Children are a blessing and a significant adjustment. For parents who are juggling different jobs and house chores, finding time to read bedtime stories to their kids can be difficult. Many times the adults fall asleep while reading to their children after a long workday. So, Naver Corp., the company that owns Naver, South Korea’s most used search engine, came up with a very practical, multifunctional solution: an AI reading lamp.
Clova Lamp is decidedly minimalistic, as far as looks go. It actually looks like your run-of-the-mill desk lamp, in a classy matte white. But if you look under the head you will see a camera that’s meant to capture the words and illustrations of a book and identify them using OCR (optical character recognition).
The translation itself is done through a cloud-based AI which is then narrated to kids in Korean, Japanese, and English. The voice is as human-like as possible, especially since it’s used as a smart assistant too, to explain words to the little ones or answer their questions.
The readings begin when the “read” button is pressed or a vocal command is given to Clova. Once a book is finished, the title remains stored in the cloud. This serves two purposes: on one hand, it gives the parents the chance to see how their offsprings are progressing and it’s also used as a way to track the children’s usage of the lamp, rewarding each and every one of them with different badges as they hit set milestones.
And, that’s not all. While the lamp was conceived as a smartphone replacement, an intelligent toy that parents could give their children to entertain themselves in their absence, it does serve its primary purpose: lighting up the room.
The ring-shaped LED light keeps kids company at night and is adaptable to the environment.
“It automatically senses the brightness of the surroundings and picks one of five lighting levels to match. The color temperature has four modes – reading, creativity, repair, and sleep – which were designed based on a pool of data around different learning environments” said James Kim, the head of the design team, to Dezeen.
It’s one of the most discrete children gadgets and smart parenting tools I’ve personally seen and shows how AI can help future generations rediscover basic pleasures like reading, instead of encouraging them to discard them in the face of interactive, exclusively-visual content.