2. Walking the Showroom Floor: Daily I walked the floor talking to companies and seeing demos of mom tech and family tech gadgets and software. I also arranged to review some of these products later in the year so I can give a thorough analysis on how these technologies can help you as a mom.
3. Setting Up One to One Meetings: With several companies I prearranged meetings with their representatives to receive a personal tour of their booth and products with a focus on mom tech.
4. Going to Parties: Yes, you heard it right, parties. Several of the evening parties I attended had representatives from major companies and meeting them during these networking parties allowed for a more relaxing atmosphere to talk about mom tech needs.
- 3D TV – believe it or not, 3D is going mainstream and available in most upper-end 2010 TV’s from major companies including Toshiba, Panasonic, LG, Sony, etc. Now, you can enjoy 3D quality movies at your home as well as the movie theater. Yes, you will still need to 3D glasses – but the home version ones are much cooler – though more pricey. Some 3D TV’s will even turn your home movies and regular DVD movies into 3D movies with their inherent powerful processors.
- Internet Enabled TV – many of the large TV companies have added widgets to their TV’s so consumers can keep up with some of their favorite Internet programs. Widgets vary per TV manufacturer but could include Picasa, YouTube, Pandora, Twitter, Netflix, and many others. Several of the Internet enabled manufacturers, namely, LG, Panasonic, and Toshiba, touted the ability to use Skype directly from their TV. Now families can keep in contact with other family members easily using free Skype video conferencing. Unlike video phones of the past, the family member on the other side of the phone line does not need to have the same brand device. In fact, they can use Skype the traditional way, on their computer to keep in touch.
- eReaders -eReaders enable books to be read on a small device, typically 6-10 inches in screen size. Amazon’s long standing Kindle and Sony’s eReader have been the biggest player in the market. Now numerous eReaders are flooding the market from large to small manufacturers. eReaders’ functionality is increasing too, some adding music and basic calendaring, while others adding eReaders to their nebook or tablet lines of computer functionality. It is clear that the future of eReaders is no longer a standalone device. eReaders are morphing into new multifunctioning devices that bring more value to the consumer and decrease gadget clutter.
- Tablet PC’s - the long awaited tablet pc’s have arrived and offer pretty exciting features with Windows 7 offering touch screen capability. In the works for 2010 are HP’s Slate, Lenovo’s Idea Pad U1, and rumors have been swirling for months that Apple will soon announce their own version of the tablet pc.
- Devices to help you keep track of kids/things - one device is now available, called Lok8u (and at least one other is coming out soon) will to help you track your child via GPS. These devices can be placed either on the wrist (watch) or in a pocket so they have a better chance of being on a child if s/he is abducted. Typically, an abductor tosses a child’s cell phone during the abduction. The child tracking devices can also be handy in knowing that your child is at school, arrived at a friend’s house, or arrived home safely. Another new device, the Zomm, helps you to remember your cell phone in case you accidentally forget at home, in a restaurant, in your car, etc.
- Car Technology – Ford has upped the ante for in-car technology, taking it to new horizons with its Microsoft SYNC in dash system. SYNC offers voice controls to change radio stations, find an address or point of interest (POI), check traffic, stocks, horoscopes, local movie listings, even answer your Bluetooth enabled phone. 2011 technology includes even more features such as receiving text messages from your phone and reading it to you, Facebook notes and Twitter tweets, managing your favorite Pandora internet stations and the list continues. Ford is offering some remarkable technology on several of its 2011 cars and has big plans for continuing this technology in the future.
Note that much of the technology introduced during the show and summarized here are not yet available on the market. Manufacturers are still finalizing their features and you’ll start to see products out in the market anywhere from late Q1 up until mid Q4. Stay tuned for the WellConnectedMom’s mom tech highlights on Great Mom Tech Products,” Great Family Tech Products,” or “Cool Products.”
I didn’t really wear my pajama’s and
slippers to the show, did I?