You're dining with your kids at this amazing restaurant but the evening doesn't go as planned. Soon the kids become restless.....While you juggle between wolfing down your meal and calming the kids down, it would take you anywhere between 5 - 15 min before the whole place is engulfed with loud cries and icy glares from tables nearby. According to a survey, this is the same amount of time that children under eight spend daily on mobile phones and tablets.
A report by Common Sense Media (2013) highlights that there has been a huge increase in use of mobile media by young children over the past two years:
- The percentage of children under eight with access to a smart phone or tablet has jumped from half (52%) to three-quarters (75%).
- The average amount of time children (under eight) spend daily using mobile devices has tripled, from 5 minutes a day to 15 minutes a day.
- 38% of toddlers and infants under 2 have used a mobile device, compared to 10% in 2011.
It can be a daunting experience to witness the I-generation swipe through apps as if they were born with the skill. However, it appears that parents are finally embracing the reality of Britons techno-kids.
According to a recent report by uSwitch (a UK based comparison service) parents collectively spent over £3 billion on tech gifts for their children this year, spending an average of £243 each. In this age, technology forms a key part of growing up, developing an identity and connecting with friends.
6 Tech Gadgets that will be Beneficial for your Kids in 2014:
1. Mimo Baby Monitoring Onesie:
This is a high-tech activity tracker that allows parents to keep track of health related data regarding their infants. It enables parents to be more aware of any potential discomfort or illness which could develop.
There are three main components of the Mimo system: The kimono onesie, an attachable low-energy Bluetooth Turtle, and a Lilypad WiFi base station and charger. All three connect: The kimono's non-contact machine washable sensors help monitor your baby's vitals, the chew-safe Turtle sends the information wirelessly to the nearby Lilypad, and the WiFi Lilypad beams the information to your iPhone or Android device. The Lilypad also has a mic, so all your baby's sounds can be streamed as well.
Though Mimo, you can also monitor breathing, whether the baby is awake and room and skin temperature. This can be done in real-time or you can choose to view long-term graphs of your baby's activities.
Mimo is now available for pre-sales on the website but the first units will be shipped out in February, 2014. The starter package is 3 Kimonos, 1 Turtle, and 1 Lilypad for $200.
2. Filip Smart Locator:
Filip is a smart locator and wearable phone for kids between 5-11 years. This device was designed to eradicate the unbearable panic that sets in when a parent temporarily loses sight of their child. Now parents can track their child's movement via an app on their own smart phone.
Through this app, parents have complete control over which numbers Filip can connect to and which numbers can call in. The device allows unlimited two-way voice calling so that parents can talk or send messages to their children at any time.
Parents can also set safe zones for their child (triggering a notification if the child enters or leaves a designated area). Filip also features an intelligent emergency procedure to locate the child and put him/her in touch with the family if needed.
The device will cost $200 (plus $10 per month for AT&T's mobile services). While Filip is available exclusively from AT&T, the Filip App can be downloaded and used with any mobile carrier.
3. Kolibree Smart Toothbrush:
This is the world's first connected electric toothbrush. It syncs wirelessly with a smart phone to track your brushing habits. Using an accelerometer and a magnetometer to sense direction, the toothbrush knows how thoroughly you've brushed.
The Kolibree app charts your progress and scores your brushing technique. In this way, parents can monitor their kids' brushing habits and encourage them to improve. Since the app works with several toothbrushes, the entire family can participate to create some healthy competition. You can also share your stats with your dentist.
Kolibree transforms an otherwise boring experience in real-time and offers game-play to keep you motivated. The brushing data will be available via an API (application programming interface) to let third party game designers develop new apps and enhance brushing time.
The device will cost from $99 to $200, depending on the model, and will be available for pre-order this summer through Kickstarter.
4. Lit Action Sports Tracker:
Lit is a wearable activity tracker that provides people the opportunity to share and compare what they love to do: be it surfing, skating, snowboarding or other lifestyle sports.
While the Lit device functions as a normal watch and pedometer, it has been optimized for action and can automatically recognize what sport you are participating in.
With this device, kids will surely be tempted to take part in more outdoor sports. For instance, skiing down a mountain slope or extended air time translates into points, which are wirelessly fed to an app on your smart phone or tablet. Each session is broken down into components including jumps, turns and rotations.
The device's gamification element encourages you to compete with friends via group challenges, or you can set goals for yourself. Users can also upload photos and videos of their activity onto the app.
Lit is designed to be waterproof and shock resistant. You can wear it as a watch, on your belt or put it in your pocket. According to the company website, Lit is available for $149.
5. Zoomer Interactive Dog:
Zoomer is an electronic dalmatian puppy suitable for kids between 5-10 years. This interactive dog follows you with his eyes and even understands commands in English, Spanish and French. In the UK version, Zoomer can respond to commands in Russian as well.
Zoomer has motorized joints and sensors in his chest to detect motion, objects and touch. This helps him mimic the movements of a real dog. When you download the free iOS or Android app, you can get training tips for your puppy such as: sit, play dead, roll over and more. Zoomer even wanders off or pees on the floor when he gets bored.
Since Zoomer has a rechargeable battery and comes with a USB cable for charging, you don't have to worry about batteries and older kids should be able to recharge their pet themselves. He is the perfect companion for your kids without having to deal with the mess, vaccinations or responsibilities of an actual dog!
Zoomer is available for around $100 on a number of online websites such as www.smythstoys.com and www.amazon.co.uk.
6. Tyche Smart Phone Robot:
Tyche is the most intelligent smart phone robot in the world. It can recognize humans, converse with them, solve difficult problems and communicate with other Tyches. It is suitable for ages eight through adults.
Designed as a family companion by AIBrain Inc, Tyche has numerous potential applications including home security, entertainment, and robot education. One of the main features of Tyche is to help school kids develop their intellectual capabilities. The robot comes with interchangeable avatars and facial expressions. It is also available in the form of three different cars: sports car, classic car or bulldozer.
Tyche works with a select number of Android 3.0 or newer phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S series. It will cost $219 and will be available for retail this summer.