mobile device and then see them come to life with 3D augmented reality. Both products are inexpensive and intended for kids ages 3-12. pai.technology

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