Kids Go Screenless, Families Go for IoT: Recap 2017

Companionable robots, AI based toys, AR in everything from bedsheets to books, and kits  that taught coding through play dominated the conference at this year’s Kids@Play Summit. Plus, the data shows that this generation of digital kids calls for a new kind of digital literacy.

For families, tech reached a new pinnacle, or the next hurdle (depending on the glass half full or empty). It’s all about a connected Internet of Things, where coffee pots talk to light switches and cars talk to thermostats. Our conference looked at super-hacks parents could use to make life more manageable and wearables they can use to make tech less “in your face”. If you want a hoot you need to listen to David Pogue’s rant on all things IoT. And if it’s charming you’re looking for, make sure to listen to Randi Zuckerberg’s talk on her new media property DOT.  

2017 SUMMIT VIDEOS

2017 HIGHLIGHTS

ROBO-TAKEOVER? NOT JUST YET

We opened the show with AvatarMinds’ iPals, but got a little perturbed when iPal decided it was time for a robot takeover.

CAN THE TOY INDUSTRY BE SAVED?

Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA (the Association of Small Toy Retailers Association) gathered a group of manufactures and independent toy store owners to look at how their own “magic sauce” plus technology could help them stay competitive.

ROBOTS AS COMPANIONS

Dino’s brain is powered by IBM Watson, Edwin and friends, Ellie and Louis are Bluetooth bathtub pals with personality and iPal is being used as a playmate in places like the San Francisco Airport.  

Don Inmon of Edwin the Duck “We wanted to bring personality to Technology”.
Don Coolidge of CogniToys “We want kids to create fun for themselves through silly childlike accessible knowledge”.
We wanted to take what we have built for kids to the elder generation” John Ostrem

IS CODING AS IMPORTANT AS WE THINK IT IS?

You betcha.  Davin Sufer and Vikas Gupta state their case. Vikas Gupta of WowWee  “Every child will learn to code in the information age!”We have found programing robots is a fun way to teach the necessary language.

Davin Suffer of WoWwee “one of the challenges is how to get product into people’s hands. Working with recognizable characters is making it easier. That’s why we partnered with Sesame Workshop on Elmoj.

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL SCHEDULING?

Dubit’s David Kleeman thinks kids are best served when we create products that fit into a their emotional lives, organized around their daily routines, family structures, and local cultures.

Amazon’s Free Time, with its kid led discovery and Square Panda’s approach to reading reinforce the the Dubit data.

AUGMENTED REALITY BRINGS KIDS WORLDS TO LIFE

Tilt’s Spin Tales is creating immersive AR in textiles transforming bedtime into interactive  storytime. The circular screen on YoungZone’s MAGNEO lets kids study the world up close and personal.

“It’s Great to see a kids reaction to a rug that is coming alive.” Said Mili, Tilt.
A circular UI isn’t easy to build but it makes it easy for a child to explore the world of augmented reality.” said Young Zone’s CEO

WHY POKEMON GO SMASHED RECORDS  

It wasn’t just for traditional Pokemon fanboys, PokemonGo proved that a mobile game could get people of all ages up and moving hunting for Wartoles and Squirtles.

Niantic’s mission is to provide adventures on foot with others. The real world social element offered compelling, sticky behavior. It created a bigger addressable market with intergenerational play and broader appeal.”  — Archi

Within 90 days Niantic earned 600 million revenue from in app purchases, the most successful mobile game launched ever. “ -Dean Takashi

KIDS MEDIA NEEDS SOME TECH SAVVY 

Randi Zuckerberg shared Dot her new animated television series  In partnership The Jim Henson Company and NBC  the series revolves around a young tech savvy girl who uses STEM creatively and ambitiously to solve problems in her community. Plus, it won’t make parent’s scream  “turn that thing off”.  They’ll be watching too.

