I brought some of my favorite Back to School tech ideas to show Michelle Charlesworth on WABC TV. I love all the gadgets I chose but my hands-down favorite is the Lenovo LaVie Z laptop which is the lightest 13-inch laptop you can buy. Honestly, it feels like a prototype when I carry it but it really does have a hard drive and a kick-ass Intel Core i7 processor. Check them all out, plus the full video here.
Last week I showed off some of my favorite Father’s Day Techie gift ideas on WABC. I adore Michelle Charlesworth, have worked with her for years and her energy and personality always make these segments so fun. You can watch the full video here: yes, I flew the drone!
For more info on the products, see below.
Microsoft Surface 3
The Surface 3 is a tablet that does double duty as a portable laptop when combined with the (extra) Surface 3 Type Cover. It’s thin and light and gets about 10 hours of battery life. It runs all Windows programs, has USB ports, a headphone jack and micro USB ports. Detach the keyboard and you’ve got a 10.8-inch high res tablet for kicking back and watching videos or reading the news.
Price starts at $499
LG G4 Smartphone
This new flagship phone from LG has even iPhone lovers taking a second look. LG’s G4 phone, is a sleek 5.5-inch phone with a quad HD display running on Android 5.1. The phone has a removable battery and an impressive camera.
Its defining feature is a smart-looking hand-stitched leather back cover, available in a variety of colors. Whichever carrier Dad uses, there’s a deal through Father’s Day for an extra battery and storage.
T-Mobile is offering five times more memory and if Dad is a world traveler, make sure to check out T-Mo’s Simple Global Feature which includes unlimited data and texting to the US.
Sengled Pulse Bulbs
The Sengled Pulse Bluetooth bulb is a simple way to get great-sounding music in any room of the house. It’s an LED light bulb with integrated JBL Bluetooth speakers. They’re super easy to install, just replace the bulb in any standard E26 socket and connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Use the Pulse app to control the music and dim the light. The Pulse Solo is $59.99 or pick up a master and satellite set of two dimmable bulbs for $169.
Never run out of battery again. The myCharge HubPlus portable charger has built-in Lightning and Micro USB cables for charging devices on the go. Dad can charge up his tablet and phone at the same time – there’s plenty of power. And when it comes time to charge up the charger, a built-in wall prong makes it quick and easy to power up the 6,000 mAh battery for the next trip. It’s small, fits easily into a bag or backpack and is a life-saver for staying connected on the go.
Knomo Bude Backpack
Dads don’t always carry briefcases anymore because their stuff is smaller and more mobile. Laptop-toting dads will appreciate the look and comfort of Knomo Bag’s Bude Backpack, made of a lightweight canvas that’s both dirt and water resistant – perfect for the city. There’s a padded compartment inside that protects up to a 15-inch laptop and a tablet, and lots of compartments for keeping cables and gear organized.
Parrot Bebop Drone
What’s more fun that flying a drone around the neighborhood or on the beach? Flying a drone that that has a built-in camera that captures 1080p video and can shoot 14mp stills. The Parrot Bebop Drone is made of impact-resistant foam, and is lightweight enough for you to take anywhere. No worries about the learning curve; the propellers stop automatically on impact and if the drone gets too far away from you, a GPS function lets you call the drone back home.
Still trying to figure out what your child would like as a gift for the holidays? I took my best ideas to WABC TV to show David Novarro the latest in STEM toys for girls and the best tech gifts for children on your list during the holidays. Watch the video here and read about all the items below.
Leap TV $149
Leap TV is a made-for-kids video gaming system that provides hours of fun, while ensuring the kids get up and off the couch to play.
It has motion sense technology and a Kinect-like camera to put the kids in the game so they’ll be jumping, hopping and laughing their way through the levels. Three ways to use the controller; body motion, pointer play and classic control.
There are over 100 education games that automatically adjust to your child’s age and ability. Also games like LeapFrog sports and Kart Racing.
Kindle Fire HD6 Kids edition $149
The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition is a real tablet with a quad core processor, front and rear cameras and an HD display. It comes in 6-inch and 7-inch sizes and includes a colorful, kid-proof case to protect against accidental drops and impact.
Parents will love that it comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited; a library of 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games-at no additional cost.
