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January 10, 2011

Highlights from CES MommyTech 2011

I had the pleasure of attending the MommyTech summit at CES 2011 and speaking on the Mobile Moms panel, along with five other panelists, including spokespeople from T-Mobile, Neer, Swag, Toddy Gear and MOBI Technologies. We talked about what it means to be a mobile mom in today’s world and the role technology plays in helping moms be more efficient. I spoke from personal experience of being a Windows mom (see previous post, Definition of a Mobile Mom) and how my Windows 7 PC and Windows Phone 7 allow me to quickly access the things I need so I can focus on my number one priority: my family. Through the panel and great products on the MommyTech show floor, I learned about some fantastic new technologies. Mobi is one of my new favorites as they not only make baby monitors, but they provide a portable solution to access your camera feed from your PC or phone – as a mom, I love this idea! I’m also a fan of T-Mobile’s development of applications to help parents manage their family life, including apps which help to track of your kids whereabouts.

The Future of Computing: Telepathy?

Without a doubt, my favorite moment of CES was speaking with kids from the Boys and Girls club. On Thursday, Microsoft brought a group of 15 kids from the local club into the main Microsoft CES booth for a tour of Windows, Surface and Xbox Kinect. The kids ranged in ages 8-12. I toured the kids through our Windows section, which included allowing them to try Photo Fuse and to play around with the latest in touch PCs. As a mom, I’m proud and excited about the potential of kids learning about PCs at such a young age. The kids were extremely savvy with the PCs we had featured at CES. Not surprising, I learned the top PC activities are gaming, photography and school research, and each and every kid from the Boys and Girls club jumped at the chance to play with the touch PCs. My biggest takeaway is that everything is headed toward being touch-optimized – it is the easiest and most intuitive technology and kids not only get it, but they love it. (Look for an upcoming post on my three year-old daughter reviewing a new game on a touch laptop). When we asked all the kids where they see the future of technology headed, ALL talked about scenarios where we manage computers telepathically – scary and yet entirely possible with the creativity of this younger generation!

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What Moms Love About Windows and Top PCs

On the MommyTech show floor, the very smart and witty Blogging Angels (who Microsoft sponsored to attend CES) volunteered at the Microsoft booth to join me in talking with other moms about our favorite features in Windows 7, Windows Live and Windows Phone 7. Favored among attendees were Photo Gallery’s Photo Fuse feature, our blogging tool Live Writer, and the live tiles in Windows Phone 7, including integration with Facebook and SkyDrive to sync all your photos, contacts and data. I also brought an awesome collection of cool PCs for moms, courtesy of Ben the PC Guy. Among our collection, the PCs moms loved the most were the Sony Vaio P (looks like a brightly colored clutch when closed), the Asus Bamboo (one of my personal favorites for it’s elegant and beautiful design), the Toshiba Kids PC (peanut butter proof!) and the Samsung SF510 “Shark.”

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Most Interesting Products for Families – Here’s my list of favorites I saw or heard about on the show floor.

  • Maxell’s DVD player and projector for kids – while the technology isn’t exactly new, it’s a great entertainment idea for kids. What a fun way to spend a rainy day! My kids love popcorn and movie nights and I believe they would have a blast using this device, which also serves as a karaoke machine.
  • Eye-Fi – a wireless memory card for digital cameras, which means you can use your standard digital camera to wirelessly connect to your PC or phone to quickly upload photos and videos.
  • Nick Walls by HP – a customizable wall décor solution, which allows you to create very cool designs using Nick’s most popular themes, such as Dora the Explorer (my daughter’s favorite) and Sponge Bob SquarePants.
  • Mint – In case you haven’t seen it yet, I feel compelled to share a video clip of Mint’s mops dancing to the Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow,” since I heard this non-stop for two days straight. Quite the entertainment, if you have two minutes, and certainly compelling for anyone needing help cleaning floors.


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