This year I focused my search on products that combined technology with being hands on in some way. Here are a few products that caught my attention.
Note: I was invited as media to the event. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.
Curiscope: Virtuali-Tee Age: 7+; Price: $29.95
The Virtuali-Tee is an Augmented Reality T-Shirt. Use the free app (on iOS & Android) on the 100% cotton tee and watch it bring the Science of Anatomy to life. With augmented reality and amazing 3D learning experiences you can explore the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems in fully immersive 360 videos.
The Virtuali-Tee’s brand new heart rate tracker is a completely new way to connect you to your body. The app measures your heart rate and allows you to visualise your heart rate beating live in AR! Available in Youth XS to Adult XXL. Works with selfie mode and goes in the washing machine!
Klutz Maker Lab: Circuit Games Age: 8+; Price: $24.99
Get ready to be amazed with this electrifying combination of five circuit games to build from scratch. Use actual electronic components to construct a DIY operation game, compete with friends in a Space Loop race, assemble a quiz show board, and more. A step-by-step book of instructions teaches you how to be a maker by adding wires, LEDs, and buzzers for super-charged fun.
Klutz: LEGO® Chain Reactions Age: 8+; Price: $24.99
Learn to build 10 LEGO® machines, then experiment to create a chain reaction. With a handful of basic bricks from your LEGO® collection, the only thing you’ll need is a little imagination.
Technology Will Save Us: Sew & Glow Age: 8+; Price: $24.99
Sew + Glow: Sewing badges. Making circuits. Playing with Power. Use included templates or make your own to create light-up badges with flashy electro thread. Includes disappearing ink pen. Templates in the box with dozens more online. Plus with the free online MAKE platform, there are dozens of projects to make!
Pai Technology: Circuit Conductor Age: 4+; Price: $69.99
Build circuits with the Circuit blocks and interactive tutorials in the circuit conductor app. Scan your circuits to learn about the roles electricity, magnets, and currents play in the circuits you build! The app will show you the electrical current in your circuit with Augmented Reality technology! Use your imagination and problem-solving skills to create and experiment with your own circuits!
Kano: Computer Kit Touch Age: 6+; Price: $279.99
Computer Kit Touch is the most advanced DIY computer that is a complete system for learning to code, with touchscreen, keyboard, creative tools, and hundreds of projects. Build a portable, touchscreen computer, and attach a keyboard, following a simple storybook.
While these are the products I was interested in, the 2018 Kids & Family Tech Expo exhibitors included both start-ups and global brands with great products including:
- Boolean Girl Tech’s self-contained, build-it-yourself computer engineering kit
- Curiscope’s Augmented Reality t-shirt that allows children to learn about the human body
- Elenco’s circuit kits that add lights, sounds and moving parts to building bricks to make endless combinations
- Hexbug’s customizable BattleBots fighting robots, complete with arena
- I Luv Wireless’ kids’ cell phone with GPS tracker
- Kabook’s original books that can be customized with a child’s own name and photos
- Kano’s wireless Harry Potter wand that shows fans of all ages how to code
- Klutz’s kits for creating gumball machines, remote racer cars – even a movie
- littleBits’ kit that lets kids build and customize high-tech hero gear with electronic blocks -- and enter Super Hero training with their favorite Marvel Avengers
- Novel Effect’s app synchs sounds and music to a storyteller’s voice
- Pai Technology’s friendly robot, Augie, uses AR to teach coding
- Tech Will Save Us’ kits let kids make glowing badges for their clothes or flashing lights for their bikes
- Woobo’s fuzzy robot uses artificial intelligence to answer kids’ questions
- Yellow Scope’s science kits for girls explore chemical reactions, molecular motion, temperature and more