Consumer Electronics Show

CES 2012

This was my second time attending CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. For the most part, this year's show felt like "here is what you saw last year, but now all these devices can talk to each other... and they're slimmer and faster!”  Convergence was a big buzz word this year (figuring out how to let all your electronics talk to each other) as was ecosystem (creating a "tech ecosystem" where all our gadgets live together in harmony). Cameras now have Wifi so you can send your videos to your computer without any cables. Affordable 3D camcorders have arrived, and the fridge that will do your shopping for you is just around the corner.

I also attended the Mommy Tech Summit while at CES, where panelists from companies like Leapfrog, PBS and Disney spoke about everything from the best new apps (check out the award winning Three Little Pigs and Cinderella by Nosy Crow), "gamefying" everything, and how we can be more tech literate parents.

So without further ado, here is the smart, the super cool and the silly of CES 2012.

The Smart

The fridge that shops for you

Take a Jetsons trip into the future with this Fridge (video). Just scan your shopping list with your smart phone and let the fridge tell you when you next run out of hamburgers or Gogurts.

The alarm clock that wakes you up with TV from around the world

A great way to keep up with your foreign language skills at home or on the road. Show your kids French, Italian or Chinese TV on a portable alarm clock! Fully wifi.

The snap-on display that turns your computer into a touch screen

Your kids touch screen happy? Mine are. This is a screen made for schools - so that kids can get up to the screen and touch, drag and tap their way to learning.

The Super Cool

Last year 3D everything was the hot new thing, and this year continues that trend, but with prices dropping there's a little more stuff we might actually be able to buy!

Kids asking for more 3D? Here is a handy snap-on screen...

This cool accessory slides on to your iPhone screen, and turns your screen 3D without the need for glasses!

Your baby will be even cuter showing off her moves in 3D

3D home video is here, and is getting more and more affordable (you can get a 3D camera for under $500 now!).

The world's thinnest OLED Smart TV

This 55" TV is only 4mm thick, and weighs under 17 lbs! It looked awesome, people were just standing around gawkin at it like it was Angelina Jolie.

The Silly

Grill burgers while you answer email


This handy device turns your iPhone into a BBQ sous-chef. The wires plug into the food so that your iPhone will tell you how hot your grill is, and when your food is ready! All while you are answering your email upstairs...

Take your iPhone for a stroll

The iPhone rider

I'm still not entirely sure why this exists, but if you ever wanted to turn your iPhone into a Roomba that doesn't vacuum, this is for you!

Original tech uses.. the computer dress

This is a dress with it's own computer display in the fabric. Never again will you have to worry about your iPad clashing with your dress at a formal occasion.

Which one of these do you think is the smartest? The silliest? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Remarks at 2011 CES by Cisco's John Chambers, GE's Jeffrey Immelt and Xerox's Ursula Burns

The Consumer Electronic Tradeshow gave me a great chance to meet other mommy entrepreneurs in the Mommy Tech Summit**, and to hear the provocative remarks of Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers of Cisco, Xerox and GE on a keynote panel. Of all the issues they could have spoken about, they wanted to address the need for better education of our students to prepare them to work in a global economy.

This is a topic that resonates with most parents raising their children to speak a second or third language, often doing so for some combination of cultural heritage and desire for their children to have that extra advantage in the future.

All three CEOs said our educational system is not doing enough to prepare our children for the global marketplace. Their companies need people who are able to work across borders, engage in cross-cultural teamwork and communicate with people of other cultures. Ursula Burns also noted that we are closing down our borders in the U.S. (accepting fewer immigrants and asking international students to leave) right at the time we need more international brainpower to drive innovation and execute on the entrepreneurial abundance here in the U.S. "The future of big tech is going to be compromised if we keep pushing out international talent."

The fact that fewer students from abroad can get educated here will also mean fewer bridges between our country and others. Two CEOs pointed out that they do business with people running major companies in other countries who were educated in the U.S. and therefore understand the American way of working. Personal relationships are key, and many are formed in undergrad, grad and business schools, when international students study abroad. Fewer international students today may mean fewer American CEOs at international tables in the future.

CEOs love facts and numbers and these CEOs were no different. They reminded us that there are 6 billion people in the world, only 300 million of whom are in the U.S.

    • All successful big businesses are selling to and working with the international marketplace.


