You can’t predict the future; it happens as we speak. But how do you future-proof kids and their families? By exposing them to the right technologies, at the right time, in the right way.
At the [email protected] Summit at CES 2018, we looked at the role of new technologies like AR, VR, IoT and AI, all within the context of the kids and family lifestyles.
The Toy Association’s top brass, along with Mattel, PBS Kids, and Osmo, introduced the Genius of Play, a campaign and consumer guide reminding us of the importance of play in all of our lives.
Additionally, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) focused on the challenges to local brick-and-mortar toy stores.
Companies showcased new techniques on everything from learning to read and brushing your teeth to learning critical thinking skills. The convergence of tech, family, and kids was on full display.
Sophia, the world’s first humanoid robot, showed us how robots could someday be our companions. Robots like Botley and Roots showed how kids can learn coding and problem-solving skills in a fun, yet engaging manner.
Entertainment is changing to accommodate kids wherever they are, on whatever platforms they’re using. We saw the introduction of age- and price-appropriate AR and VR gear and recognized the power of video gaming for good. The WWE showcased omnichannel solutions for family-friendly entertainment. And research firms looked at how kids are cutting the cord yet finding lots of quality entertainment.
With a nod to justifiable parental angst by YPulse, Facebook’s Messenger for Kids and Google’s Be Internet Awesome showcased solutions to safely onboard kids into the world of online.
Smart Home technology is entering family life from any number of directions. Comcast’s customers can now get outfitted with IoT devices. Ooma’s digital subscribers get communications services for a next-gen home. And Sleep Number has calibrated beds for everyone in the family. Whether it’s the household temperature and energy, caring for a pet, whipping up a tastier dinner, or caring for an aging parent, devices with sensors and connectivity are flexing their muscle.
Dr. E, a renowned child psychologist, reminded us that the earliest attachments we form are to our babies, not to our tech. Joined by Philips and Johnson & Johnson, each with its line of high tech baby care products, they all agreed that tech at its best can reassure new parents about everything from weight gain to temperature and sleep.
While future-proofing your family is probably is a never-ending endeavor, we know the future is inevitable and that tech’s involvement is here to stay.