08/02/2014 Click


Click tries out the latest in hi-tech toys at the UK's biggest toy fair. Plus composing music using your mind and fixing your car with artificial reality.

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Somerset Levels. The chief of the Environment Agency has denied claims


he has let people down. Time for Clicks. -- Click. Your puny steam


train won't stop me, human! World domination is mine! EVIL LAUGHTER.


This week on Click - toys, toys, toys! We'll try out the games that


combine play with learning. And if you thought school was monstrous,


wait until you see what's going on in this classroom. We are in Munich


to see how the cars of tomorrow will be built and how the same tech could


help you fix yours if you break down. The car, that is, not you. And


we'll find out if it's possible to play music with your mind. All that,


plus the latest Tech News and the hottest picks of the week - all in


one place. As it says on the helicopter,


welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly. This week, it's playtime. We've


swooped in on London's biggest toy box. This is the toy fair at


Kensington Olympia. It's a 22,000 square metre playground, where the


big kids Hawk their latest top-secret creations, and the new


intake pitch their newest game-changing ideas. Some will


conquer the world, some will fail to bite. A growing trend with many of


the innovations here is the focus on education. Toys are supposed to be


fun, of course, but slipping in a bit of learning here and there is no


bad thing. Whether it's building your own telescope, microscope and


binoculars by combininheee!g different lenses, a solar powered


boat, or a self-balancing robot, we all learn better through play. --


combining different lenses. This is designed to get kids interested in


electronics and building electrical circuits. We're going to do exercise


number 67, which is building a Frankenstein-style police siren.


Here we go. Ready? It's alive! How do you make


old classics like chess and puzzle games appealing to kids of the


tablet generation? With lasers, of course. This single-player laser


maze game challenges kids to solve a variety of logic puzzles by bouncing


a laser off a series of mirrors. Although, I'm pretty sure I already


have an app that does the same thing. It's all well and good having


these educational toys at home, but the worry is that when your child


goes to school, learning is going to be a lot more boring. That's the


problem that Richard Taylor has been looking into. He visited a project


that aims to gamify an entire classroom. These nine-year-olds are


used to unconventional classroom management. For San Jose school


teacher Ari Weiss, it's essential to get it right.


Classroom management is a huge time-suck. As a teacher, I spent the


first six months of learning how to be a teacher dealing with my


classroom, and I'm still learning how to do that.


But now she has another tool in her arsenal. Class Dojo is software


which replaces the carrot and stick with points and monsters. When


teachers sign up for Class Dojo, it's free. They then pick the kinds


of behaviours they'd like to award or build. When the teacher sees


something positive happening, they can then say, Johnny, that's a great


example of teamwork! The two Brits who released the


software here in San Francisco last year are now seeing the fruits of


their labour. Today, Class Dojo is in 120 countries, influencing 17


million students, including those of Miss Weiss. All the points generate


lots and lots of data, which experts say can be extremely valuable in


tracking pupils' progress over time. Bo Thompson finds the points system


useful for managing his class of 12-year-olds with special


educational needs. He'll encourage good behaviour but where necessary,


he'll mete out punishment too. With these students, there are lots


of different problems with focus. They like to move around a lot,


there is a lot of hyperactivity. Just redirections don't always work


and the fact that I can now start implementing points - I've warned


you two times to stay in your seat, if you continue I'm going to have to


take a point away - that means a lot more to them.


I think of it as a competition. I really like it because we get to


have competition with other kids. It's fun and at the end we win


prizes. Everyone is kind of competitive. We get the picture -


it's competitive. But is it healthy? We've chosen not to focus on making


it a competition. There is no ranking, no leaderboard, no swapping


points for toys. We don't do those things because they're not helpful.


But, clearly, teachers are using the software as they see fit and in many


classrooms, points do make prizes. At the end of the day, if the class


is good I will say I'm opening up the store. Students can exchange


their points like money. Five points is equal to one fruit snack. At 20


points, and I thought this wouldn't be bought into but has been popular,


is a positive phone call home with a fruit snack. Students have been


saving points just for that. It's like with anything - if you put the


power into the hands of the user, that power comes with the


responsibility and the knowledge base that needs to go with it. Back


at the toy fair, a fairy that hovers above your hand - or anything else


that its infrared sensor detects directly below it. I have still yet


to take my fairy driving test! Miniature flying devices have been a


trend at the toy fair this year. Take a look at this - this is the


Ravel nanoquad. It's the smallest quadcopter on sale in the world. It


weighs just over 11 grams and fits in the palm of your hand. Tiny toys


like this owe their Lilliputian dimensions to advances in smartphone


technology. The miniature motors powering it from four blades started


out as smartphone vibration motors. The lightweight digital gyroscope


that keeps it stable in the air is also used to stabilise your photos.


One tech that hasn't caught up is the battery. Half an hour of


charging gets you a measly five minutes of fly time.


