Sometimes, life really surprises and delights you. Bobo Explores Light is an amazing educational iPad App that teaches children — and frankly, most adults — about the fundamentals of light. And the amazing thing: This is one of the best pieces of software I’ve ever seen.
A cute little robot named Bobo (who looks like a vacuum tube) acts as your guide through each page. The App starts with a “Powers of 10” style trip through the solar system, to teach about the sun. Then it teaches about lightning, fire, Thomas Edison, lasers, reflection, refraction, telescopes and lenses, additive color mixing, the human eye, glow in the dark phosphorescence, bio-luminescence, photosynthesis, the different colors of daylight, auroras, and finishes off with a nice fireworks show. This is more lighting knowledge then a typical architectural degree major receives, now available for ages 4-12!
Almost everything is interactive, encouraging children to touch and explore every object. The animations and effects are lushly and intricately rendered; the sound effects are top notch (but not annoying!). The content about lighting is perfectly edited, with the simple animations aimed towards the youngest children and the “more information” pull-down windows offering in-depth explanations for when your children inevitably asks “Why?????”, including even some well made documentary-style videos (such as the section on auroras).
Heck…I’ll admit it…I even learned a thing or two about some of the topics that I didn’t know before, and I have nearly 15 years in the lighting biz.
Anyone with children 4-12 really should get this app; it will be a delightful way to spend time with your kids. And any professional in lighting, who has to educate customers or the general populace on lighting fundamentals or other issues, should study how delightful this app is in teaching what can be very dry and boring topics.