Educational intelligent hardware is entering a new window period.
Looking back in 1986, when the per capita wage was only a few tens of yuan, the “Chinese learning machine” of more than 500 yuan once made many families flinch. A few years later, the bully flew into the homes of ordinary people and made the concept of learning machine deeply rooted in the hearts of the people – this was regarded as the starting point of China’s education hardware.
In the past 40 years, the wheels of the era have been roaring past. In the era of “post double reduction”, the iterative educational intelligent hardware has once again ushered in a new era. Recently, new trends have been frequently reported, including the release of XRS’s first intelligent teaching-assisted learning machine, “Xuepai”, and the listing of the old children’s hardware brand, Shulang Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
In fact, XRS seems to be half slow. Before XRS launched the intelligent teaching-assisted learning machine, many teaching and training enterprises have taken the track to transform, and Internet technology enterprises such as Netease Youdao and iFLYTEK have also taken the lead in entering… However, at present, the traditional discipline guidance business of off-campus institutions is limited, and the public schools have insufficient bearing capacity, leaving a lot of room for major players.
Now that the war is raging, how will “Xueersi” show their skills?
From “topic clapping” to “learning clapping”, from software to hardware
“Math has it, and it doesn’t take mother to learn.”
Not long ago, the official account of XRS, such as “XRS”, “XRS Online School” and “XRS Literacy” also “heavily released” many tweets, such as “No tutoring for children? This” magic tool of mathematics “is also too easy to use!” and “This” home tutoring “is also too easy to use”, which introduced the first intelligent teaching assistant learning machine of XRS – “learning pat” launched on the whole network.
Zinc scale noticed that over the past month, the monthly sales volume of this educational intelligent hardware with a price of 1499 yuan in the official flagship store of XRS has exceeded 800, while the sales volume in the flagship store of XRS Education is slightly lower, only reaching more than 200. In addition, in’s self-owned flagship store, more than 200 user comments have been received.
According to the official introduction, Xuepai is produced by XRS Intelligence, a subsidiary of TAL, a listed company. The product is built with XRS self-research and elaborate content to help students effectively solve difficult problems in the family learning scene.
The biggest feature of “learning to clap” is the “clap question” function. “Learn to take pictures” adopts the mode of “one question and one lecture”. Each knowledge point and topic is equipped with professional and detailed video. “When children encounter knowledge points or problems that they don’t understand, they can take pictures at any time to learn.”
It is worth noting that XRS mentioned that “learning clapping aims to teach methods rather than provide answers.” In fact, the “learning clapping” launched by XRS is easy to recall the “question clapping” it launched two years ago, but the former is hardware and the latter is software. At that time, the “Free Answers” tool for photo search for primary and secondary school students, mainly featured the “14-minute real person analysis and answer” function, was once caught in the dispute of “emphasizing answers, ignoring analysis”.
According to the analysis of 21st Century Economic Report, this is an ideal product form. In reality, there is a long way to go. According to the actual measurement, most of the questions submitted by users for human analysis have been included in the question bank
Therefore, it is obviously more prudent to be a good future from software to intelligent hardware. First of all, the target audience of the question clapping was primary and secondary school students, while the study clapping currently only covers primary school stage. Secondly, when a parent asked “What is the difference between the software and the search software”, the official reply of XRS flagship store said, “Learn to clap without showing the answer, and directly give the explanation course after shooting, while the search tool directly gives the answer”.
In addition, in terms of publicity, TAL seems to keep a low profile this time. When the title auction was launched in 2020, it could be said that no effort was spared to promote it: according to the data of CTR Media Intelligence, the title auction APP ranked the sixth in the month in the cost of elevator poster advertising only in September 2020, and its strength should not be underestimated. And the ads of the title pat APP on the bus platform are also everywhere. This time, TAL launched smart hardware, which not only lagged behind many education and training enterprises and science and technology enterprises in terms of product market, but also had much less publicity than two years ago.
However, this does not necessarily mean that TAL has caught up with a late episode. After all, TAL did not always “wait for death” before launching the smart hardware called “Smart Monkey Learning Lamp”. As early as the beginning of this year, TAL also launched an intelligent hardware product called “Smart Monkey Learning Lamp”, and launched Taobao XRS flagship store and WeChat Smart Monkey self-operated store.
According to the official introduction of XRS flagship store, the monkey intelligent learning lamp, like the question clapping, is not suitable for junior and senior high school students. It is only suitable for primary school students from grade 1 to grade 6, and provides the mainstream version of teaching materials in Chinese, mathematics and English. Compared with other learning lamps on the market, one of the major differences of this product is that it provides XRS’s math teaching and research question bank. In addition, the common functions also include fingertip search, homework check, word search, text reading, etc.
On March 10 this year, TAL also established Shenzhen Xingtong Technology Co., Ltd. According to the information of the industrial and commercial platform, its business scope includes sales of electronic products and smart home consumer equipment. The registered capital is 500000 yuan, and the legal representative is Feng Xingxing. Feng Xingxing also served as the legal representative of several subsidiaries of TAL, including its childcare brand Beijing Bixin Childcare Service Co., Ltd.
Obviously, TAL’s ambition for educational intelligent hardware is no less than half that of other education and training enterprises.
Multi-industry player melee, a competition between new and old categories, products and channels
However, TAL is not really facing an easy battle.
After all, since the implementation of “double reduction”, the circuit of educational intelligent hardware has become increasingly crowded. Especially in 2022, after major players launched a series of products and marketing intensive at the beginning of the year, companies further accelerated the development and launch of new products: in addition to the original traditional hardware enterprises represented by Shulang and Bubugao, Alibaba Internet giants such as ByteDance and new technology enterprises such as iFLYTEK aim at the track, not to mention teaching and training enterprises such as New Oriental and Homework.