    • Over 50% of the revenues collected by their three mega corporations (total of over $80 billion) came from OUTSIDE the U.S.


    • International sales are currently the biggest growth area for most U.S. Fortune 500 corporations.

Our K-12 schools are not doing enough to prepare our kids in math, reading, science and language, so what can we do to prepare for this shift?

    • Globalization is here to stay (Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, notes he revived the entire company by going global), so as leaders we need to have a "healthy paranoia" about getting left behind in the global economy. We need to pay better attention to what is happening in other countries and make sure we remain competitive.


    • Companies in the U.S. need to step up and partner with the government to improve schools and provide more educational opportunities (one such example is the "Change the Equation Foundation" that helps kids improve in science and is funded by the private and public sectors)


    • We need to rethink how we teach kids using new technology at our disposal (John Chambers of Cicsco mentioned his two year old granddaughter's seamless use of the iPad and questions how tablets, e-readers, and other new such devices are going to be integrated into the classroom)

Ursula Burns ended the keynote panel by saying she felt the most important question we need to be asking as a nation is "what are we going to do prepare our children to participate in the global economy?" She feels this means more science and math, and more exposure to the tools that will help our kids become global citizens.

We know that speaking a foreign language will give our kids at least one of the tools they will need... Do you agree with their take on where things are going? You can post your comments to our Facebook or Twitter page.

** Mommy Tech Summit

Digital moms' influence as the “chief decision maker” for their families, extended families and friends continues to grow. In turn, the Mommy Tech market has grown into a $90 billion dollar marketplace driven by tech-savvy women who are recognized as both powerful consumers and advocates for new technology.

Blogging Live From the Consumer Electronics Tradeshow (CES) in Vegas

I am at the Consumer Electronics Tradeshow in Las Vegas where millions of new gadgets and high tech toys are on display - everything from digital systems that allow you to control your home equipment remotely, new 3D versions of cameras and games, to the "TV Hat" which allows you to watch your favorite shows on your iPhone inside a souped up hat.

I've spent most of my time in the "Mommy Tech" section checking out stuff that might help us keep our lives running more smoothly and wanted to share five of the interesting products I've seen... from the useful to the whimsical to the laughable.

1) Is your phone or MP3 running out of juice?



Now you can recharge in style with the HyperJuice portable batteries, that allow you to recharge your Mac devices on the go and come in great bright colors! The smallest one is about the size of a Tic Tac case but will allow you to power an iPhone or iTouch eight times! These are great for when your toddler's iTouch runs out of juice in the back seat or on a long trip. Now they can watch Little Pim until they learn all the words, not until your phone dies!


2) Is your 15 month old making a movie? or playing with cars? or both?



Being a mom of two boys, it was mandatory that I stopped by the Hot Wheels booth to see how they're changing the future of toy car racing. Hot Wheels has given us a sneak preview of a race car that is also a video camera! Your child or even toddler just switches on the button and this little racer takes moving video while zipping across the floor! You can then upload it to your computer where your five-year old can turn it into a little movie. Welcome to the cars of the future!



3) Can't find your phone? It's around your neck!



VUniversal Moblie Neklit - here I am modeling this string around the neck where you can just stick your phone on to it and pull it back off, with the ease of Velcro (it's not). I think it would be great to have one less thing to look for in my bag (otherwise known as the bottomless pit!).



4) Take Pictures. Approach computer. Pictures on comptuer!



Eye-Fi Wi-Fi: Memory card and built-in Wi-Fi



Upload your pictures without messing with a bunch of cables. You just put this chip in your camera and it allows your computer to download the pictures you just took via wireless upload. This is perfect for sending birthday party pictures to grandma from a remote location (or pictures from a tradeshow for your blog).




5) Phone meets baby formula. Dry All to the rescue!



Dry-all – First Aid for Wet Electronics



For phones that have gotten wet (let's face it, our phones are living in a high risk environment around cups of orange juice, baby spit and bath time!), this genius idea zaps moisture using high tech absorbent pellets. Leave your phone in this box for a few minutes and presto, it's good as new!



I also liked that the demo video at the booth features the president of sales' 20 month old putting her phone in the toilet. Has that ever happened to you?


6) Are you watching TV in there??



TV Hat – your personal theater



I had to model this one too... if you see someone on the beach wearing this hat you'll know they are actually catching up on Desperate Housewives re-runs!