While Communist China is a country whose residents have become accustomed to living under high levels of surveillance by their government, as our 14 April 2020 Trends Journal cover illustrated, when the world followed the Chinese by locking down and putting on masks to fight the COVID War, it’s: “THE CHINESE WAY – YOU WILL OBEY!”

Thus, the pervasiveness of the surveillance has conditioned Chinese parents to voluntarily embrace using similar methods to monitor their children as they study, which we forecast will become the way of the world. 
Beyond the “Baby Monitor”
A new invention selling briskly in China is called the “smart homework lamp,” according to a 1 June article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s a desk lamp equipped with, among other features, two cameras, one pointed at the child and the other offering an overhead view, so parents can remotely observe their children. And parents can even hire human proctors to do the monitoring. 
“Chinese parents have always felt immense societal pressure over their children’s education,” the article observes. The article notes that in Asia, such surveillance is seen in a positive light, enabling greater parental oversight.
The device is garnering rave reviews on Chinese social media, where it’s touted as a blessing for busy parents. The reviews are so enthusiastic, it has become questionable to distinguish genuine users from paid promoters. 
Although the smart lamp’s initial success has inspired competitors, the original is a product of ByteDance Inc., the creators of the TikTok video app. Over 10,000 of their basic, $120 model were sold in the first month after the product’s debut in October. An upgraded, $170 model now monitors the child’s posture, sending parents an alert when slouching is detected. That version is also selling briskly.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: In addition to the surveillance features, the lamps feature a small screen that uses artificial intelligence to help kids do math problems and acquire language skills. 
This is an example of technological innovations in the service of advancing the global trend toward online learning, a.k.a. “Distance Learning,” a trend I have been writing about for 25 years, naming the trend “Interactive-U.” (In my 1996 book “Trends 2000,” I predicted how Interactive-U would grow and revolutionize education).
Interactive-U has been the topic of numerous Trends Journal articles over the years, such as this one from March 2015, VIRTUAL-REALITY LEARNING IS THE NEXT BIG WAVE,” and this one from December 2017, INTERACTIVE-U: THE INDIA MODEL.
TREND FORECAST: As fewer and fewer students will be attending college and the homeschooling trend grows, as more parents work from home or are out of work and at home, the “Interactive-U” online learning megatrend will sharply accelerate.
The current education model was invented by the Germans at the onset of the Industrial Revolution to teach workers in mass production facilities how to read, write, do math… and follow orders.
With interactive education, students will be able to access the best and most accomplished experts in selected fields of study rather than the one-size-fits-all, outdated educational programming that is now the norm.
Trends are born, they grow, mature, reach old age, and die. The Industrial Age education model is dying, and the Interactive-U model is still in its infancy.
Thus, the Ontrendpreneur® opportunities that seize on its growth will provide great rewards.

Skip to content