The start of the new year means one thing for those of us immersed in the world of technology — CES. Held in Las Vegas at the beginning of January, CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show that brings together over 150,000 attendees and thousands of vendors from around the world in 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space in Las Vegas. Put on by the Consumer Technology Association, CES is the place where new technology products will be unveiled and prototypes are showcased.
This year I’ll be hitting the show floors hunting for innovative products that will disrupt the way we work, play, and think. There is never a shortage of shiny new devices from brands big and small but there’s no doubt that technology is transforming the way we stay connected to the people and places we care about most and continues to assist our kids in their learning, regardless of their ages. Here are just a few of the things that I’m excited about seeing at CES in Las Vegas this year
Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology used to be so disjointed with a wealth of products on the market that couldn’t talk to each other. Z-wave and Zigbee technologies are standards that not only allow our smart home products to talk to each other but also to devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. Smart home technology will continue to be a big trend with more devices having the ability to be connected than ever before in innovative ways.
Last year I was wowed by Samsung Smart Things so much that it led to our purchase of a hub for our own home. Over the holidays we have been trying Philips Hue bulbs that integrate with ToonGoggles (review coming after CES!) to change your lighting as you watch favorite shows to create an even more immersive viewing experience. I’m looking forward to seeing more from Philips Hue at the show, especially since their bulbs can be controlled with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.
Better Tools for Learning
How do kids learn best? Through immersive experiences that capture their interests in age appropriate ways and challenge them through just-right experiences that gently nudge them to the next level. While we’re always conscious about the amount of screen time our kids get (and their exposure to blue light from devices), well designed pieces of technology have the power to transform educational experiences for our kids.
I’m looking forward to talking with the Square Panda about their multisensory phonics learning system. With fun and engaging animated games and alphabet letter manipulatives, I see this as a powerful tool for reinforcing necessary strategies so kids can become more fluent and confident readers quickly. As a former first grade teacher who taught kids how to read, Square Panda definitely captured my attention. I look forward to seeing what other innovative products for learning will be coming out this year and celebrating excellence in children’s media and the best products in the kids tech industry at the Kids at Play Interactive Awards.
I’m going to be honest- I am always on the hunt for new wearables for my quest in finding one that will do exactly what I need it to do. I want it to be stylish, highly functional, durable (I want it to have Corning Gorilla SR+!) hold a charge for more than a day, and also serve as a great running companion. Perhaps I’m asking the impossible but I’m hopeful that this year could be the year that I find exactly what I need.
Last year I was impressed by Huawai’s stylish wearables and this year I’m heading to CES with a Huawei Watch on my wrist. I’ve been using it for about a week now and so far so good- it’s gorgeous, holds a charge, connects with my phone via Bluetooth so I get my many alerts on my wrist but CES will put it to the test. It’s a bit fancy to be my half marathon training partner but with new product announcements on the horizon, it’s possible that Huawei and other companies might have what I’m looking for.
One of the best things about CES is the endless floor space that results in incredible discoveries. I’m looking forward to wandering the aisles to find things that I didn’t know that I might need that can make my life easier, help me stay more connected, and are just downright cool.
Affiliate links are included in this post. All opinions are my own.