CES 2020 Preview: Family Tech Summit Promises Cutting-Edge Robots and a WWE Wrestler.

Published on January 4, 2020

The Kids@Play/Family Tech Summit 2020 at CES 2020 promises a wide range of innovative family- and kid-focused tech for learning, play, safety, and securityas well as talks with thought leaders and industry experts.

The Family and Kids Tech marketplace will showcase products during all four days. A one-day conference takes place on Jan. 9, and it includes the 12th annual KAPi Awards ceremony, which honors “excellence in children’s media and digital toys.”

The marketplace includes 20,000 square feet of products and innovations. The summit has almost 50 speakers, including some of the biggest names in the toy and gaming industries. In addition, it offers curated networking opportunities and industry-led sessions.

This year’s show is about family 2020,” said Tonda Sellers, the summit’s producer. “The modern, tech-savvy family and the tech that it uses to connect [with one another].”

At the “Kids Market,” attendees can try new products from startups to large companies. And they run the gamut, including tech devices such as robots and extended reality (XR) gadgets. XR includes tech that either combines real and virtual worlds or allows full virtual immersion.

Teaching Kids to Build Robots Through Smart Modules

One of the many marketplace debuts includes a product that integrates the digital world into the analog one — developed by Hamelin, a company famous for high-tech notebooks that allows notetakers to save, share, scan, organize, and access notes via the cloud. Also, Beijing KEYi Technology Co. Ltd. will introduce ClicBot, a robot that helps kids quickly create robot buddies, via smart modules. 

Virtual Worlds

In addition, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. will debut Tori, a learning game that provides an enhanced play environment through “Mirror Play ™ Experience,” which combines reality and digital.

It’s CES and Do You Know Where Your Child Is?

And XPLORA will unveil a smartwatch that lets parents stay connected to their children while keeping them safe — via voice calls, GPS, safe zones, and more. 

Furthermore, several startups will exhibit their new products, such as Kinzoo, a messenger app for kids and parents. It aims to promote family time and digital wellness. Sellers describes digital wellness as a trend for families, defining it as “good digital citizenship, which requires knowing how to use technology safely and responsibly.”

The modern family needs to be mentoring children. It’s important that we teach them how to be good digital citizens,” said Sellers. 

The Speaker Lineup

The summit’s roster of speakers and panelists includes Kinzoo’s founder, Sean Herman, who wrote the bestselling book “Screen Captured.” 

Of the various sessions planned, one of the biggest highlights consists of a panel with CMO of Toys “R” Us USA Stores Jianbo Yang, CEO of PlayShifu Vivek Goyal, CEO of Beijing KEYi TECH David Di Bene, and Innovation Projects Manager of BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Jerome Dureau.

The panelists will discuss various technologies that combine realities — XR, AR, VR and AI, and how they relate to families and children.

During the summit, other prominent sessions will include Leena Elisa of Avast, Valerie Vacante of Collabsco / TechUp, Sten Kirkbak of XPLORA, Julie Jargon from The Wall Street Journal, and Monica Chin from Business Insider

And, even the wrestling world will be represented at the summit. WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston plans to speak on how he uses social media in positive ways.   

In addition, media partners TechUP and Romper will showcase their publications and host activations.

How Can You Get In On the Action

Last year a total of more than 700 people attended the summit, throughout multiple days. However, current room capacity stands at approximately 300. And, any CES badge holders may attend free of charge. 

The event’s producers include Consumer Technology Association and Living in Digital Times — founded by veteran technology journalist Robin Raskin, who is responsible for at least 20% of CES’ programming, who will also co-host a private dinner with Yahoo News’ Sr. Tech Reporter, Rob Pegoraro, and Grit Daily’s two co-founders, Jordan French (Executive Editor) and Andrew Rossow (Deputy Editor).

Jenni Choi is a Columnist at Grit Daily based in Austin, Texas. Her reporting focuses on social enterprise, social impact tech, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in media & entertainment. She founded the mission-driven company Moving The Needle LLC  to help increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in media & entertainment. She previously wrote for The Baltimore Sun and The Baltimore Sun Media Group. Afterward she completed an M.S. in Social Work (concentrating on social enterprise and international social welfare) at Columbia University, fulfilled her dream of moving to the West Coast, and worked in communications and fundraising for nonprofits, before transitioning to the tech world. She helped launch the Women Techmakers membership program, part of Google's global initiative to empower women in tech and consulted for early stage startups. Jenni also enjoys serving as an advisor for the nonprofits Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) and Global People's Summit.

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