Grammy nominated, multi-platinum producer Kevin “Khao” Cates has been creating his entire life. The Atlanta-based hit maker has made a name for himself over the years by concocting musical potions in the studio for many of the industry’s biggest stars (Jay-Z, T.I., Ludacris, Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ Kim). However, he has also proven that he is a force to be reckoned with in the fields of education and tech.
In 2008, he launched his non-profit organization, Bridge DA Gap, aimed at helping urban youth to overcome various social challenges. From that, he launched a K-12 curriculum named KOOLriculum in an effort to improve student performance and test scores in the areas of science, math, social studies and reading. Now, his latest creation is the “KoolAR” book.
KoolAR blends Hip Hop music and fun, animated characters with the technology known as Augmented Reality. Used with a smartphone or tablet, users of the KoolAR book can bring their characters to life, meaning they literally jump off the page. This makes reading and learning an enjoyable and interactive experience for young readers. The books have already received rave reviews from those who have tested the product for their children.
“Teachers are all speechless and blown away,” Cates said. “I have never had anyone who has seen anything like it and who wasn’t blown away. They are all excited about it and requesting the book.”
He continued: “What makes it so innovative is because this technology has never been used before in the form we are using it. We tied in Hip Hop music and music videos with our characters and it creates something convenient for parents and it also saves them money. They don’t have to buy stand-alone Leap Frog products. It is very powerful.”