We're just getting into the "awards season" with the Golden Globes, so it's a pity more isn't made of the BETT Awards for British education and technology training, which were announced at last week's BETT exhibition. Since this is a specialised field, of course, many awards go to companies and products that most people have never heard of. However, they often turn up products and services that are of interest to parents, and sometimes to a wide range of businesses. This year, for example, the awards surfaced the Voiceye portable text-to-speech reader, and the Lumens DC120 wireless document camera.
Voiceye codes are similar to QR codes but have a much bigger capacity: one speckly AD box can store 250,000 characters, which is roughly two pages of A4. This enables the Korean government to use the codes for official communications with blind citizens and ones with impaired sight, for utility bills and so on. The codes can be read using the Voiceye app on a mobile phone, a PC, a special Voiceye Mate text-to-speech reader, or a Voiceye Life handheld device. The Voiceye Life works as a text-to-speech reader, Voiceye code scanner, bar-code scanner, voice recorder and MP3 player.
The Lumens DC120, or Ladibug, looks like a small bendy table lamp but it works as a document camera and visual presenter. It includes an LED light and a microphone as well as a camera, so users can make recordings to a PC via its USB 2 port. The Wi-Fi connection is added by attaching a black pod to the Ladibug's base, as shown in the photo below. In a classroom, a typical use case will be displaying books and other documents on an interactive whiteboard, but it's not hard to imagine business applications.
The BETT Awards winners were:
ICT Tools for Learning and Teaching J2Webby - Just2easy
Digital Collections and Resource Banks Oxford Owl - Oxford University Press
ICT Leadership and Management Solutions ParentMail
ICT Special Educational Needs Solutions VOICEYE - Forcentenco
Digital Devices Lumens DC120 Wireless Visualiser - Lumens Digital Optics Inc
Early Years Digital Content ITV Baby Sign - ITV SignPost
Primary Digital Content Oddizzi - Oddizzi
Secondary Digital Content Twig Science - Twig World Ltd
ICT Service and Support Joskos Solutions
ICT Exporter of the Year EducationCity.com
ICT Company of the Year - Between £1m and £3m Turnover Groupcall
ICT Company of the Year - Less than £1m Turnover Radiowaves
ICT Company of the Year - Over £3m Turnover Northgate Managed Services
Innovation in ICT HapTEL Virtual Dental Chair - Kings College London, The Dental Institute
Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education Merlin John
The black base attached to the Ladibug provides a Wi-Fi connection