Next up: This week's Tech News. Google has promised to make


significant changes to the way its competitors appear in European


search results, following a three-year investigation by the


European Commission. Google had been accused of giving favourable


treatment to its own products. They have promised to now give prominent


placement to other companies in some searches in order to avoid a


multibillion-euro fine. Microsoft has announced that company


veteran Satya Nadella is its next chief executive. The outgoing exec


Steve Balmer had seen Microsoft's fortune decline during his 14-year


tenure, with the company losing out to rivals like Apple.


Video footage of Britain's top-secret drone project has been


revealed. Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, is said to be


the most advanced aircraft ever built in Britain. This video shows a


test flight of the drone in a secret location. Taranis uses the latest


stealth technology and is capable of launching precision airstrikes in


hostile territory. It can be operated via satellite link from


anywhere in the world. North Korea 's homegrown operating system seems


to have had a makeover. The latest version of the software has


abandoned the old Microsoft Windows style, opting instead for a design


that looks suspiciously similar to Apple 's operating system. Hopefully


Microsoft will not be too upset by the apparent snub. We have been


looking at educational toys at the London Toy Fair. The next thing I


found is taking a bit of getting used to. While I get my head around


the controls, LJ Rich has been using nothing but her head to produce


something that sounds very sweet indeed.


When you think about it, all compositions start in someone's


brain, but as any composer knows, there are quite a few steps between


your mental musical musings and the finished performance. What better


way to short-circuit the creative process than to stick a brain cap on


your head and use technology to help extract the magic? We have some


electrodes that will be placed on your scalp. They are bit spiky. They


will measure the electrical activity in your brain. Lovely. The main


electrode is at the back of my head. It's going to pick out the


electrical activity in my visual cortex. The brain cap is on quite


tightly to make sure that the contact is constant. To start


performing, I have to compose my thoughts before composing my


thoughts. The idea is to choose one of four chequered patterns to


concentrate on. They all flicker at different rates. When I concentrate


on a particular pattern, my visual cortex should create a sympathetic


electrical signal which will be picked up by the brain cap and sent


the computer. My chosen pattern corresponds to a musical phrase and


this is sent to a screen in front of Jane, our professional cellist. She


will then play it. It sounds difficult because it is. OK, I'm not


composing individual notes - I'm choosing from ready-made phrases.


But it still feels fantastic, like I'm using the Force to make music.


Professor Eduardo Miranda has been working on what he called music


neurotechnology for over a decade. He plans to mash up a string quartet


with four extra brains to perform a piece called Activating Memory at


this year's Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival. He


enjoys composing consciously too much to let the brain take over


completely. Humans like to manipulate things, to


craft, and I think there is something very special in that. I do


not wish to eliminate that. I want to enhance, to create tools that


will help composers to achieve that in different ways.


It normally takes a few days practice to crack the mystery of how


to play the phrases, but once I calmed down, I was able to control


the system with just a couple of hours under my belt. Right at the


end, I finally got the hang of what I was expected to do. It's a really


odd feeling because if you get too excited you lose the signal that you


are trying to convey. Musical performances aside, there's obvious


potential here - not least for people with mobility problems. The


system actually works better the less you move. My lifelong wish for


a precision, direct, high-speed composing device still looks to be a


long way off. For a start, this rig costs around $14,000. Not to mention


the difficulty in mapping the composition process. But even a


taste of elementary brain control is a truly mind-bending experience. LJ


Rich there with quite possibly a prelude to a brain symphony. Back


here at the London toy fair, this is the Thames and Cosmos Concept Car.


It's a game in three stages. First, you build one of eight vehicles with


the same parts. Next, you learn to control your ride via the


accompanying app. That's when things get really cool. Viewed through your


mobile device, the app recognises each of these augmented reality


markers as a different 3-D model of a building, creating a virtual


cityscape for you to navigate. Using the programming feature of the app,


you can design a route for your vehicle around the city, and sit


back and watch it navigate on its own. Of course it might require a


few tweaks. Augmented reality isn't just been used by the creators of


toy cars. It is also being employed by the actual car industry, to


create the next breed of actual cars. Dan Simmons was given rare


access to Audi's prototype garage in Germany. Although, I'm not actually


sure he made it there. Even new cars need a bit of tender


loving care now and again, and the oil indicator has just come up that


tells me that I need to do something. That wouldn't ordinarily


be a problem, it's just that I don't really know how to do that. Yeah,


yeah, I think it's the oil. Yet, it could be the carburettor. Short of a


car manual in a glovebox, I'm now left with two options. To call


breakdown services and talk them through the problem. Or I could use


a pair of these. Munich-based Metaio is developing this app for the


forthcoming Google Glass eyewear. It identifies what's under the hood,


and explains what needs doing. We're using a phone screen to show you


what I can see. In this case, it's a straightforward or oil top up that's


needed. The app positions the relevant graphics in the eyewear,


leaving my hands free to complete the job. This tech could be useful


for changing the wheel, diagnosing more serious problems, or training


mechanics to more accurately timing their tutting and sharp intakes of


breath before quoting a three figure sum - without the VAT! But augmented


reality isn't just handy for drivers - I'm back on my way to visit the


company who is leading the way in using AR. Welcome to Ingolstadt,


known as Audi City. 35,000 people work here, and it is Audi's research


HQ. It's so secret that our mobile phones have been confiscated. We are


not even allowed to show you what's inside. OK - we can show you a bit!


