26 May 2006
Educational Electronics(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 02,2006)
|Hanzawa (HK) Ltd's Multi-Lingual Laptop Pro and Bilingual Power Notebook Plus offer fun activities that help children learn another language|
Local companies at the cutting edge of the latest educational trends include laptop teaching aid specialist Hanzawa (HK) Ltd, whose range of simulated laptop computers is expressly designed to help youngsters sharpen their computer skills while learning new things.
One of the 24-year-old company's newest products is the Multi-Lingual Laptop Pro, which offers more than 80 activities ranging from language games and maths exercises to vocabulary and grammar drills in English, French and Spanish.
Designed for children seven years old and up, the Laptop Pro costs US$26.50 FOB Hong Kong each, says sales officer Emily Chan. "Children may not have access to a real computer," she explains, "so we try to make one that looks like the real thing."
Younger children from five years of age will benefit from the Bilingual Power Notebook Plus, an English and Spanish learning tool with 20 activities in each language that sells for US$16.80 FOB Hong Kong per unit.
Minimum order is 3,000-6,000 pieces depending on the model, with delivery from Hanzawa's ISO 9000-certified, 600-800-worker mainland factory "about 60 days" after order confirmation. "Our major markets include Japan, the US, Europe and Southeast Asia," Chan adds.
Working on a more modest but no less important scale is Franklin Electronic Publishers (HK) Ltd, whose electronic dictionaries are small enough to be carried in a pocket.
Typical of the 25-year-old company's range is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus with Spell Correction, which features 100,000 English words with complete definitions and a 500,000-word thesaurus.
The unit, which retails for US$60, also offers games and learning exercises to promote word study, a built-in Rolodex databank with telephone book and world clock, a calculator and metric/currency converter. "This is a good educational tool for students who are in secondary school or above," claims manager product planning Teddy Ma.
Franklin, which also makes electronic Bibles, translators, organisers and test preparation devices, has a minimum order requirement of 3,000 pieces and delivers 60 days after order confirmation to the US and Europe. "We also plan to do more electronic language-learning products in the future," Ma adds.
Meeting similar needs is Comet Electronics (HK) Ltd, whose 10-language talking translator is perfect for students and business travellers who need a handy way to brush up on their vocabulary.
The company's best-selling Vocal 203 model features 20,000 words and 2,300 commercial phrases in each of the most popular European and Asian languages: English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
Users simply type in a word and the backlit display shows the word in the foreign language while a sound chip says the word out loud.
The US$40 FOB Hong Kong translator also features a 32K databank, a 14-digit calculator, world and local time with alarm and a currency and metric unit converter. "We can also custom-design translators for specific markets," says marketing and sales manager Sarina Choi.
Established in 1980, Comet's ISO 9001-certified factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland manufactures more than 40 vocal translators and two non-vocal models at FOB Hong Kong prices ranging from US$35-65 per unit. "We also produce more than 50 vocal electronic dictionaries that sell for US$45-70 each," Choi observes.
Minimum order is 1,000 units, with delivery to markets in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Southeast Asia 45 days after order confirmation.
Focusing on a younger market, Yika Creative Ltd aims its Magic Book learning aid at children aged from 4-6 years old. "It teaches kids vocabulary in English, Korean or Japanese and in a second language of the customer's choice, and it also has music so they can sing songs," explains business development manager Sarah Tsang.
The colourful Magic Book includes a mini-hard case, an IC card, an E-pen and a 32-page book. "You use the pen to touch the page and you hear the English words," Tsang adds. "If you touch the page again, you hear the second language."
The Magic Book sells for US$16 FOB Hong Kong per unit for minimum orders of 1,000 pieces delivered 25-30 days after order confirmation, and can be expanded with six different books that cost US$2 FOB Hong Kong each.
The four-year-old OEM/ODM company manufactures 30,000 Magic Books per month at its factory in Shenzhen on the mainland, mainly for export to Spain and the UK. "We want to expand to the mainland and the US," Tsang says.
She adds that one of Yika's newest products is a Magic Pen equipped with an optical lens for faster word recognition when reading electronic books, a high-quality MP3 player and USB high-speed downloading. "The pen includes 10 books and sells for US$50 FOB Hong Kong per unit," Tsang adds.
Proving that electronic educational items not only make learning a joy, they also help pave the way for educational success for children of all ages and abilities.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA