Seebox at 2018 Innovation Summit

The SA Innovation Summit has grown in strength over the years, and we at Seebox are excited to participate in the Inventors Garage at Cape Town International Convention Centre from 12 to 14 September.  We would love for you to come and meet us if you are there.

More info here

What drives us at Seebox is to prepare people better for the workplace of the future.  We recently came across this interesting article on the future of labour in the Fourth Industrial Revolution:

“New technologies will change about 30% of activities in about 60% of occupations, and will require new skills across most industries”, McKinsey Global Institute global economic and technology trends research head Dr James Manyika said.

He also said, “In developing countries, the largest number of new jobs will be those requiring secondary education or technical skills.”

Read the full article here.

Contact us about our Technical Training solutions.

Seebox Youtube channel reaches 36,000 views

kids learning electronics with Seebox

Seebox Youtube channel reaches 36,000 views

The Seebox Youtube channel has been running for some time now and the responses we’ve received serves as a powerful validation of our unique way of teaching Electronics.  Our “What is Voltage” video received almost 36,000 views, and here are some of the comments we receive:

“This is the best explanation I’ve heard so far! Thank you very much!”

 and

“Wow! I am absolutely astonished because neither my teacher nor all the videos I watched were able to explain what voltage was.  This video offered the best explanation and I really wish it would be the first thing anyone who was confused came across.  Thank you!”

Making Electronics simple is what drives us to continuously expand our Electronic Engineering teaching platform, making more and more explainer videos.  We believe that the abstract concepts of Electronics can be made understandable to anyone, and this is what informs our videos.

Add to these explanations the practical experiments the user does on the Seebox directly after learning the concept, and you have the power of an Electronics Teacher and a Lab in one box.  Seebox offers an experiential learning experience, resulting in clearer understanding and knowledge-retention.
Our mission is to create the Technical Workforce of the Future.

Watch the Seebox Youtube here.

An Educator’s Review of the Seebox

Electronics teacher's review of Seebox engineering educational solution

Here is what Rassie van der Merwe, and Electronic Engineer of 37 years and Electronics Teacher for the past 5 years, has to say about the benefits of the Seebox solution for Electronic Engineering Education for kids:

First Seeboxes delivered

Manenberg High received their new SeeBox for engineering education

It has been a busy few months for the Seebox team, and we are proud to announce that the first Seeboxes have been delivered to their lucky owners. We have also shown the Seebox at 3 expo’s, where it was very well-received by stakeholders in education, and engineering education specifically.

Our generous donors via Indiegogo enabled us to donate a Seebox to Manenberg High School in Cape Town, as soon in the main picture.

  Our thanks to listed company Adcorp, who ordered Seeboxes for their subsidiary PMI, where they are investing in the future of education in South Africa.
Somerset House in Somerset West also received their donated Seebox this month.

We exhibited the Seebox at the Sasol Inzalo Technical School Symposium, the SAOU Hoofdesimposium and Sahisa Independent Schools Symposium during August and September.

Finally, Seebox founder Johann Kok was recently interviewed by a radio station, click here for the interview on his journey with the development of the Seebox

Seebox launched at Teachers Conference

SeeBox launched at SA Teachers Union meeting

Seebox first launch-event:

After two and a half year’s full-time development, the innovative Seebox is now ready for the market.  It was launched last week at the SA Teachers Union Free State conference, with good feedback from teachers. The Seebox is a South African developed instrument that empowers schools to offer Electronics without requiring a knowledgeable teacher. Seebox has garnered widespread recognition, also internationally, for its innovative approach to technical training for children.

Seebox Awards

In 2015 Seebox won Best Educational Solution at the Africa Entrepreneurship Awards.  It was singled out from 3,814 entries from all over Africa for its potential to develop the African youth in technical fields.  It was also one of ten finalists from 925 entries in the Innovation Prize for Africa. At the SA Innovation Summit 2015, it won the SAB Foundation prize for Best Innovation, the Standard Bank prize for Best Design, and the PwC prize for Best product Pitch.

South African entrepreneur and engineer, Johann Kok, developed the Seebox as an educational game to teach young people electronics, and empower them to become participants, and not victims, in the coming technological age.  Johann says “My mission is to train the next generation of engineers in an entertaining and gripping manner from a young age “.  Seebox will address the global shortage of engineers by exposing children to the principles of electricity and electronics from an early age.

The importance of early exposure

Johann maintains that it was his early exposure to electronics that determined his later career path.  His father was Head of the Electricity Department of the local municipality in the small town they lived.  During school holidays Johann would explore among the discarded and broken electronics at his father’s workplace, taking apart old machines to learn about their working.  He later completed school at the Technical High School Louis Botha in Bloemfontein, after which he studied electronic engineering.  This early exposure is what inspired Johann to develop the Seebox.  He wanted to give children the opportunity to be exposed to electronics at a young age, and unlock a potential career path to them.   One can only develop an interest in any field if you were exposed to it at some stage, and most learners have no exposure to electronics.   While many traditional careers are set to be replaced by technology, Electronics are one of the fields that the global shortage is expected to rise.

 

A Glance into a Future with Technology

A future with technology

Into the future

Rise and Fall: In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they were bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people don’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again?
Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became superior and mainstream in only a few short years. In the very near future this will happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, self-driving and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age. Software and operating platforms will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
Uber is just a software tool. They don’t own any cars, but they are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice, (so far for more or less basic stuff), within seconds. With 90% accuracy, compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you are studying law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer generalist lawyers in the future; only specialists will be needed.
‘Watson’ already helps nurses diagnose cancer, four times more accurately than doctors. Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, computers will have become ‘more intelligent’ than humans.

Cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will be offered to the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car on your phone; it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive whilst driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car. It will change cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for our future needs. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. At present, 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 km’s. With autonomous driving, that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.
Electric cars will become mainstream around and after 2020. Cities will be cleaner and much less noisy because all cars will run on electricity, which will become much cheaper.
Most traditional car companies may become bankrupt by tacking the evolutionary approach, just building better cars; while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will take the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. I spoke to a lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi. They are terrified of Tesla.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble, because without accidents, the insurance will become 100 times cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
Real estate values based on proximities to work-places, schools, etc. will change, because if you can work effectively from anywhere or be productive while you commute, people will move out of cities to live in a more rural surroundings.
Solar energy production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but only now is having a big impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar will drop so much that almost all coal mining companies will be out of business by 2025.

Water for all: With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places; we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if everyone can have as much clean water as they want, for virtually no cost.

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year – a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and your breath. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any diseases. It will be cheap, so in a few years, everyone on this planet will have access to world class, low cost, medicine.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started printing 3D shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D-printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to need in the past. At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they have already 3D-printed a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D-printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to enter, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” And if the answer is yes, then work on how you can make that happen sooner. If it doesn’t work via your phone, forget the idea. And any idea that was designed for success in the 20th century is probably doomed to fail in the 21st century.

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear that there will be enough new jobs in such a short time.

Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their fields instead of working in them all day. Hydroponics will need much less water. The first veal produced in a petri dish is now available. It will be cheaper than cow- produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces are used for rearing cattle. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several start-ups which will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

Apps: There is already an app called “moodies” which can tell the mood you are in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where we know whether the participants are telling the truth and when not!
Currencies: Many currencies will be abandoned. Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and might even become the future default reserve currency.

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span was 79 years, now it is 80 years. The increase itself is increasing, and by 2036 there will be more than a one-year increase per year. So we all might live for a long, long time, probably way beyond 100.

Education: The cheapest smartphones already sell at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smartphone. That means everyone will have much the same access to world class education. Every child can use Khan Academy for everything he needs to learn at school in First World countries. Further afield, the software has been launched in Indonesia and will be released it in Arabic, Swahili and Chinese this summer. The English app will be offered free, so that children in Africa can become fluent in English within half a year.
Whew!

By Udo Gollub at Messe Berlin, Germany

Key points gathered at the the Singularity University summit.

10 Skills we wish we were taught in school

curious girl eager to learn

Top 10 Skills we Wish we were Taught in School, But Usually Aren’t.

credit of lifehacker.com

Even though we learn a great deal in school, some of the most essential skills we need as adults aren’t universally, formally taught. Here are some of the subjects and skills we wish we’d learned in school early on (and which you can still learn now. It’s never too late!).

10. Computer Science

With all the emphasis on learning to code these days, it’s hard to believe most schools aren’t teaching computer science. According to Code.org, though, 9 out of 10 schools aren’t teaching coding classes— even though engineering and programming are among the fastest growing and most profitable professions today. Even if you don’t plan to become or raise a future programmer, learning to think like a computer scientist is a fundamental skill everyone could benefit from, similar to learning physics or English composition.
Seebox gives learners a foundation in Electronics and Digital Technology. Learn more here.

9. “Speed Reading”

Being a “speed reader” doesn’t make you a genius or necessarily help you truly comprehend books, but speed reading techniques can still be useful to know. Techniques like skimming, for example, to get a preview of a book before you dig in, and clustering the words you read to get the overall gist of a long piece quicker, could help time-strapped students with their incredibly long reading lists. Comprehension is more important than churning through texts, but it’s nice to have a speed reading skill at your disposal even later in life.

8. Time Management Techniques

Time management courses are usually reserved for CEOs and upper management employees, but if there’s one thing a busy student or worker (of any age) needs to learn, it’s how to make the most of their limited time. Time management techniques might be taught here and there in unrelated courses for students from elementary school to college, but perhaps our procrastination and productivity issues would be lessened if we were taught GTD or other productivity techniques in high school or earlier.

7. Study Skills (or Learning How to Learn)

The ultimate life hack is “learning how to learn.” As with time management, the best teachers incorporate study skills into their classes, but it’s not formally taught in all schools. Learning to take better notes, using more efficient ways of studying (highlighting doesn’t work as well as taking practise tests) and, perhaps most important, remembering what you study are all fundamental skills every student should develop.

6. Basic Money Management

Teaching kids about money should start in the home, but, as you know, many of us weren’t fortunate enough to get that early personal finance education. Math classes could incorporate some real-world examples to teach kids the basics of budgeting, debt, compounding interest, and simply saving more than you earn.

5. Survival Skills

Whether or not we’re headed towards a Zombie Apocalypse, some survival skills are good for everyone to learn (you never know when your car is going to break down in the woods, for example, or you have more modern/urban emergencies like someone breaking into your home). But make sure you know the real tricks, not the ones they show in movies. Wilderness survival skills include things like building a fire and finding water and urban survival skills include things like how to make meals from very limited supplies. In both scenarios, life-saving first aid skills are important.

4. Negotiation Skills

It’s amazing the number of times negotiation is needed in our lives—when we’re buying a car, trying to get our bills reduced, negotiating our salary, or even just trying to get our significant other to get pesky chores done. Many schools have debate teams, but negotiation is something we could all learn to be better at.

3. Basic Self-Defense

One semester in high school, I was taught square dancing for gym class. I think basic self-defence moves would’ve served me better today. (To be fair, the school also taught Judo, but only for the boys. We girls got to do “modern dance.”)

2. Mental Health

Gym classes are meant to reinforce the importance of physical health, and school overall is there to strengthen our minds, but unless you’re taking a psychology class, chances are mental health doesn’t get explored much. All of us have to deal with mental health issues from time to time, whether it’s how to handle stress or anxiety…or more difficult subjects like depression or addiction (personally or with someone you know). When mental health topics rise in the news or something tragic befalls part of the student body, we talk about it more, but we’d all benefit if the discussions happened earlier.

1. How to Apply for an Interview for a Job

If the point of school is to help prepare us for work and to become productive, successful citizens, then shouldn’t exploring our career options, interviewing for jobs, and writing effective resumes be part of our education? Granted, colleges at least have career guidance services, but, again, the earlier we learn these skills, the better, probably.

Many schools do teach these skills and subjects in one form or another, but they’re not a universal part of our curriculum. Perhaps we’d all benefit if at least some of these were.

http://lifehacker.com/top-10-skills-we-wish-were-taught-in-school-but-usuall-1622414148

Seebox wins at African Entrepreneurship Award

Seebox receives Africa Entrepreneurship Award for Education

Seebox won the Education category at the African Entrepreneurship Awards.

The finals of the African Entrepreneurship Awards were held in Marrakech, Morocco from 5 to 12 October. During an intensive final round, the 34 finalists from over 5,000 entries from all over Africa were mentored by international business mentors to pitch their concepts for sustainable and high social impact businesses in Africa. The judges selected 6 winners and 4 runners-up to share in the $1 million prize money. 

The Scientific Engineering Education Box, or Seebox, won $150,000 in the Education category for its potential to develop Africa’s children into engineers. South African entrepreneur and engineer, Johann Kok, developed Seebox as an educational game that empowers young people to become participants and not victims of the coming technology economy. 

“My life’s mission is to educate the next generation of brainy nerds (just like myself!) – in a fun and engaging way” says Johann Kok. The self-proclaimed nerd and inventor of Seebox presented a winning project to the African Entrepreneurship Award. The 2015 Award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, included dozens of amazing pitches but Johann was one that rose to the top. 

Seebox seeks to address the worldwide shortage of engineers by introducing young learners to the principles of electricity and electronics. Africa especially lags behind in the training of engineers, and the Seebox offers a technological solution to this.

Johann Kok maintains that the early start he had as a child in being allowed to explore the inside of discarded electronics at the electricity workshop his father worked at, is what got him into engineering. This is what inspired him to invent the Seebox, to expose children to electronics at a young age, and give them a head start to ensure their employability later on.

More on the winners of the African Entrepreneurship Award.

 

In 15 Years From Now Your Child Might Be Unemployed.

you may be unemployed by 2030 if you do not choose the right career

In 15 Years From Now Your Child Might Be Unemployed.

Did you know by 2030 many traditional careers will be replaced by technology?

I’ve been an electronic engineer for 18 years and designed dozens of new products spanning many industries. I saw how often the great engineers got exposure to engineering when they were young, learning by being curious.

So together with a team of engineers, I set out to invent a device called SeeBox that will address the worldwide shortage of engineers by introducing young learners to the principles of electricity and electronics.

SeeBox is an award-winning innovation, having been a finalist in the IPA, won 3 prizes at the SA Innovation Summit and is now a finalist in the AEAward.

This device, the Seebox will enable all schools and every parent at home to create the next generation of EE engineers.

Continue reading “In 15 Years From Now Your Child Might Be Unemployed.”