I’ve got to help children developing exciting positive relationship with tech and parents overcome the fear”.  –Randi Zuckerberg On the DOT

KIDS AND PRIVACY

We want to protect kids and their best interests but also support the kids industry that needs to generate revenue. This is an open forum for taking suggestions on how to provide Personal Identifiable Information to offer kids better experiences without  jeopardizing them. Send us your thoughts info@familytechsummit.com”. —  Robin Raskin

As an industry we have forced kids underground with products like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. We can’t protect them or service them properly because we don’t know who they are. It’s one of the unintended consequences.”  — Catherine T.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO POGUE  

David Pogue gave us A.R.C.H.I.V.E., a simple acronym for CES 2017 trends. Alexa, Robots, Cars, Health Wearables, IoT, Virtual Reality and Everything Else. Don’t tell him we told you, but the next big tech breakthrough is  batteries!

Amazon has solved the biggest problem with the Internet of Things with voice control.” “You can tell Alexa to start the washing machine without having to pull out your phone and tapping an app

Health wearables, over 125 Million sold last year because they give us insight to the innerworking of man, fantastically useful.

LIFE HACKS FOR MILLENNIAL MOMS

They’ve grown up with tech, but they are picky and always looking for ways to make tech work for them. Maria Bailey, voice of millennial moms, asked her panelists for their sage advice.

Families are not IT professionals, Seagate and Amazon partnered to bring the cloud to them in a physical way.” –Tim, Seagate (Photo)

Making the most of the car that you have, augment it and make it last as long as possible is what this gen of car buyers wants. We don’t think you should have to buy a new car to be safe. ” — Bryson (Photo)

Keeper provided a way to seamlessly  merge convenience and security, and that means productivity.” (Photo)

You should mentor kids rather than monitor kids in the digital world. Empower the little hackers to be your geek squad.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEETS FAMILY LIFE  

Avram Piltch, Laptop Magazine editor and dad extraordinaire, says the Internet of Things needs some sorting out but it’s going to help lots of parents.  His panel showcased some of the newest IoT devices.

There are 3 magical moment in a guys life 1) marrying your best friend,  2) birth of your kids and 3) when having technology work the first time you set it up. It’s beautiful to see the systems provision themselves and integrating  right out of the box.” said Bill Lee, Smart Home Samsung, Smart

Dan Xfinity Home said “Comcast is in the Voice Business, and we want to provide consumers choice to use their phone, video or voice when interacting with their connected home and security systems.”

Thomas, Kollibre’s goal is to change and improve health utilizing AI as a tool.

Chris, Trakr, We are in a revolution of computing, what Amazon is doing is creating ubiquitous computing and we believe that the computers will keep track of all our stuff with in the next 5 years.

WEARABLES AND THE FAMILY  

Jenna Blaha, Marie Claire’s technical editor showed us a world where the family wears it’s tech.

Aki, “Moff band is a platform that has kids moving now we are now taking it to elder preventative care to get grandparents up and moving too.”  

Coleman, “Sqord instilling healthy habits and community lifestyle is mission critical when working with schools, hospitals on making good healthy habits with fun and engagement on a wearable.

David Binoit, “Wearsafe provides safety as a service much like the STAPLES Red Button, you just push for assistance, providing real time feed to a family network. Bringing safety to kids and parents when in an uncomfortable situation.”

Scott, “Scotte Vest the non-technical wearables providing method to the tech madness from everything from a computer to a drone!”  

FamilyTECH TV

@AndreaSmith and @AmyOztan moderated this year’s series of charming and informative interviews with the some of the coolest family and kids tech people on the market. Don’t miss a thing.

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Talking ‘Bout Blogger Generation

Our Blogger Breakfast series hosted by @AndreaSmith introduced CES’s topic pool of bloggers to the latest technologies from Philips and Lenovo.  These small group gatherings provide a way for tastemakers and product makers to bond over cool products.  Philips showed off their digital parenting platform and oral hygiene products.  Lenovo showcased their latest VR and AR enhancements plus their Digital Assistant

KAPi Awards

Finally check out the KAPi Awards to see who got the nod from our judges for best products for kids this year.

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