Clova is an AI-powered lamp that reads books to children

The South Korean technology company Naver Corp. has developed a smart reading lamp called Clova that helps children develop good reading habits by telling their books aloud. Using artificial vision and artificial intelligence technology, the lamp is able to convert text and images from a book into speech, while an integrated virtual assistant can explain the meaning of words and answer children’s questions to help them learn. Children need to hear books frequently to develop their thinking skills, concentration, imagination and creativity, but not all parents can read books to their children as much as they would like,” said James Kim, head of the Clova design team at Dezeen, “the Clova lamp allows children to hear their favourite books for themselves whenever they want, to help them develop an interest in reading. The product takes the form of a classic desk lamp, made of matt white shock-resistant plastic, with a hemispherical head tilted towards the desk, supporting a ring-shaped LED light with a small camera in its centre, which uses image recognition technology to decode illustrations and identifies written words using optical character recognition (OCR).Pentagram and Yoto are designing a screen-less audio player for children. Clova reads the books that are placed underneath when you press the “play” button or a voice command is given,” said Kim, “He speaks in a natural (Korean) voice, developed using text-to-speech technology to create a more engaging experience for listeners. He can also read books in English and Japanese with a human-sounding mother tongue voice that can inspire children to learn these languages themselves”. Several book collections are stored on the device, rewarding children with badges for the different stages while giving parents an insight into their reading habits and helping them choose appropriate literature for their children. In its lamp function, Clova is able to detect environmental factors that can influence the reading experience and provide a reactive light that is pleasing to the eyes. “It automatically detects the brightness of the environment and selects one of five corresponding lighting levels,” said Mr. Kim, “Matthieu Muller’s SmartKit helps children to ‘use technology in a healthy way’. Like the South Korean equivalent of Google, Naver Corp. uses the country’s most widely used search engine, Naver. Since it was founded in 1999, the company has focused largely on online services, with its subsidiary also operating the popular instant messaging application Line, which has 200 million users, mainly in Japan, Taiwan and parts of Southeast Asia. Companies have invested heavily in research and development around AI, robotics and mobility. Naver made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show last year with 13 different innovations, including a robotic arm that can be remotely controlled using 5G technology.elsewhere, a number of designers have focused on creating toys that help children have a healthier relationship with technology. Matthieu Muller has developed a series of cardboard accessories that can be used in tandem with a smartphone to turn it into a toy car or a spaceship, while Pentagram has collaborated with technology start-up Yoto to create an interactive audio player that does not rely on a screen.

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