File this one in the didn’t-expect-that department.
TikTok parent company ByteDance has launched a smart desk lamp for school kids in China. The Dali Smart Work Lamp is intended to provide a “better experience for children” doing homework with better illumination … and constant surveillance.
(The “constant surveillance” part is not in the press release.)
Listen to this story on the TechFirst podcast:
ByteDance goes into detail about the amount of blue light in the Dali Smart Work Lamp (there’s less) and how it has been certified as a “professional eye protection lamp” (national AA level) and how it helps children avoid having to tilt their heads to read words (I’m not quite getting that one).
There’s also plenty of detail about the cameras.
The Dali Smart Work Lamp has two “smart cameras,” one on the top and one on the front, so that “it is convenient for parents to know the child’s learning status,” no matter where they are. Not only can parents remotely monitor their kids via a connected smartphone app, kids can take a picture of completed work and submit it for inspection. The onboard cameras can also be used for video calls.
There’s also a built-in digital assistant, which can help with word searches, English language learning, math problems, and pronunciation.
It’s not completely crazy that TikTok’s parent company is launching a tool for education. ByteDance has several investments and products in its local China for the education sector including remote education software and language learning services. According to TechCrunch, there are more than 10,000 employees in the company’s education division.
But it could be a bit creepy for some that the device has multiple cameras, and no details about how it will safeguard users’ privacy.
The lamp is $119, and is only available in China for now.