By Anand Parthasarathy
July 1, 2023: Earlier this week, the Bangalore--based Artificial Intelligence-powered learning platform, Embibe, announced the free availability of an innovative app for phones, which enhances the text of school subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics with vivid 3-D images and videos.
Called Embibe Lens, it can be downloaded from Google Play Store and App Store. Using a smartphone, a student can scan any page or paragraph, or select a concept – and see relevant high-definition 3-dimensional images come alive. The company’s website lists NCERT textbooks and CBSE subjects for class 6 to 12, a few state board examinations, as well as a long list of competitive examinations, from which students can select their specific interest.
The app enables students to access a vast array of educational resources anytime, anywhere, at no cost. It is presently available in English and Hindi.
It is not just for students: Says Founder-CEO Adithi Avasthi: “Embibe Lens also empowers teachers by significantly reducing their effort and time. Creating diagrams from scratch is a daunting as well as time-consuming task. With our Lens, teachers can explain concepts more vividly to students, enabling them to focus on their core strength – delivering quality education."
Embibe’s offering is the latest example of the fruits of India’s lively AI innovators, reaching teachers, parents and students at little or no cost.
AI School of India: K-12 content
Chennai is home to the AI School of India (AISI) an Online self directed and tutor-led learning platform providing AI & Coding technology to students, schools and women at home.
The content for Kindergarten to class 12 (K-12) is created by educators and engineers trained at IT majors like Intel and IBM, Oxford University and Graz University of Technology in Austria. The School is supported by a leading global player, Robotix.
Says an AISI blog which explains the rationale driving its efforts: “We are moving into the world of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Autonomous Vehicles. Keeping in mind these technological advancements, we need to think about various class technologies for learning and teaching…. Educational institutions in India need to work on digital transformation in education. Schools should provide a space for students to learn about advanced technologies and adapt themselves to the new world.”
Virtual Reality labs for Chennai government schools
Some AI startups, invest in educational outreaches as part of their corporate social responsibility: A year ago, Meynikara, a Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) player , based in Chennai, launched ‘Meta Kalvi’, Tamil Nadu’s first VR Lab for excellence in education, at three Government Schools and 2 Corporation schools in the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni area of the city. It harnesses VR for maths and science subjects for class 6-8 in English and Tamil. The initiative is being spread to other schools in the state.
Skilling with Extended Reality
Earlier this month, AjnaLens, a leading Mumbai-based Extended Reality (XR) Hardware manufacturing company joined hands with MetaStudios, a Metaverse and Gaming -focused studio to build immersive experiences and training programme to upskill both the young and adults.
Their flagship product is AjnaXR Glasses, while their learning platform, AjnaVidya, allows users to interact seamlessly with each other and learn new skills inside the virtual space.
Robotics expo during Thrissur Pooram
On the sidelines of the Thrissur Pooram in Kerala during May this year, local robotics company INKER Robotics, decided to hold an expo, ‘HelloBotz ‘23’ to introduce lay people, especially children, to robots.
The exhibits proved such a huge family attraction that the show had to be extended well beyond the Pooram. In the process young and old, totaling over a lakh, got a rare chance to say hello to a full slate of humanoid robots produced by the company. It was a rare coming together of tradition and technology, of caparisoned elephants and AI-fueled robotics.
In step with UNESCO recommendations
These efforts of Indian companies to evangelize and harness AI for basic school education, seem to be in harmony with the UNESCO report, “2022 State of the Education Report (SOER) for India: Artificial Intelligence in Education – Here, There and Everywhere” , which suggests that implementation of AI in education systems can revolutionize the teaching-learning process.
As AjnaLens explains in an instructive blog published on June 9, Extended Reality, or XR, is an umbrella of all existing and upcoming immersive technologies. It is a superset of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies. All these extend the reality we experience today by blending the virtual and "real" worlds or creating a fully immersive experience. Beyond marketing and entertainment, XR finds its most meaningful applications in education.|
In India the XR industry is said by the blog to be growing phenomenally at over 38% and is expected to reach a market size US $ 14.07 billion by 2027. Within this, the education and training sector is seeing the fastest growth, a trend seen to persist till 2030
India’s AI-driven innovators and corporations with their educational outreaches are helping to enlighten a new generation of young Indians with the very same cutting-edge tools that they will inevitably harness and exploit in later life. It’s never too early to start!
More illustrations can be found here
This article has appeared in Swarajya online