Mary Lou Jepsen is the engineering brain behind Oculus Rift. She'll be speaking At the FamilyTech Summit at CES about how screens will continue to impact family life. Here is some video from 2008 when she received the WITI (Women in Technology) International Pioneer Award. https://youtu.be/gA9WhwK-Aic
I live n NYC. My colleague Jill Gilbert is in San Francisco. Still, we just had a bonding moment listening to the beat of her unborn baby’s heart. It tugged at my heart strings to hear the little peapod kerthumping away. Best of all, Jill wasn’t in the doctor’s office lying on some unpleasant exam table, she was in the comfort of her own home using her Bellabeat, the first at-home sonogram that uses a mobile phone or tablet to share the data it collects with your world. Read more about this heart-warming technology here!
Lego remains one of the best loved and best selling kids toys. And they’re no slouch when it comes to advances in technology either. Products like Lego Mindstorms and Lego Universe pushed the Lego envelope by melding real land virtual play. The newest high touch meets high tech collection is Lego Fusion — a mashup of traditional Lego play and augmented reality. Read about Lego's innovation here!
You know the drill. The baby cries. You run to answer the call, only to stub your toe on the toy truck parked by your bed. Or you’re a night owl who’s partner goes apoplectic when you turn the lights grab that middle of the night snack. Here’s a high tech twist on the night light that might be the perfect answer. Read about it here!
I am a mother, and yet every year I fret about whether or not to play along with Mother's Day pomp and circumstance, or just hope it goes away. Even Anna Jarvis, the woman who spearheaded the U.S.' version of Mother's Day, grew so embittered with its commercialization that she tried to take the holiday back. Source Read more here
Game makers in search of new audiences are skewing even younger. Companies that traditionally catered to serious game players are making new forays into the K-6 crowd. "Get 'em young and keep 'em playing" is an age-old marketing idea but it's also creating some interesting play patterns for the youngest gamers. Source Read more here
Now that the price of hardware has come down and are ability to target individual learning styles and preferences has gone up are we about to see a new breed of digital toy that caters to special learning needs? Find out who’s heading the pack on this special topic.
It was a rainy day in NY so I wore my “schmatta” dress and ran downtown to take a quick stroll through the 3D Print show. By the end of my visit I’d been body-scanned, and sent off my like-ness to become reality at the 3D printing factory. A few days and $79 (ouch) later, I held my own 3D replica, 3-inches tall, in my hand. Read More
For kids being digital is like breathing oxygen -- it's just something that you do. For the makers of quality kids digital media it's like being a grand puppeteer. You're best if you're unnoticed. You want kids to believe in the magic that you create for them. What's the recipe for making magic? A sense of whimsy and wonder, a clean user interface, exciting design and age appropriate content are just a few of the ingredients. A respect for children is another. The following products, from high tech playgrounds to an exploration of the human body to collectible figurines, all take the digital medium to new heights. Read More!
Millions of apps are served every day! But boy, is it hard to find a good one. Our team scoured the web looking for the new, the exciting and the unexpected. From the practical that turns your phone into a document scanner to the whacked up that lets you find a pickup street game, these 10 apps will entertain and amaze. Read More!
Think of it as Fashion Week for robots. As robots continue their journey towards more intelligent, human-like behavior, they show off their individual sense of style. Here are 10 head-turning robots that do everything from entertain, to vacuum, from propel a paralyzed human, to navigating places where no humans would dare to tread. Comedic, heart-wrenching, utilitarian and filled with attitude, these robots will change the way we do just about everything. Read More!
When I was little and we played grownup, we had our faves. There was the doctor kit -- a biggie because we loved giving each other shots -- the vacuum cleaner push toy and the Easy Bake Oven. Kids never tire of coveting grownup things, but at Toy Fair N.Y.C. this year, the grownup things being shown are decidedly high tech. Read More!
I'm a Google Glass owner and I've had my share of ups and downs with my $1500 curiosity purchase. Mom says I look like I'm scratching my head when I'm using Glass and my photos and videos are shot and shared fast and furiously, but they're all pretty bad. I also spend inordinate amounts of time sending the wrong things to wrong people because a tiny tap to the side of my head engages my Glass. Still, it's a must have status symbol for all geeks and a thrilling window into the future. While Google Glass may be the glam glass queen of the moment, it's far from the only game in town. Two types of glass-like headware are making the scene. The Vuzix m100, and Recon's Jet, like Google Glass, offer hands-free access to information you might otherwise use your mobile phone for, delivering that information to a corner of your viewing field. Others like Meta, Epson and Lumus are meant to layer the virtual world atop your view of the physical world. Some headware makers are gearing up for immersive entertainment; others concentrate on enterprise applications. Some help the quantified self movement of physical sports; others make images appear monster-sized in front of your face. Together, these devices paint a picture of the wild world of augmented headware. Watch closely for these new products are bound to start penetrating your real world. Most are available for pre-order, and even the shipping versions still have that Version 1.0 feel, which means patience is a virtue in the virtual world. Read More!
CES is not normally thought of as a kid-friendly show, but each year at the Kids@Play Summit we find a few gems that should interest any consumer electronics lover. This year did not disappoint. A few highlights included: Kurio’s Android Phone ($199) looks every bit as cool as the Android phone that mom or dad uses, but it has the parental controls kids really need with their very first phone. Parents can set timers so that kids can only play Minecraft for an hour or not text message after 10PM. It’s got geo-location so you always know where your child is, and geo-fencing should they venture somewhere outside your limits. It even has a low battery notifier to text parents when their kid’s phone battery runs low. It’s sold as an unlocked phone that will work with a variety of carriers. Nice to see a kid’s phone that doesn’t scream “kiddie”. PlayWorld Systems: These video-game-meets-playground contraptions are found in public spaces (as a matter of fact I saw one in downtown Las Vegas). Love them because they combine the elements of a good video game—fast reflexes, flashing lights and different levels—with the sort of activity you want in a playground, running, jumping and competing. They start about $27,000 so they’re not exactly for most backyards but are a great fixture for any town or school. i-Play Bo and Yana: These two robots can be taught by kids to play music and dance. As the kids are teaching the robots, they’re learning simple programming skills. When kids program a dance or a song they can share their creations with other kids, creating a community of makers. Available for preorder from $59 to $228. WowWee MiPs: MiP (short for Mobile [...]
Just got back from the first World Congress of Play, a symposium created to cross-pollinate the kids toy, tech, licensing, content, advertising, marketing and other members of the play industry that are finding it hard to find their rightful place in the new world. Read More