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The future of kid and baby tech on display at CES 2017

I’m not going to go into everything that was out there at CES 2017, however as of first or second quarter the following are things you should expect to become more and more mainstream.

Oh yeah, theITbaby was at CES… did I mention that?

Child health tracking

Track little one's healthSeveral wearables will monitor your kid’s O2 levels, temperature, and the like. On the older kids they can check in with you so even if they’re out and about you’ll know your kiddo is getting too stressed or running a fever.

I’m sure someone’s going to come in and claim that using these devices means you’re not in touch with your kid’s physical well being and somehow less of a parent for using a device that can tell you several hours before your kid collapses that they’re too stressed, tired, and probably should calm down to get some rest before they push themselves to the sick threshold.

There were also some asthma buddies on display that help let a kid know when they need to take their medicine.

Gamifying common tasks

The evolution of the smart brush continues with more and more things coming to the market to make brushing teeth, taking baths, and hitting the potty into a game rather than something a kid would want to fight.

Grush and several toothbrush attachment companies combined with apps are doing the teeth. Edwin the Duck is a good example of the gamification of bathtime.

Teach them the most over-run job of 2027

Several learn to code toys are available. They’re fun, teach logical thinking, and probably will prepare your child to be in one of the most over-staffed professions ten years from now.

Programmable robot toys at CESProgrammable robot overlord at CES OZBot at CES More OZBot

All kidding aside, those who can code have learned to analyze critical function processing. They’re much more likely to be able to learn in interesting ways.

The internet of non-internet toys

Ever look at Play Doh and think it needed to be connected to the internet somehow? Me neither, but it is now somewhat. Make a character out of physical Play Doh, snap a picture, use it to terrorize villages.

Play Doh Touch Play Doh connected at Showstoppers

I saw several devices that worked with Lego to share what playsets you have and find out what other kids were building with theirs as well as allow you to share you own designs.

On the Lego side it appears to be quite useful for kids who get playsets and no longer wish to have just one thing. I think it probably inspires creativity, problem solving, and innovation. I’m torn on the Play Doh side though.

The internet of hugs

Hug loved ones from miles awayWhat I initially thought was just about the stupidest idea ever, a teddy bear that transmits hugs from across the world, actually looks pretty good in person. The use case scenario they gave was a soldier deployed overseas can hug it while on a skype call in and the kiddo gets a hug.

Works for relatives far far away as well.

Antibacterial cleaning times down to a minute or less

I saw a couple of devices that will take pacifier and bottle antibacterial cleaning times down to under a minute. One was a microwave device, the other was IR/UV. Both succeed in taking away germs that could be used to build a baby’s immune system, or get them sick.

SIDS really shouldn’t be an active worry anymore

With the wearables, smart mattresses, etc. SIDS and choking in their sleep really shouldn’t be a concern any more. There’re plenty of baby cribs that monitor temp, attempt to wake a kid if no breathing is detected in 15 seconds, and then loudly freak out that baby is not breathing.

Finally understand what baby wants

Nope, more cry translators, more crap that doesn’t work.

Smarter strollersConnected strollers

I’m not entirely sure what all this thing does. My guess is monitors baby and tells you how far you’ve walked.

Virtual reality is here

HTC Vive demo at ShowstoppersIt’s been coming, and it’s been terrible. But some insanely good VR is here now and if you want to inspire your kid to paint and mold and build without tearing up your house, you can do that now.

I drew a beautiful 3D statue and walked around it. It was rad. Here’s a bad picture of a screen that people were able to see me walking around in it.

Hate screens?

Storyteller robotPlenty of devices are coming out that will tell stories, answer questions in age-specific context, and don’t have one single pixel to them.

Neil is a robo storyteller, there’s also a robot dino Alexia with IBM’s Watson as a backend that will act as your child’s personal assistant and answer questions for them.

I wish I could remember the name of the dino. The context questions are thing like “how far is the moon” and when it’s talking to a four year old it will tell them it’s really really far… farther than they can walk. If it’s talking to an older kid it will tell them that it’s 238,900 miles give or take a few depending on orbit.

On the parent front

There are smart ovulation trackers, male fertility analyzers, no-hose breast pumping devices, smart trackers for clothing, sleep training robots, and just about everything you could shake a stick at.

Depending on how you look at it it’s either a dream come true or a nightmare of tech.

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.