CES 2018: Gadgets For Kids Still Big at Tech Show Despite Concerns - <b>Technical Lobby</b>

Monday, January 15, 2018

CES 2018: Gadgets For Kids Still Big at Tech Show Despite Concerns

The children's section at the giant Consumer Electronics Show this week touted "innovations that enable 21st-century kids to learn and play smarter than ever."

CES 2018: Gadgets For Kids Still Big at Tech Show Despite Concerns

The timing may have been unfortunate following revived concerns of the dangers of too much technology for young children. But as the debate swirled, exhibitors at the Las Vegas extravaganza sought to showcase devices aimed at health, education and entertainment for youngsters, including educational robots. Pai Technology introduced its interactive storybooks for children, which use virtual reality and according to its website "encourages a love of reading" and offers "thoughtful stories."

Amy Braun, marketing director for the group, acknowledged concerns about kids and technology but said these devices still have value. "Technology is here to stay, and it's important to expose our children to technology but in beneficial ways," she said.

"We really focus on making sure that the time that we put it in front of our children is all about learning and development. And it's not either or."Braun said parents must decide on appropriate limits for screen exposure and other technology usage.

Chinese startup Dragon Touch unveiled its colorful tablet computer aimed at kids between three and six years old, with educational apps and parental controls. Dragon Touch's Lei Guo said the tablets may be valuable but also suggested parents supervise their use.

"I really don't want my kids to spend too much time on the internet," he said. "So that's why we also have the parent control mode, so that the parents can set a time, for example maybe 30 minutes per day."

CES 2018: Gadgets For Kids Still Big at Tech Show Despite Concerns

An augmented reality toothbrush meanwhile introduced by French startup Kolibree allows children to look at a smartphone or tablet screen to motivate and educate them about oral hygiene. "With image analysis, the application detects the brushing motion," Kolibree's Leonie Williamson. The device makes brushing a game, enabling kids to earn points by holding and using the toothbrush correctly.

Williamson said the toothbrush would not be a big contributor to too much screen time for kids: "It's just three brushings of two minutes each day."

In the United States, the nonprofit group Common Sense Media found 95 percent of US households have a mobile device in the home. Screen time has been shifting, the group said, from television to mobile devices.

 Earlier this week, two large shareholders urged Apple to study whether iPhones are proving addictive for children and if intensive use of the smartphones may be bad for their mental health.
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