In a world full of technology, the true winner is innovation. Technology is an almost $290 billion industry that is only growing. Every year since 1967, thousands of products and ideas are shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and this year, on the 50th anniversary, was no exception. Las Vegas was home to the latest advances in virtual reality, self-driving anything, 3D-printing, health monitoring, voice-based everything, and so much more.
Over the years there have been milestones like the laserdisc player, camcorder, CD player, DVDs, HDTV, connected TVs, and smart appliances introduced at CES. The list could go on and on.
From this year’s 50th anniversary CES in Las Vegas, we’ve put together the best-of-the-best when it comes to family and technology. That’s what we’re here for, to give you a look at the latest and greatest tech that will help bring sanity to your family.
It’s no longer just about building and honing dexterity. Lego has moved into the world of truly helping teach kids to code. Lego Boost uses an app that connects with a physical building set. There will be instructions, coding commands, and five creation options that kids can use to dive into the world of coding. It’s not just another toy to add to your STEAM collection. This app-based experience is for ages seven and up and offers over 60 activities around building and coding. It will hit shelves in the second half of 2017 at a price of $159.99.
ReSound ENZO2 Hearing Aid
Tech shouldn’t just be for kids or young adults. Older generations can have the opportunity to use technology to their benefit, ReSound created the ENZO2 hearing aids to offer rich sound to the hearing impaired. They’re the smallest hearing aid available and offer Smart Hearing™ technology. They’re compatible with Apple devices giving users the possibility to stream music or take phone calls. Anyone with difficulty hearing calls from family should consider these smart buds.
MobileShield™ Smartphone Waterproofing Technology
Every parent can relate. Water damage is one of the most frustrating parts of having a smartphone. It’s inevitable that a phone will be dropped in a toilet, covered in milk, or tossed in puddle in the parking lot just because it looked like a fun thing to do. MobileShield™ technology by Semblant was an honoree in three different categories this year at CES, because it’s so useful. We’re pretty sure everyone could use this at some point.
It’s no longer just a teaser. Ford has officially teamed with Amazon to get Alexa into their line of Sync-equipped cars. The official roll out will come in two stages. First, connecting owners to their cars through their home Echo, Dot, or Tap. The second roll out will come with the ability to command Alexa while driving; this is expected to be introduced by Summer 2017. Imagine asking Alexa to start the car from the kitchen, no longer having to find the keys to push the pesky remote start button and hope it’s held down just long enough to work. Drivers can search for and transfer local destinations to in-car navigation systems or even turn on lights in the house before they ever get there.
And, the award for the greatest family innovation goes to …
Home assistants are everywhere, but Aristotle, by Mattel and Microsoft, is a personality-driven assistant for the youngest members of the family. Think of Aristotle as a digital nanny and a teaching assistant. It recognizes multiple voices, and instructs and interacts with kids as they grow. Her voice is similar to Microsoft’s Cortana, but more age appropriate, giving kids a chance to navigate their world with a sense of camaraderie.
Child privacy is maintained through COPPA compliance and can be parent-controlled through a smartphone app. Parents can set time limits on tech use or program her to recognize manners. If you’re constantly reminding kids to say please, Aristotle won’t respond without the pleasantry, reinforcing parental wishes. She’ll even act as a monitor and alert parents if kids are crying or in distress. So, while Aristotle is for kids, parents are still involved throughout a child’s use of tech.