Note from Rachel: We usually make an appearance at CES ourselves but this year between me being on partial bedrest with this pregnancy and my husband having a broken ankle it just wasn’t happening. Our special guest editor Paul Bryan stepped in and tackled the show for us.
Today, it seems like everything plugs in and last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it was all about the gadgets. If it plugs in or uses batteries, it makes an appearance at CES, which is one of the largest trade shows in the world and to many has become the premier grown-up toy store.
Two years ago, CES recognized that mom was no longer relying on dad to play with these toys. They now have an entire section of the show devoted to Mommy Tech. Mom not only is the memory keeper with her DSLR and laptop, but she has her iPhone, headphones (for a few minutes of peace and quiet), and many other devices that she plugs in each night as well.
We thought we would show you some of the devices at CES that can make your life as a parent a bit easier.
Loss Prevention Device – Bikn
How often do you waste time gathering up your keys, the diaper bag, and even your kids when you are rushing out the door? BiKN has created a technology includes small thumb-drive-like devices that you attach to things you want to keep track of (backpack, keys, dog, etc). You also have a device that acts as a case for your iPhone, and launches an app that tracks your various things that you have chosen to keep track of. Take a look at this video that has received significant buzz at CES this year.
Kids Pedometer – Geopalz
Are your kids getting the exercise they need? When your child goes outside to play with friends, you might not know if he or she is running around or just hanging out by the monkey bars. With the ongoing epidemic of child obesity running throughout the country, you might be interested in this particular product. Similar to adult pedometers, you fasten the Geopalz pedometer to your children’s shoe, and then you are able to track how many steps your child has taken throughout the day, or when he or she goes outside to play. In addition, the Geopalz product is designed with kid-friendly themes, such as the such as the Little JuJu ladybug, Butterfly, Jack Skelanimal, and Soccer Ball, among many others (view them all here). $25 price point.
Baby Monitors - iBaby
As a next generation baby monitor, this product works directly with your iOS or Android device. You can set up the baby monitor in the child’s room, and then instead of carrying around its counterpart device in each room you go, you can simply carry your phone or tablet. You simply turn on the baby monitor, launch the app for your phone, and you’re all set to go!
iPhone Camera Remote - Belkin
Last weekend, my wife and I were taking pictures and with the old-school timer on our point-and-shoot camera. I was thinking to myself, “Gosh, I wish there was a remote for my camera, where I could tell it when to focus and take the picture. With the iPhone 4S and its 8 megapixel camera, there could be a device that hooks up to your phone and controlled with an iPhone app.” Of course, if this product already exists, it’s going to be at CES, right? Yup! Belkin has come out with a camera remote as part of its new LiveAction App. You can switch between photo and video wirelessly with the remote, and it has a range of up to 30 feet! Can you tell that I’m just a little excited about this one? It even comes with a stand.
Mobile Parental Control App - Net Nanny & Social Shield
Kids being online scare me to death! There are just so many ways that they can be influenced by stuff they should not have interaction with. I am not the type of parent that controls my kids every move, but I think if you care about your children you have no choice but to monitor their online activities and this now has to extend to mobile devices as well. Net Nanny is a company that has been around for a while with its desktop parental controlling software for PC. Now, the company has expanded its software onto mobile devices, for both iOS and Android. Though a browser, parents can now install this app onto a smartphone or tablet, and through the browser app, control what sites and content a child has access to. Social Shield monitors their social media profiles.
iPhone Ball Game - Sphero
Sphero describes its product as “the robotic ball controlled by your smartphone.” Check out the website as it shows exactly what this game is and different ways to use it. At CES, Sphero had a booth set up with mazes on the floor for the ball to wander around. If kids were allowed into CES, I have no doubt that each would have spent some solid time at this booth playing with this robotic ball.
Safe Headphones Listening - Aftershokz
This is the new bone induction sound technology where you don’t actually have the headphones in your ears. The technology stemmed from the military where soldiers needed to hear both the commands through the walkie talkie and also the enemy surrounding area. This technology could help protect children/teenager’s hearing, and also keep children more alert by being able to hear both the music from the headphones, as well as the surrounding area.
Those are just a few of the many products I looked at while wandering CES that past two days. Feel free to check them out and let me know what you think!