the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Some neat baby/kid tech at CES 2016

CES logoFor my other gig I go to the Consumer Electronics Showcase most years and report on cell phone tech and anything that catches my eye.

This year I hit a few of the baby tech tables and let me tell you, if you’re a six foot male your chances of getting someone to talk to you at one of these tables is pretty slim.

Usually I would just listen to the woman who came up behind me getting sold the pitch on the product. But I digress, it’s not like someone said “hi,” then sat down and ate a sandwich because she didn’t think I was interested in knowing about her company’s product… oh wait, she did.

The Connected Nursery was a common theme, along with proprietary WiFi setups that required no intervention and were supposedly unhackable.

Buddy TagThere were more thermometers than you could shake a mercury-filled stick at, and more things to alert you if your kid wanders off, has a SIDS incident, falls in a pool, or is about to have an asthma attack from anywhere in the US without a cellphone required.

Time and again I heard the phrase “it seems like we’re using hospital grade technology on our kids.” I really wanted to talk to these people and mention that things such as washing your hands, thermometers, band-aids, etc are all hospital grade technology.

We’ve come to the point where technology can take away our worry and people are finding reasons to bitch about it.

There are several watches for kids that can monitor heart rates, report their position via GPS every so often, and have a panic button if the kid feels threatened. Plenty of Bluetooth Low Energy devices that will tell you if your kid gets more than X feet away from you, which is great for the mall.

But isn’t Bluetooth radiation?

Had an interesting conversation with a company that produces a Bluetooth Low Energy baby monitor that will be coming out shortly. I’m not naming them as I may be misquoting them and I want to not get my ass sued if I misquote something.

The amount of radiation their monitor puts into your baby is the equivalent of talking on your cell phone for 12 seconds 5ish feet away from the baby. Wait… it’s that over a year. Yup, BTLE radiation output over a year is like answering your cell phone, saying “no, no, right number but nobody lives here by that name.” and then hanging up.

Enough about that…

Bluetooth phones

Yip Yap PipsqueakA company called Yip Yap is producing a Bluetooth phone that connects to your phone. A kid can call their friends, play videos, do smartphone things on their phone without you having to hand your phone over to them.

It looked pretty neat, even if the resolution was a bit low.

Boogie Boards

Boogie Boards

Draw on them, press a button and the drawing disappears. It’s sort of like those magnetic travel drawing “tablets” that you can erase, except it looks like you’re using chalk markers. One button press and solid black screen again.

Very cool.

Dino Siri

Cognitoys DinoCognitoys has a cute little WiFi-connected dinosaur that is basically an age-appropriate Siri. It’s got one button, a microphone, and a speaker. The demo I saw involved the person pressing the button and asking how far away the moon was. The answer came back in miles. He then said “I am three years old,” and asked the question again. Dino said “it’s very far. Too far to walk.”

While the actual product is little more than plastic and some chips, the back end was quite amazing and is being updated constantly.

It’s also evidently powered by IBM’s Watson.

Cognitoys Dino

You need to be a princess ALL THE TIME

Lot of cute headphones, these stood out

Princess headphones

Eh, there’s more, but I’m otherwise still beat from the trip so I’ll write about those later.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.