A touch screen, interactive learning tool was demonstrated in the Rullingnet booth at CES. It’s called Vinci and was designed to foster the natural curiosity of toddlers and preschoolers. It is built to withstand their need to touch and feel, and even throw, everything.
Caption: Bumper handle is easy for little hands to hold. It also protects the device which complies with FDA standards for child safety Vinci
comes with 3D animated games, interactive storybooks, and music videos specifically designed for children up to four years old. Plus, they are looking for developers to add to the mix. The content is intended to be a progressive learning vehicle. However, if the child uses it as a bouncing toy, the 'bumper' rim keeps the device safe and unbroken. It has passed a four foot drop test.
The Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread tablet fits small young hands with a seven inch tempered glass screen. In case it should ever shatter, no sharp glass shards will get into those little fingers. Harmful substances have also been avoided. The patented handle surrounding the tablet is latex and BPA free. No WiFi means that not only are potentially dangerous emissions minimal, there is no access to unapproved content. Parents can add additional content to the 8GB internal storage and expandable memory MicroSD. Of course, Rullingnet doesn’t have control over what parents themselves choose to load. $479 retail and $99/year for platinum membership - augmenting your child’s brain functions... priceless
Content the company provides is overseen by George E. Forman, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
. In his many childhood development books, he covers the educational value of digital media. Peter Moran, a consultant working the Vinci booth said: "Currently Rullingnet reviews and screens 3rd party content before it is accepted. In the second quarter, Vinci will build a kids’ library of their own."
Third-party developers are being sought to become content partners
. Technical support and revenue sharing will be offered to interested parties. Apps must have educational value, show child engagement potential, and demonstrate the joy of working with the app.
Applications are the foundation of Vinci’s educational model, but Vinci encourages physical play as well as electronic learning. Rullingnet recommends limiting play time to 15 minutes a day for Level 1 and only 45 minutes a day for Level 3. Levels correspond to cognitive development. Beyond learning numbers and letters, Vinci focuses on enhancing a child’s thinking capability during their formative years. Those first five years are the best, and possibly the only, time to lay the foundation for a positive attitude towards learning.
By the age of 3, 65 to 75 per cent of the brain’s neural connections have been strengthened
or lost depending on the stimulation the child has received. By age 5, 90 per cent of a child’s brain development is finalized. These statistics should motivate a parent to action. Appealing and interactive activities can exercise and expand a child’s mind.
Vinci programs are built on a Constructive Play concept, to have fun, be happy, and play with structure and objectives. Vinci attempts to exercise several cognitive areas using current scientific research results regarding the evolution of a child’s thinking skills. Moran told us: "The content levels range from 'Curious' to 'Confidant' to 'Capable'."
In the "Thinking" category, these levels relate to "Remember," "Understand," and finally "Apply." Kids in Level 2 will be exposed to a second language - Spanish at first with Chinese becoming available in 2012. Bilingual nursery songs will encourage your child to sing along. The more languages a child is exposed to, the more brain neurons are connected according to scientific studies. At the Capable level, content progresses to include other parts of the world including Europe and China, to further their understanding of culture and diversity. The demonstration we saw at CES was of American Indian sign language.
Vinci’s screen is a multi-touch, 800x480 resolution display with a back facing 3 mega pixel camera so your child can explore and record the world around them. The built-in 6400 mAH, rechargeable 6 hour lithium-polymer battery won’t run down before your child does.
Oh - yes, the inspiration behind the Vinci tablet with its content intended to teach thinking and exploration is, of course Leonardo Da Vinci
, the Renaissance Man who delved into so many aspects of art, life, and the universe in the 15th century.
The originator of Vinci, Dr. Dan Yang, is herself a woman of achievement. Her bachelor’s degree in physics came from Nanjing University, followed by postgraduate work in France at Paris-Sud 11 University. She holds a PhD in optics and photonics and five patents in optical networking products. Dr. Yang resides in Canada now.
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