This Dublin-based startup hopes to take the current vogue for AR children's books and apply it to global edtech.
CleverBooks aims to promote equality in education by providing free AR technology for schools around the world. Its first product is a geometry kit to 7-11-year-olds, which combines a free app with a curriculum-appropriate workbook, flashcards and a paid-for in-app game.
Based in Dublin, CleverBooks was founded by two Russian-born entrepreneurs, Darya Yegorina and Inna Armstrong. With backgrounds in big multinational businesses, the co-founders believe their understanding of both diverse cultures and emerging markets gives them a unique insight into bringing AR to education across the world.
They're supported by a technical team including developers, a graphic designer, a project manager, and an illustrator.
What's the gap in the market?
Several child-focused startups currently seem to be betting on augmented reality, from Carlton Books' Digital Magic to Launchable to Bonnier's Supersaurs. The CleverBooks team hope to build on this trend, while their freemium model is designed to convince parents and teachers worldwide to take the leap into AR.
"We provide a new method of innovative and immersive learning through visualisation and interaction which will strongly benefit children with learning difficulties and have a large influence among less academically successful students," Yegorina insists. "For subjects such as geometry, augmented reality helps to visualize objects in 3D and 4D formats. And our sales model is unique, combining a traditionally printed workbook, a free educational mobile app and in-app purchase for educational games. The app is free because we want facilitate equality in education for kids around the world. Our first product will be followed by others using the same freemium model, but covering other school subjects. And the design of the product is scalable to be adapted in different languages."
The geometry app, for example, allows pupils to view geometric 2D and 3D shapes from all angles enjoy a voiceover for all the shapes and interactions recorded by kids; see how 3D and 2D shapes interact; learn about fractions; compare and identify objects in their environment with geometric shapes using AR; and take interactive knowledge tests. Both app and flash cards are designed to be used in a classroom through a projector, or at home individually by students.
Success so far?
The geometry kit launches this month, so watch this space. But the team is confident that the easy-to-use product will prove persuasive, and they're working hard to create advocates within local parent groups and schools.
"Spreading word of mouth for a free, technology-based edtech aid."
"We want to helps kids around the world to access technology-based education free of charge. That's the definition of equality for us!"
Advice to other publishing entrepreneurs?
"Follow your dreams and remember the words of Henry Ford: Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right!"