ByteDance's first hardware product is a $119 educational lamp

nanoguy

Posts: 619   +9
Staff member
In brief: TikTok owner ByteDance has a valuation of over $140 billion if you go by CB Insights, and for the past four years it's been creating education products. As the world shifts to e-learning, the Chinese company sees an opportunity for a smart lamp to complete its suite of education products.

ByteDance is known for making one of the fastest growing social media apps, TikTok. However, the company is now expanding into the consumer hardware market, with the announcement of a gadget aimed at facilitating online education.

The Chinese company's first hardware product comes in the form of Dali Smart Work -- a lamp equipped with a touchscreen and two cameras. It looks very much like a phone integrated into a lamp, and it's aimed at parents who would like to supervise their children from afar. This way, they can assist them in finishing their homework via an app, but the lamp also features digital assistant designed for that very purpose.

ByteDance says Dali emits a lot less blue light than a traditional lamp and has been certified for "national AA-level professional eye protection." Other than that, it doesn't appear to be a better solution than using a smartphone and a stand, but at $119, it's cheaper than other smart displays like Amazon's Echo Show, Facebook's Portal, or Google's Nest Hub.

Dali is currently only available in China, where ByteDance runs a number of education services including GoGoKid -- a website where native English speakers can tutor Chinese kids -- and Qingbei, which is a virtual classroom software used by thousands of schools. To get an idea how big this is, ByteDance just formed a dedicated arm called Dali Education that currently employs over 10,000 people.

It might seem strange, but ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming explained "we started to develop interests in the education industry very early on. It's an industry with great innovation potential and social value. The brand independence of Dali Education is just the beginning of a long journey." This signals the company's interest to expand well beyond the realm of video-sharing and music-sharing social networks.

In the meantime, ByteDance is still suck between a rock and a hard place as its TikTok app faces a set of US restrictions that will come into effect on November 12. In the coming months, it will have to spin it off into a new company called TikTok Global that will be almost entirely owned by American entities such as Oracle, Walmart, and several venture capital firms. This will supposedly create 25,000 US jobs and contribute more than $5 billion in tax dollars annually.

The last part is important, as TikTok Global plans to create an educational program to "develop and deliver an AI-driven online video curriculum," which sits perfectly in line with ByteDance's Dali Education efforts.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,597   +6,114
Anything that improves education is a welcome addition to the system but anytime one of these products is heavily associated with a specific country, theme, or political system it's going to face heavy scrutiny and it should. When you consider the political influence on youngsters, teaching needs to be as generic as possible and should only include politically theoretical ideals & concepts at the late high school and college level where the individual has learned a fair amount of skepticism and the demanded expectation to "show me" .
If you doubt that, just take a look at how authoritarian resheims indoctrinate their citizens Nazi Germany, North Korea, China, & Russia are all prime examples of mixing political doctrine with basic education and all suppress the very concept of freedom of thought as well as freedom of speech thus suppressing innovation and open creativity .....
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,079   +900
Teaching...should only include politically theoretical ideals & concepts at the late high school and college level where the individual has learned a fair amount of skepticism....Nazi Germany, North Korea, China, & Russia are all prime examples of mixing political doctrine with basic education...
A direction in which unfortunately the US education system is moving strongly. Skepticism and exposure to alternative ideas are anathema to colleges and high schools today, especially in the social sciences.
 
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Evernessince

Posts: 5,461   +6,134
A direction in which unfortunately the US education system is moving strongly. Skepticism and exposure to alternative ideas are anathema to colleges and high schools today, especially in the social sciences.
I really don't think you can group colleges in there. It varies pretty wildly depending on where you go. Of course, private institutions are free to teach whatever they want.

The movement you are describing is called "patriotic education" as Trump called it but it far precedes the man himself.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,079   +900
I really don't think you can group colleges in there.
"In academia...facts today are deemed controversial if they deviate from accepted narratives, and professors must self-censor out of fear of being condemned and losing their jobs...In the last several months alone, multiple controversies involving academic censorship have emerged." (...)

Or

" Just last year, faculty at schools including Drexel University, the University of Tampa, Essex County College, Montclair State University, California State University, Fresno, and Trinity College faced suspensions, investigations, and even firings in response to outrage campaigns. (over expression of controversial views)"

Or

"More than nine in 10 UK universities restrict free speech on campus, report claims... These included a ban on dressing up as Caitlyn Jenner, a restriction on “blasphemy” ... and enforcing the use of transgenic pronouns... "

Or

"American campuses are now home to a plethora of speech restrictions. From sidewalk-sized “free-speech zones” to the criminalization of microaggressions, college campuses look and feel a lot more like an authoritarian dictatorship than they do the academic hubs of the modern free world.... (...)"
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,325   +626
It's secret feature however is mining data from your phone and sending it to China number one China.