Best of CES 2020: Tech for families

Thank you to CTA for inviting me as a media guest for CES. I hope you enjoy our take on the Best of CES 2020: Tech for families.

Walking CES searching for products specifically for kids can be a little tricky. That beautiful bezel-free flatscreen shown at CES? Not kid-friendly. The whole section of the convention hall dedicated to personal items? Definitely not kid-friendly.

Well, I scoured the floor and I found some really awesome CES picks that are perfect for families. Some items on my list can simply be handed to a kid and they could probably teach you how to use them in a few minutes. But others finds on my list are designed to be done as a family and encourage bonding with your kids/tween/teens. Enjoy!

Best of CES 2020: Tech for families

My Audio Pet Speaker

My Audio Pet  

When I first saw these little animals from My Audio Pet, my first thought was how adorable they were. Then, I realized that these were more than just adorable little speakers – they are entertainment devices. Their slogan is “Sound Beyond Size” and that definitely rang true as soon as we hooked one of these golf ball-sized speakers up to give it a go. The sound quality really is amazing, especially for how compact and portable each little critter is. But, what I really love is that they have TWS functionality with a true left channel – right channel capability and the ability to connect the speakers to link two together for an even fuller sound. They also have a built-in mic for hands-free options, and even a selfie remote functionality that is super cool. You can also download the Hide & Speak app specifically for My Audio Pet that allows you to play games with your speaker and hear animal sounds. And, for even more fun, you can also use these adorable little Critters to help your child develop a love of reading with the My Audio Stories books. How awesome is that? Find out more at and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Pix LED Bacpack

Pix backpack 

We see a lot of what I call “wishful tech” at CES where the technology isn’t quite there, but the companies have produced one or two prototypes and cobbled them together with duct tape and zip ties just so they can show what their potential item could be. So, when I first saw the Pix backpack at CES and heard what all it could do, I assumed the release of the backpack was still a few years away. I mean, it’s an LED backpack that has a flexible, water repellant screen to display images, animations, and widgets, and even allows you to play games. Imagine my surprise when I realized it’s actually real… and even better, it’s available now. The Pix is the first LED backpack that syncs with your IOS/Android smartphone so you can write, draw and literally play right on your backpack. As cool as all the high-tech features are, I wouldn’t be raving about it if it wasn’t an awesome, fully-functional backpack in its own right. I was thrilled to see built-in organization, padded areas for laptops/tablets, and super high quality materials went into making the Pix backpack. Find out more at and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Altec Lansing Nano Pods

Altec Lansing Nano Pods True Wireless Sound Earbuds 

For tweens and teens, the must-have accessory is ear pods so they can achieve the perfect balance of I’m-not-listening-to you rebel and music-is-my-life cool. These brand new Nano Pods are the perfect mix of both and come in a range of fun colors that any tween or teen would love. Its nano size fits perfectly in your purse or backpack and each charge provides four hours of playtime. But, the best part? The Nano Pods come with a charging case that delivers 20 extra hours of playtime so you can always be ready to rock out to your favorite tunes. They are IPX5 water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about sweat or spontaneous rain showers and can connect up to 50ft away so you can safely stow your smartphone when you’re not supposed to have it out at school. Find out more about Altec-Lansing products and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Disney Codeillusion

Disney Codeillusion

Imagine for a minute that you learned to code at age 12 or so. You’d be a gazillionaire by now, right? Well, gone are the days when learning to code at a young age was unheard of – these days it’s all but required in many occupations. But, learning to code can be difficult, especially when your parents have no idea how to teach you because they aren’t even sure what coding *is*, let alone how to teach someone to do it. Never fear, Disney is here! Disney Codeillusion makes learning coding a positively enchanting experience by immersing parents and teens in magical Disney kingdoms in an interactive online learning environment. The Codeillusion Magic Book is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen for kids, with the perfect balance of nostalgia with all the favorite Disney characters mixed with an amazingly cool enchanted-looking scrapbook vibe to help bring the magic to life. You will practice HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Processing with no prior coding experience required, which means you can be as magical as Queen Elsa, all from the comfort of your home. Then, as you get a handle on coding, you can create your own content to become part of the magic and use the skills you learn to make your own movies, games and websites. Disney Codeillusion Magic Book Starter Kit comes with the heirloom-quality Magic Book, codes to register your product and get started coding, and secret contents that reveal themselves as you explore coding. Find out more about monthly plans or to see about getting your free trial to start learning coding today at Be sure and follow Life Is Tech on Twitter

