The best of kids’ tech for the year to come

January 10, 2017

Last week, CES (Consumer Electronics Show) was held in Las Vegas, and it's basically a showcase of new and some amazing tech we can look forward to. I'm always interested in the kids' stuff (I already featured the Willow breast pump that everyone's talking about here), and here's what's hot in the future world of tech for kids.

Lego Boost

Lego Boost teaches is a robotics and programming system that connects to an iOS or Android app. It brings bricks to life with simple motors and sensors, while teaching coding basics. It's suitable for seven-year-olds and up, and is sold in kits of about 850 pieces.

Kids can choose from five versions – a robot, cat, space rover, factory and guitar.

It will be available overseas in the second half of the year for $160. 

Leka

With sensors and a screen, Leka aims to help children between three and six with special needs ranging from autism to cerebral palsy to ADHD improve their motor, cognitive and interpersonal skills.

It works with an app, and features a range of learning activities. It has built-in sensors that detect and respond to a child's interaction, soothing lights wrap around it and there's also a multiplayer game to improve their social skills.

Mattel Aristotle

The Aristotle is a high-tech electronic assistant for children featuring a camera, microphone and speakers.

Here are some of the things it claims to do (I'm not sure whether to be terrified or excited):

  • Automatically recognizes when babies wake up, and soothes them to sleep with a lullaby, white noise, a favorite song or a night-light.
  • Logs wet diapers and feedings via voice commands or a phone app.
  • Automatically orders more diapers or formula from Target, Babies R Us and other participating retailers.
  • Automatically looks for deals and coupons on consumable baby supplies.
  • Actually recognizes and answers young kids' questions after a brief voice recognition training session
  • Answers questions until your child falls asleep.
  • Plays guessing games with kids based on animal noises (say the name of the animal) or shapes held up to the camera (say the name of the shape), then lights up with the correct answer.
  • Reads aloud from a selection of dozens of children's books, accompanying them with sound and light effects that match the stories.
  • Hosts sing-alongs and teaches ABCs and 1-2-3s.
  • Recognizes specially designed kids' toys with embedded NFC chips, or with its camera, and provides sound effects when kids play with them (an upcoming Hot Wheels racetrack was one example).
  • Optionally requires kids to say "Please" when they ask Aristotle for things, to help teach manners.
  • Helps kids with homework.
  • Gives foreign-language lessons. (Mattel says this is targeted at tweens, not younger children.)

Link AKC Dog Collar

Since our dogs are often like our kids, I couldn't resist including this one. This smart collar records your dog's daily activity, alerts you when he steps outside a custom “safe zone” that you define using the app, and has a built-in LED light to improve visibility during nighttime walks. 

I'm not sure why you would need or want to track your dog's movements, but it might be fun to know, or even follow if your pet is overweight and you want to monitor that they're moving more.

Via WSJ, CNET and Men's Health

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