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Panasonic unveils facial recognition technology at education show

BETT 2010: New tech can tell teachers their pupils’ mood

Panasonic has unveiled its idea of the ‘classroom of the future’, which includes technology that can tell the teacher if their pupils are happy or sad.

The new range, on show at this year’s BETT educational technology show in London, includes the UB-T880 Panaboard – a multi-touch interactive whiteboard and a new 2,500 lumen short-throw projector. The PT-ST10E is due to the market in the UK in the second half of this year, and the Panaboard is due ‘soon’.

Central to Panasonic’s display is its gesture-recognition technology, which can be used with Panaboards, cameras, microphones and speakers to allow teachers to operate slide shows and videos using gestures. It also has facial recognition to tell teachers whether their pupils are happy or not, and can also count the number of students who raise their hands – that is, as long as they have their left hand raised at ear-height.

“The education sector is by its very nature interactive, and these new digital technologies will improve the experience of teachers and students alike,” said Brennan Peyton, general manager of the imaging department at Panasonic System Network Company Europe. “Being able to count the number of raised hands in a class and offer the appropriate encouragement to students will enhance learning throughout the class and deliver more fun, engaging and rewarding lessons.”

Panasonic is also demonstrating its HD Visual Communication System, designed to improve distance learning and video conferencing. It includes an HD plasma display with an HD visual communication unit, along with a video camera and a boundary microphone.

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