hamelin flash 2.0 cards

Hamelin Flash 2.0 

When I think of college, all I can think about were the piles and piles of flashcards I created each week. Whether I was cramming for a test or simply writing down words I knew I would need to remember for the remainder of the quarter, I had thousands and thousands of cards I filled out by the time I graduated. If only I had access to Flash 2.0, hamelin’s next-generation flashcards, for studying back then. Flash 2.0 allows you to take notes just like normal on their high-quality flashcards {which helps you better retain information}, but then it allows you to smartly digitize them so you can flip them and study anytime you’d like – even keeping track of ones you have answered correctly and ones you still need work on. That way, instead of carting around all those cards for studying on the go, you can flip through them digitally until you master each, front and back with the free SCRIBZEE app. You can also organize the cards by color and even check your progress with a quiz. Seriously, our kids aren’t even going to know just how awesome they have it these days. Find out more at the Hamelin website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Go-Find Metal DetectorMinelab metal detectors

We do Geocaching as a family and scavenger hunts, but what if we could just find treasure literally underneath our noses? It was the thrill of the finding treasure that led us to buy our first metal detector a few years ago, but when all we dug up was buckets of garbage and building scraps after hours and hours of digging as a family, we ended up shelving the detector. With the new GO-FIND from Minelab you can use the “Treasure View” screen to drastically up your odds of actually finding treasure and save you hours of fruitless digging. It’s also super lightweight, portable, and just plain cool looking. Find out more at and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

MovoPhoto Video Kit

MOVO Smartphone Video Kit

I must admit, it was really, really hard to put the MOVO on the *kids’* CES list, because this was personally one of my very favorite CES connections. But, I’m a photographer and someone who is paid to cover events and livestream throughout the year, so I get that not every adult would be excited about a Smartphone Video Kit like I am. Kids, however? Every single kid wants one of these, even if they have no TikTok account or social media presence. Trust me. I know this is the case because every mom I know wanted to know all about these just in time for Christmas in order to surprise their kid/tween/teen. The MOVO is the perfect gift for them because it makes teen/tween videos to be actually watchable. No more shaky cameras, horrible lighting, and terrible sound quality when you gift them the Movo for video making. You can use the PR-1 smartphone rig to give added stability and multiple mounting options for accessories, the LED light to give you great lighting even in low light settings, and the VXR50 Pro Stereo Mic to add full stereo sound to all your videos and instantly up your video’s watchability. So, in that way, it’s like a present to yourself in that now you aren’t forced to watch terrible videos and pretend they are fabulous. YOU ARE WELCOME. Find out more at to see their full range of camera and video tech that is definitely not all for tweens/teens, and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

PopSockets chargerPopScockets

I bet you thought PopSockets had released every single thing possible at this point, right? You’d be wrong. At CES they announced the launch of their latest lifestyle technology product, the PopPower Home Charger. The new Qi-certified wireless charger uses technology developed by NuCurrent, the leader in wireless power innovation. No more popping your PopGrip off in order to get a Qi charge because PopPower is the only charger on the market that is capable of charging through both a PopGrip and a thick phone case. The recessed center perfectly aligns with your grip for fast, simple, charging and comes in three chic styles – Matte White, Mountainscape and Cosmic Cloud. PopPower is ready for next-generation fast charging mobile devices and is three times more powerful than standard chargers on the market.  It works with any non-metallic PopGrips and is available on

WD Black Game DriveWestern Digital WD_Black

Gamers, I didn’t forget about you. I know the struggle for storage for all your many games, and I come bearing solutions from Western Digital. With the WD_BLACK D10 Game Drive you can get 8TB of added storage so there’s no need to waste time clearing room on your console or PC for new games. Keep your old favorites and grow your library, all at speeds up to 250MB/s rated at 7200RPM. It also features active cooling technology built in to help maintain thermal conditions and reduce failure risk for an optimized gaming experience and comes with two 7.5W USB Type-A charging ports to make charging your gaming gear or accessories even easier. And, did I mention they look super cool? Find out more at the Western Digital website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

StarSense Explorer TelescopeCelestron StarSense Explorer Telescopes

Ever wish you had a professional observatory in your backyard where you could use sophisticated sky recognition technology to quickly map the sky and celestial objects? Well, now you can with the StarSense Explorer series from Celestron that are the first consumer telescopes to offer this technology. You’ll be ready for the next big celestial event with the StarSense Explorer that uses your Andriod or iOS smartphone to help you eliminate the guesswork of finding objects in the night sky. Simply dock your cellphone in the telescope-mounted dock and launch the StarSense app to follow the instructions to find whatever you’re searching for. Find out more at and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I hope you enjoyed our recap of the best of CES 2020: Tech for families. Let me know if there’s a specific tech item you’d like to hear more about!

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