Inside, building T32, engineers are using their new toy. They need to


know this demonstration model is going to work. Not just when they


fire it up, but in five or ten years time. They're checking that the


design plans match exactly what they can see. That's where augmented


reality comes into play. Overlaid on top of the car parts is where things


ought to be. The system relies on 18 cameras to calibrate the position of


the whole car, in virtual space, to within a few millimetres. A special


camera then identifies what it's pointing at, and the computer


overlays precisely where things should be. Green shows all is well,


but the red cable isn't following its designated route. It could be


faulty, or be touching another engine part, leading to excessive


wear and tear. That could result in failure, or even cause an accident.


The system is also useful for previewing design updates, like a


new front bumper. Very vorsprung durch! It's really great. Another


department of Audi was jealous - they want to have a system like this


as well. Envy isn't a bad thing. When this RH racer was first built,


it would have been checked by eye. Now, for the price of five of these,


Audi says the new system halves the time it takes to get the prototype


on the road. Before I return the rental car, I want to show you a new


app for drivers that also uses AR. Really handy if you're hiring a car


and you're unfamiliar with the buttons inside. Ooh, horn selection!


SOUND OF VARIOUS HORNS Dan Simmons isn't the only one who finds driving


a challenge. Hello there! This is the scarab bee - it's a car that is


remotely controlled using your tablet. It talks to the tablet


directly through Wi- Fi. It can get up to speeds of 15 kilometres per


hour. More interestingly, it can stream the footage from the video


camera on its nose to the tablet, so you can see where you're driving.


You can even take photos as you explore. You might want to upload


some of those photos to the web using this first website this week.


Here comes Webscape. That would make a pretty good


animated .gif, Spencer! You could even become an Internet meme! Surely


every tech presenter's dream! If you want to have even more fun browsing


the latest viral images, head over to Imgur - a fund social community


of commenting, posting and voting on all the hot pics of the week.


Keeping tabs on all of the must see memes of the week is an


impossibility without the help of a database like this. From crazy dog


photos to an animated .gif teaching the correct way to moonwalk! The


only theme on this site is popularity, which often means


complete hilarity, but might not always be to everyone's taste. The


comments are unmoderated so expect bad language and trolling in


buckets. Getting around on public transport


is hard enough on home turf. In a strange city, it can be a nightmare.


Hopstop is a fantastic solution, with a browser-based tool, and apps


for iPhone, i-Pad and on most other handsets through the mobile web


application. It has the public transport information for over 300


of the world's busiest cities. With an attractive, simple interface to


plan your journey. The stop by stop itinerary can be texted, e-mailed or


even Tweeted to you. You can plan your journey while you're on a Wi-Fi


connection, and not eat up expensive roaming data allowances abroad. I


was in New York and I used it to find my way around the subway, it


gave me confidence to go out and explore the city without relying on


expensive taxis. Last week, Google announced a cunning ploy to sap your


productivity, by partnering with Lego to create a completely


addictive virtual playground, in the form of Build with Chrome. You will


need to log on with a Google account, and then you can take a


plot of land anywhere in on the planet, and start constructing your


Lego masterpiece. Whether that's a tower, a castle, or just a herd of


plastic cows - the world is literally your toy box! Head over to


the Build Academy if you want to sharpen your engineering skills with


a set of tutorials. You can also check out what others have made, in


order to get a little inspiration. Apparently there are 915 million


different ways to combine six Lego bricks. I wonder how long it would


take me to try them all? A different type of games - the Winter Olympics


start this week in Sochi, Russia. You can catch all the BBC's live


digital coverage, including radio, statistics and live commentary on


the dedicated website. There will also be 650 hours of live video from


up to six simultaneous streams. That's Kate Russell's Webscape. All


of those links are available at our website. If you like to get in touch


with us about anything you've seen today, we'd love to hear from you.


We are on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. That's it from the London


toy fair. Time for me to head off into the sunset, and safety first!


After all, this is a go-kart that can drift like this. Woo hoo! Thanks


for watching and we'll see you next time.


A very powerful jetstream and one that has been stuck for weeks on


end, it has been responsible for the spells of wet and windy weather


Click tries out the latest in hi-tech toys at the UK's biggest toy fair. Plus composing music using your mind and fixing your car with artificial reality.

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