Ken: …good day on this Monday morning, always happy, in a good mood when our buddy Ryan Eldridge comes out here from Nerds On Call. And you’ve got a new way for us to spend all of our money.
Ryan: Yep, we’re going to spend it all. So we just got back from CES, it just ended, and man, there’s so much cool stuff. And you’re going to hear about all kinds of, like, drones and boring television…
Ken: That’s yesterday.
Ryan: We’re going to talk about the kids’ tech. This is something that’s pretty cool. This is new from Lego. It’s called Lego WeDo 2.0. The cool thing is, this is really made for classrooms, and so an entire classroom can outfit like 40 hours’ worth of curriculum for about $2,000. But here’s the cool part, is parents can buy it, too. It’s about $160. The kids can make their own Lego toy, but it also teaches them the fundamentals of programming. So they get two…kind of a two-hit there. They get engineering to create something, but then programming, also. They get to learn sequencing and everything else, and they do it on an app on a PC, a Chromebook, an iPad, or whatever, so it’s really easy to use. And it’s about $160 for parents.
Ken: I actually like it. Yeah, I like it!
Ryan: And you said, “Can they break it?” And I said, “Yeah, they can smash it and redo it again.”
Ken: Yeah, absolutely, because that’s the first thing my dude’s going to do, is break it.
Ryan: So when I was a new dad, I was super-nervous about SIDS and all the other stuff, that my kids…so we had a monitor and we wired up the kid, and we had all kinds of stuff all over the place. Well, this is just a little sock you can put on your baby, and it monitors their vitals and lets you know exactly what’s happening with the kid at all times.
Ken: I love it.
Ryan: It’s about $250. And there’s a little base station you put in your home, it looks like this, for charging, and if it turns red you know you’ve got a problem, but if it’s green you’re good to go.
Ryan: I thought that was pretty cool.
Ken: Does it also have a noise, like a sensor alarm or anything that will…
Ryan: Yeah, it’ll alert you and let you know, “Hey, there’s something going on.” You can run in the room and see what’s going on.
Ryan: But it monitors their breathing, their heartbeat, everything. I mean, I was so nervous.
Ken: You can never be too careful.
Ken: Come on, man, you’re not the only person when you have a new baby. You can never be too careful.
Ryan: So this is called Hackaball. This is about $85. This is super-cool. And you would think, “Just a ball, no big deal,” right?
Ryan: But you can program this ball to do all kinds of fun stuff, different colors, vibrations and stuff, so you can create a game like hot potato or you can create a game like if it moves at all, it’ll change colors and that’s how you lose the game. This is about $85. This is a pretty cool little thing that you can program and, again, your kids can learn how to program while doing it. Here’s the last one.
Ken: Oh! I want this! I want this!
Ryan: Yep, we should already have this. This is coming out this fall. There’s no price yet, unfortunately, but it’s essentially laser tag, but like super-awesome.
Ryan: So you put on this little kit here and you shoot through this little laser thingamajig up here.
Ken: The doohickey.
Ryan: But not only can you shoot, like, your friends and your neighbors and all your other stuff…
Ken: I want it, Daddy!
Ryan: But check this out, you can control drones.
Ken: Daddy, make it happen!
Ryan: You can, like, “Go get him! Go get him!” This is super-cool. And then, you can check out the app and say, “Oh look, my son did exercise today.”
Female Anchor: Wow, wow.
Ryan: It’s simply a video game, so he shot somebody and he ran that far.
Ken: You know, as soon as the kids figure this out, “Look Mommy, I exercised today.” I tell you. I love that. That suit is fantastic. What’s the price point?
Ryan: The price point isn’t really released and it’s coming out this fall, so who knows? But I guarantee I’m going to be on that wait list.
Ken: I am with you on that, Ryan. Always good to see you and always some great ideas. You got a little more from the CES?
Ryan: Yeah, we’re going to do Future and Fun Tech next hour.
Ken: All right, there you go, just found some ways to spend all that money that you haven’t even made just yet.
LEGO Education WeDo 2.0
The LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 is a robotics kit that teaches elementary school students the basics of coding. Children use bricks to build a robot that can be controlled through a companion app on a smartphone or tablet. The programs are meant to challenge children to solve real-world science problems, and the projects are open ended so that creativity is encouraged. The Education WeDo 2.0 is a $160 kit designed for the classroom, but families can also purchase them. The kits include 40+ hours of projects ranging from physical sciences to engineering and technology. Children learn basic coding by stringing together icons that replicate a line of code which helps with sequencing and programming basics. The kit is designed for kids in 2nd and 3rd grade.
The Owlet is a Smart baby sock that is placed around the child’s foot in order to monitor the infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels. The smart sock uses pulse oximetry to measure their vital signs and alert you via an alarm through the bay station when things may be getting troublesome. Testimonials report that babies have been saved from accident suffocation thanks to the Owlet sock. The alerts that are sent to the bay station can also be accessed through your smartphone, as well as real-time vitals of your child. The Owlet sock is available now for a price of $250.
The Hackaball looks like an ordinary ball, but it includes motion sensors and multi-colored LED lights so that children can program their own games using a simple app to trigger lights or read the sensors. Kids can program a classic game like hot-potato, or program the ball to change color when it is shaken so the challenge is to hold it steadily, and so on. The possibilities are nearly endless and children who use hackaball are exposed to the basics of coding without really knowing it. The HackaBall has sold out during the pre-order phase, but will be available
Madrat Games Supersuit
The Madrat Games Supersuit is like the laser tag games of the past. Simply strap on the sensor panel to your chest and back and try to avoid getting shot my opponents laser-shooting gloves. The suit can be used for game modes such as laser tag, capture the flag, hide and seek, and more. The revolutionary part of the supersuit is that it can also control robots, such as remote control cars or a Sphero droid. Although the supersuit is not available in the US until this fall, and there is no published price, it is said that there will be an open platform for developers to add more games to the unit. With the ability to remotely control vehicles or droids using the supersuit, we are likely to see some of the most futuristic games of laser tag ever.
About The Author: Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.