CES: Tech to Track Kids’ Every Move

Basic helicopter parenting? That’s as “old” as some Millennials.

Using technology introduced at this year’s CES, moms and dads can now track and analyze every moment of a child’s life, starting in the womb. This year’s show featured more — and more sophisticated — devices to alert parents to how their child is breathing, where their child is wandering, and even, if it’s time for a diaper change.

Owlet — one of the first companies to introduce baby tech a few years ago — launched a pregnancy monitor, a band that wraps around a pregnant woman’s abdomen to track contractions and baby’s heartbeat.

For infants, Nanit introduced a camera that is positioned above the crib to transmit a birds-eye view. To monitor breathing, it tracks the movements of a specially designed baby band or swaddle, reading the customized patterns on the fabric.

Older kids had the myFirst wearable smartphone, from Oaxis, which includes GPS to track a child’s location, as well as  video call and texting capabilities, and is usable with any phone service. It also has a pedometer to capture steps taken, so a parent can set fitness goals for a child.

Kids’ robots were once again out in force at CES this year, but with a twist or two designed to go beyond basic coding and inspire more creative play.

Child’s Play client Pai Technology combined construction, coding and creativity in new PaiBots. Designed for preschoolers, PaiBots contains 130 physical building blocks and more than 30 interactive Augmented Reality puzzles that teach coding. PaiBots can be programmed to move, drum, dance, make sounds, and light up. Kids can build and code as many as six PaiBots robots, or create their own – enabling the littlest coders to play with a toy they’ve both designed and programmed themselves.

Educational Insights added the A to STEAM with Artie, a programmable robot that draws whatever kids code. It comes preprogrammed with shapes and games, and enables children to write their own custom code as well.

Other cool family tech at CES: Monit created a sensor with Bluetooth that attaches to the outside of a baby’s diaper, alerting parents and caregivers when it’s time for a change.  Farewell to the traditional sniff test.

I got a kick out of Fravel – basically a carry-on for kids or child-like adults that resembles a favorite pet: rub its head (the top of the case) and its ears wiggle. Its “heart” lights up — and it also charges your mobile devices.