Parental controls let you set limits on content and screen time for each child. It can be taken out of kids’ mode and used as a regular tablet with a password. And because we all know accidents happen, Amazon offers a two-year warranty; “If they break it, we’ll replace it. No questions asked.”
Sphero Ollie $99
Ollie is a super-fun racing robot you control you control with an iOS app. It pairs instantly to any Bluetooth LE-enabled device. It will run one hour on a single battery charge, and it’s tough; built to withstand drops and falls. Its polycarbonate shell protects it from high speed collisions.
Roominate is a toy that helps young girls build just about anything they can imagine. It’s a hands-on toy developed by female engineers designed to get girls interested in engineering and technology. They can build walls and floors – this set is for a studio, perfect for a NYC apt.
Using the modular building pieces they can create beds, tables, lamps and they can even wire up a motor to make items like elevators and fans.
There are a wide range of kits that can be used together.
Selfie case with built-in remote shutter $40
We all know kids love to take selfies but who has arms long enough to get everyone in the picture? The Selfie iPhone case has a built-in shutter for your phone’s camera so you never lose it. Just slide it out when you need it, connect via Bluetooth and snap away.
Works with iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S5.
Wow, it’s been a busy couple of months. I haven’t posted anything new here in some time, since I’ve been so busy with all my exciting projects.
I’ll start posting some of the things I’ve been working on here so I can catch you all up on the fun. There’s been CE Week TV, the conference panels, CNBC tech segments, writing for various outlets and yes, even a little vacation in between.
Hope everyone is having a great summer. If you’re looking for some fun, techy videos to watch, check out the CE Week TV page for all our exhibitor interviews from the show.
I told Randi Zuckerberg, at the start of our first of three interviews at CES, by the end of the day she was either going to hate me or we were going to be CES BFF’s.
Randi Zuckerberg knows a thing or two about oversharing, and she’s learned a lot along the way. In fact, she’s taken what she learned and turned it into a book, Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives.
Most people think of Randi Zuckerberg as Facebook founder Mark’s big sister, but she’s also an entrepreneur, a mom, and an author, willing to share her struggles as well as her triumphs.
Randi joined us at MommyTech at CES in Las Vegas, where she said she loved seeing women take the tech world by storm. In our MommyTech TV interview she talked about how difficult it is in a connected world to find balance between devoting yourself to your career as well as your family.
Randi says she’s perfected the art of “lopsided parenting,” meaning sometimes she spends a little too much time working, for instance, on her recent book tour. But then she makes up for it by making lots of time for family.
You can watch the video from one of the interviews here:
Here are five things Randi shared with us. (There are more tips about finding balance and managing technology in the video below.)
1. Parents need to know the tech their kids use every day. You don’t need to be on every social site, but you do need a baseline familiarity with the tech that your children are using.
2. Don’t place your phone on the table when meeting friends or dining with family. It says that any small interruption is more important than the person you’re spending time with.
3. Pay attention to people around you, and don’t feel obligated to return every email immediately. Just because someone sent it, doesn’t mean you need to stop what you’re doing and answer it.
4. About those selfies: Just because you can document every single thing you do doesn’t mean you should. In fact, if you’re constantly taking pictures, chances are you won’t actually remember what it was you saw.
5. Manage your technology, and make it work for you. Use it so you can get home in time to put your children to bed, but don’t spend the rest of the night answering email. It’s important to set boundaries between your public and private life.
What are your tips for balancing your connected life?
If you’re looking for new ways to listen to your music, the halls of the International CES are lined with Bluetooth speakers, headphones, wired systems, sound bars, any way you want to enjoy your music. The solutions are as personal as your taste in music. One person with strong opinions as to how music should he heard and enjoyed is Rohan Marley, son of the late Bob Marley.
He and his brothers carry on the Marley tradition of great listening with House of Marley headphones and speakers. The House of Marley is built on the principles of superior quality, earth-friendliness and a commitment to global charitable causes, like 1Love, the Marley family charitable organization dedicated to supporting youth, planet and peace.
He sat down with us at at MommyTech TV to talk about the listening lifestyle.
Recently I did a few segments on tech gifts for the holidays.
Of course, since the holidays are so very busy, I forgot to post them here.
So, if you’re still looking for any cool tech products before we see everything new coming out of CES, here they are.
WABC-TV segment on Top holiday gifts here:
CNBC segment on Top Kids Tech toys here:
What fun tech toys did you get for the holidays?