Among them, from the perspective of education and training enterprises, Headmaster Education launched its first intelligent education hardware intelligent learning machine shortly after the Spring Festival in 2022. Then, in April and May, it launched the “Little Leaver Enlightenment Learning Machine” and “Headmaster Scanning Learning Pen S6” for the enlightenment education, and directly changed its name to “Headmaster Intelligence” in June; After the introduction of intelligent hardware products such as learning pens, learning earphones, learning eye-protection lamps, autonomous learning machines, etc., the Homehelp released the “Meow Machine Learning Printer F1” in April this year, which supports the functions of test paper restoration and error sorting; New Oriental Online, a subsidiary of New Oriental, launched a smart dictionary pen with Tmall Smart in December last year, and OK Smart Education, a new educational hardware product, “OK Smart Teaching Big Screen”, was launched in May this year; Netease Youdao launched an intelligent learning light in April this year;
Then look at the Internet giants and new technology enterprises, Baidu’s Xiaodu Technology Co., Ltd. launched the new intelligent learning machine P20 in June this year; After launching the AI learning machine A10 product, iFLYTEK also launched the intelligent hardware “AI language book” for primary and secondary school students.
As for traditional hardware enterprises, Shulang, who recently successfully landed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and became the “first share of educational hardware”, is a representative. Previously, in May, Shulang had launched a number of hardware products such as learning machines, dictionary pens and children’s tablets.
In fact, with the gradual maturity of the track and the gradual increase of products, the advantages and disadvantages of various industries have become increasingly prominent. From the perspective of products, it is not difficult to find that education and training enterprises are more inclined to make content products, while technology companies are more inclined to make tool products, which must be related to the company’s genes. It is undeniable that technology companies and traditional hardware enterprises will have more confidence in product technology, research and development experience, while education and training enterprises will have more advantages in teaching resources and content.
Can educational intelligent hardware become the future of “TAL”?
There are many players of educational intelligent hardware, and the picture is from iResearch Consulting
From the perspective of channels, the advantages of players in different industries are also quite different: education and training enterprises have accumulated more audience users, but they have been far from the Internet sales channels; While the major internet manufacturers are better at various e-commerce channels, they need to cultivate users’ trust and stickiness in their educational products.
As Chen Jing, vice president of Lanxiang Capital Investment, once said in an interview with interface education, “Hardware itself is a channel business, and the brand difference is not big. It is difficult for users to feel the difference between 1000 yuan and 2000 yuan products. The core issue of all hardware products is whether the content is good and whether the viscosity is high.” Ge Wenwei, partner of Duojing Capital, also said, “All educational hardware must be combined with the content to have vitality.”
However, it is certain that from the products launched by players in various industries, it is not difficult to see that the entire industry has entered a new stage, and has transitioned from the competition of a single hardware product in the past to the competition of a full scene and a full matrix. The categories can be divided into traditional categories such as tablets and point reading pens, and new categories such as intelligent learning machines, intelligent printers, intelligent learning lights, or into traditional single-function products and comprehensive products.
Among them, NetEase Youdao’s revenue in the second quarter was 956 million yuan, of which the revenue of intelligent hardware business in the second quarter was 240 million yuan, up 16.3% year on year, becoming the second growth curve supporting NetEase Youdao’s revenue; In the first half of 2022, the revenue of educational products and services of iFLYTEK, a domestic AI company, contributed nearly one-third of the total revenue.
This at least proves that the short-term benefits that educational intelligent hardware can bring to enterprises are considerable.
And this cannot be done without the “help” of parents.
In the era of post-double reduction, after-school training classes were suspended, but educational anxiety remained. Educational intelligent hardware became the “straw” that anxious parents could grasp. According to the 2022 China Education Intelligent Hardware Market and User Insight Report released by iResearch Consulting, parents still maintain a positive attitude towards education intelligent hardware products in the context of the impact of the epidemic and the degradation of consumption. The proportion of parents who spend more than 30% on educational intelligent hardware will increase from 16.3% at present to 29.5% in the future. In 2022, it is estimated that the market size of smart hardware for consumer education will reach 43.1 billion.
Can educational intelligent hardware become the future of “TAL”?
Image source: iResearch Consulting
Frost Sullivan’s data also shows that the CAGR of China’s intelligent learning equipment is 17.1%. By 2026, its total market size will reach 145 billion yuan, and the future development space is still considerable.
However, on the other hand, we should also see that due to the rapid development, the industry standard of educational intelligent hardware has not yet been established, and the number of entrants is numerous and complex, the whole market is inevitably in a mixed situation.
As the “new consumption of deep Krypton” wrote, there are many learning machines of well-known brands on the market that are not matched in quality and price. The price is as high as 4000 yuan or 5000 yuan, and they carry only mid-range performance chips developed by Qualcomm and Mediatech. For example, the flagship model C30, which sells for more than 5000 yuan, carries the Snapdragon 835 processor released by Qualcomm a few years ago, but the price is about half that of the higher configuration learning machine.
The zinc scale also noticed that although there are many relevant evaluation recommendations, many parents are still confused about how to select educational intelligent hardware. On Xiaohongshu, Weibo and other platforms, many parents asked, “There are too many learning machines on the market, and the prices are also uneven. How to choose?”
Therefore, if you want to stand out from the battle for parents and turn short-term benefits into long-term value, you may also need major brands to make continuous efforts in “soft and hard” strength.