SEATTLE, Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Bamboo Learning, the leader in voice-powered education, announced Bamboo® Luminaries skill for Alexa, a free, education-focused game that showcases prominent or lesser-known influential historical figures from diverse fields including architecture, art, film, geography, history, literature, music, science, social justice, and sports. The company also announced $1.4 million in seed financing, which will be used to build more experiences like Bamboo Luminaries.
"Bamboo Luminaries brings important historical figures to life in a fun, educational, interactive game that adults, teens, and families will enjoy playing together," said Ian Freed, CEO of Bamboo Learning. "Bamboo Luminaries builds on our award-winning work developing Alexa skills to give people a new, engaging way to learn history and about the people who helped shape our world."
Each day Bamboo Luminaries offers a different "Luminary of the Day" -- some well-known and some more obscure -- as well as opportunities to earn points, badges, and advance in the rankings by taking Luminary quizzes and playing Guess a Luminary. Players who have Alexa screen-based devices, including Echo Show, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV stick, and Fire tablets, can view images, text, and graphics that enhance the voice-first educational game.
"With Bamboo Luminaries, our goal is to give people a new and enjoyable way to learn about important historical figures with different areas of expertise, as well as a broad range of ethnic, racial, and geographic backgrounds," said Irina Fine, COO and Senior Vice President of Content for Bamboo Learning. "Based on early feedback, we believe we have enlivened history in a way that has never been done before, introducing game-interaction using voice and visual Alexa capabilities. If Bamboo Luminaries can spark adults, teens, and families to explore more about history, we will have succeeded."
Bamboo Luminaries introduces captivating historical anecdotes, such as how Ada Lovelace came to be known as the world's first computer programmer, how many roles Harriet Tubman had with the Union Army during the Civil War, or why Impressionism is so closely associated with Claude Monet. It currently features 76 historical luminaries.
"The Bamboo Luminaries skill for Alexa introduces historical figures in a new and entertaining way, through voice and rich visuals," said Kevin Sontgerath, General Manager, Alexa Skills, Amazon.com. "We're excited that Alexa customers can listen to the Luminary of the Day, compete on points, badges, and rankings, and have fun learning about history at the same time."
Bamboo Luminaries can be enabled for free in more than 80 countries by saying "Alexa, open Bamboo Luminaries" to any Alexa-enabled device. Bamboo Luminaries also can be enabled using the Alexa app or via Bamboo Learning at: www.bamboolearning.com. A video demo of Bamboo Luminaries can be found here: https://www.bamboolearning.com/luminariesdemo.
Today Bamboo Learning also announced integration of Bamboo Luminaries into Bamboo Grove, Bamboo Learning's web-based application to follow progress in Bamboo's suite of Alexa skills. Bamboo Grove customers can view the number of Luminaries explored, correct and incorrect quiz answers, points, ranking, and badges earned. To learn more about Bamboo Grove and how to set up an account and link it to the Bamboo Luminaries skill for Alexa, visit www.bamboolearning.com/grove.
HOW BAMBOO LUMINARIES WORKS
Bamboo Luminaries starts each day with a short description of the Luminary of the Day. Customers with screen-based Alexa devices will see an artistic , historically-relevant photo. After hearing the brief introductory information about the luminary, players can choose to hear more details and take a quiz to earn points and badges. At any point, players can "Guess a Luminary" by listening to three to five clues and seeing if they can identify a randomly selected luminary and earn points. Additionally, customers may "Explore Luminaries" to learn about other important historical figures, which Alexa lists in successive groups of three. After earning points, customers often move up in the ranking relative to other Bamboo Luminaries players.
"It is sometimes difficult to remember a large number of historical facts," said 14 year-old Max S. "When I play Bamboo Luminaries, I have a blast competing with friends, my sisters and my parents, and it almost makes me forget that I'm learning about history."
"I loved Bamboo Luminaries! It was super-easy to use as a family, over breakfast and after school," said Amy Montoya from New York. "We learned cool facts about history as we lived our lives. It also helped my girls narrow down topics for their social studies project. A big hit with our family!"
HOW BAMBOO GROVE WORKS
Bamboo Grove lets players review progress in Bamboo Luminaries, including dates and times used, number of quiz questions attempted, correct and incorrect answers, points earned, badges earned, and overall player ranking.
Customers sign up for a Bamboo Learning account at www.bamboolearning.com/grove to access Bamboo Grove where they can link to the Bamboo Luminaries skills within the Alexa App. Then they can view results and follow progress in the skill using a PC or mobile browser.
About Bamboo Learning
Based in Seattle, Bamboo Learning is the award-winning leader in voice-powered education with a mission to bring engaging, high-quality educational experiences to customers around the world. Bamboo Learning develops skills for Alexa that enable families, teens, and adults to have fun learning and practicing diverse subjects while listening, viewing images, and using their voice. Bamboo skills, including Bamboo Luminaries, Bamboo Books, Bamboo Math, Bamboo Music, and Highlights Storybooks from Bamboo, offer a range of challenging and engaging exercises to help customers master different levels of subjects. Customers can sign up for a Bamboo Grove account to follow their progress in Bamboo Learning Alexa skills.
Bamboo's co-founders are Ian Freed, CEO, and Irina Fine, COO and SVP of Content. Ian Freed is a thirty-year veteran of the technology industry, including twelve years at Amazon, having served as vice president of Amazon devices, where he led both the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Kindle businesses, and served as technical advisor to Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. Irina Fine is a thirty-year veteran of curriculum development and teaching, having worked in public and private sectors of education in New York, Washington DC, London, and Moscow, after receiving her M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance and Music Education. Learn more at: www.bamboolearning.com.
SOURCE Bamboo Learning