CES Continues to Support and Celebrate Digital Kids

Six years ago we started the Kids@Play Summit because we believed that the best place to see new technology for kids was in the same place you saw new technology for people of all ages.

Why? Because technology defies age barriers.

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, apps, tablets, robots …. sure they’re used differently by different age groups, but today’s digital kids are tomorrow’s digital citizens and for them a well-balanced diet includes media and connectivity as well as milk and veggies.

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Here are a few of the day’s highlights from the 2015 Kids@Play Summit.

Dueling Robots: WowWee and Mechanoid Both Make New Products Announcements at CES 2015
Girl Scouts Launch Online Cookie App and an Entrepreneurial Future
Richard Barry, CMO of ToysRUs talks toys, toy stores and how the play experience changes for a new generation
David Pogue Explains the Quantified Self
New Wearables from HereO and Safe Family Wearables Promise a More Connected Family

Want to get Smart Fast?

JP Pedro looks at how Minecraft, Lego and Toca Boca succeed by providing organized freedom

We Tore Down Walls between Generations

At first glance this looks like a movie about a generation gap, but it’s so much more. Brenda Rusnak‘s film shows how teens feel empowered by teaching seniors to engage with Facebook and YouTube while giving seniors a lifeline to staying active and involved.

We Defined How a New Generation “ Likes to Watch”

Eric Levin on the tablet and mobile generation
Disney’s Jeff Selinger on education via mobile app
Leapfrog’s Jody LeVos on the future of the screen and the youngest gamers
Dreamworks’ TJ Marchetti, shows us that there’s not long or short, but “right form content” for kids
Animal Jam’s Clark Stacey on Virtual Worlds for Kids

What we learned: The Natives Are Restless:

40% of kids have used a mobile device before their second birthday
Long form vs. short form content doesn’t matter – it’s the right form for the moment
Kids have the least free time of any demographic. yet there are more forces looking to get a chunk of that time than any other demographic User-generated content is social currency and peer approval to a kid – TJ Marchetti, Dreamworks
The Icon for New Generation: Even the Rubber Ducky is Now Bluetooth

Innovation Osmo by Tangible Play. The symbolic world of apps jumps into the real work, with this $100 kit that contains a simple but ingenious tiny mirror and plastic stand. So you’re playing with your tangram blocks in real life while the iPad’s screen is giving you the “atta boys” and keeping score.

Best App For Younger Children Lumikids By Lumosity. Three timed, leveled logic puzzles stretch the limits of what you can do on an iPad’s screen. The more you play, the harder it gets. Just like its adult counterpart, Lumosity, the creators of this pint-sized version believe brains are meant to be trained.

Best App For Older Children Monument Valley by Ustwo Games. Addicting, beautiful and leveled perfectly to keep you challenged (and confused), this is a set of ten optical illusion maze puzzles that is ideal for a child in need of a challenge. Because your finger drives the transformations, the illusions unfold before your very eyes. Like magic.

Best Maker Maker Creatorbox by Creatorbox. Everybody knows you can subscribe to a database or a magazine. How about a series of invention kits? These subscription-based maker kits hold monthly surprises for eager young inventors including projects like building a catapult. While projects range from decidedly non-tech to high tech, the judges liked the way Creatorbox integrates with littleBits’ robotic parts.

Best Tech Toy Cubelets By Modular Robotics. Turn cubes into magic, with this set of snap-together robot parts. Test the limits of sensors that respond to proximity or light, or mix in a set of rolling cubes to make it all move.

Congratulations to the 2015 KAPi Award Winners

Best Robot Ozobot By Ozobot. These pocket-sized robots have optical readers and sensors, so they can see, hear and move. Use your smartphone or tablet to download challenges, or take out your own set of markers and create your very own Ozo paths.

Best Hardware LeapTV By Leapfrog. Wii, PlayStation, Xbox….. and now LeapTV? Leapfrog is hopping into a new culture, with a plug-in video game console designed to run cartridges with a motion sensing controller and a Kinect-like camera. We like to think of it as a young child’s first game machine experience, driven by Leapfrog’s educational content.

Best Family Entertainment Disney Fantasia Music Evolved By Harmonix. Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band, Dance Central and Guitar Hero, have done it again — this time with a collaboration with Walt Disney that leverages the power of the Xbox One camera. Imagine waving your arms and having a symphony orchestra respond. The mix of quality music and accurate body tracking raise the bar in rhythm games.

Emerging Pioneer Chip Donohue of the Chicago-based Erikson Institute has been a relentless warrior for Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) with the battle cry “put some DAP in your app.” He helped author the NAEYC position statement on Technology and Young Children, and more recently pulled together a diverse collection of authors in an important new book called “Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years.” Few have done so much to merge academia with practice.

Legend Dean Kamen was into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) before it was sexy. His most famous invention is the Segway. But few people know that in 1989, Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Today FIRST has many robotic programs, including the First LEGO League.