Thanks to the pandemic, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held virtually in 2021, but even with an all-new format, there was no shortage of gadgetry to behold at the event. From an eco-friendly go-kart to coding toys galore, these
exciting products for families from CES are the future standouts of parent-friendly tech.
We may still be lightyears away from living in smart homes that can handle all of the cooking, cleaning, and child-wrangling that parents do on a daily basis, but judging by the show of innovative technology at CES this year, we're definitely already living in the future that parents of yesteryear could only imagine. When I was first pregnant a little less than a decade ago, a crib was just a crib. But now parents can invest in a smart crib with a built-in video monitor that will literally help lull their baby to sleep. What is this dream world we now live in?
Self-cleaning robot vacuums, solar-powered coffee cups, and an automated doggie door all grace this list of items that stand to make the life of parents in 2021 and beyond less hectic, more convenient, and overall easier. Read on for a glimpse of what the future of tech for families looks like.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Toniebox Interactive Speaker
Toniebox is an interactive speaker that's basically a new way for your child to listen to stories in audio form. When you place a Tonie (character) on top, the Toniebox will play that character's story. They can listen to stories from the favorite Disney characters, birthday stories, bedtime stories, and more.
Also included is a Creative Tonie that you can record up to 90 minutes of your own stories and songs on through an app. The Toniebox is an easy, screen and Internet-free way to keep kids entertained.
2 Solar-Powered Coffee Maker
If you depend on the magical, life-giving qualities of coffee to get you through the seemingly never-ending days of parenting, you'll want to take a look at this innovative travel mug. It may look like your typical travel cup, but the
GoSun Brew features a built-in French press that runs off of solar power. Perfect for camping, traveling, or anytime you forgot to program your coffee maker and you're running late for day care drop-off. 3 Interactive 'Sesame Street' Toy
The SKOOG interactive cube offers kids a multi-sensory play experience featuring their favorite
Sesame Street characters. A built-in speaker (also headphone compatible) plays songs, stories, games, puzzles, and more prompted by interchangeable Wonder Dots — soft, squeezable inserts boasting lovable characters like Elmo.
While the SKOOG does connect to a parent-controlled app, it allows kids to play, learn, and create \completely screen-free. Although the device can work offline, when connected, the SKOOG can stream wireless audio and connect to playlists. Visit the
SKOOG website to receive updates on pre-ordering information. 4 Smart Crib
Welcome to the future of parenting, folks. The
Cradlewise Smart Crib is an absolute dream come true for new parents. The crib's sensor can detect three phases of early waking in babies — quiet, active, and crying — soothing babies back to sleep during the quiet phase with an automatic movement that mimics bouncing. It can also play music to help soothe your baby as well.
The crib's settings are app-controlled and adjustable. You also have access to a live video feed (with night vision included) and sleep tracking data through the app as well. Preorders for the $1500 crib are now available, with an estimated ship date of July 2021.
5 Coding Critters
Learning Resources announced an update to their popular Coding Critters toys at CES 2021. Coding Critters MagiCoders will offer kids the opportunity to use a "magic" wand to input code from coding "spellbooks" to control the movements of four new Coding Critter animals. Although not available for purchase until summer 2021, you can sign up for updates on the
Learning Resources website. 6 Beltless Fetal Monitoring
When you're in labor, one of the last things you want to deal with is wires and cords wrapped around your burgeoning belly. At CES, Phillips announced its innovative
Avalon beltless fetal monitor, which uses cable-less transductors that adhere to your belly instead of a wrap-around band to monitor your baby's vitals effortlessly during labor. Goodbye forever, tangled cords on a stretchy belt!
Currently, the Avalon is only available through the Phillips website for registered health care professionals and medical product distributors.
7 Self-Cleaning Robot Vacuum
BV332AL-self-cleaning LDS robot vacuum cleaner by BONA uses an artificial intelligence camera with 360-degree scanning capabilities to navigate your home as it cleans, avoiding obstacles with ease. Instead of taking the time to empty and wipe out an entire dust bin, this vacuum is self-cleaning, dropping all collected dust and debris into a recyclable bag located within its docking station.
The release date and price point for this product have yet to be announced.
8 Programmable Robot Toy
Introduced at CES 2021, the
K1 Interstellar Scout is a fully programmable robot. This high-end kids toy is perfect for future engineers to get their feet wet in the world of programming. It can flip, dance, follow voice commands, and perform a variety of stunts. Unfortunately, this programmable robot isn't going to clean your house from top to bottom (though I wish it would), but it will keep your kids entertained and engaged in STEM education in a fun way.
You can sign up for updates on the Robosen website and the company will notify you when the K1 Interactive Scout is available for purchase.
9 Automated Doggie Door
The idea of a tech-savvy pet door isn't necessarily new, but the
MyQ Pet Portal unveiled at CES 2021 is a complete game-changer. First of all, it's not just a pet door, it's an entire door. The door can be controlled remotely, has video live stream capabilities, and includes two-way audio through an app. It can also be controlled by a collar that your dog or cat wears.
The door does have to be professionally installed, and it is admittedly pretty pricey ($2,999 with financing options), but for busy families, this automated pet door is a dream come true.
10 Eco-Friendly GoKart
If spending more time at home this year has meant investing in more innovative outdoor activities for your older kids, you definitely want to take a look at the
Ninebot Gokart PRO by Segway. This eco-friendly smart kart can travel 15.5 miles on a single charge at speeds up to 23 mph. An adjustable frame and steering wheel allows drivers from 4'5" to 6'3" to get in on the action.