Stacy DeBroff is Founder and CEO of Mom Central Consulting.
As any Mom today knows, technology now ranks as a key part of family life. Parents raise digital natives, and homes have become digital rec rooms. Needless to say, this wired lifestyle impacts how families spend their time — 73 percent of Moms say they now go to the movie theater less often and 44 percent go to the bookstore less frequently.
The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas recently showcased the latest technology trends soon to make an impact on families. Here's a round up of what's next on the household tech horizon:
Rise of the Smart Appliance
With 85 percent of households featuring WiFi, more and more appliances have started taking advantage of this connectivity to work more efficiently and to offer consumers enhanced features.
- Dacor's WiFi-enabled Discovery Wall Oven senses when the roast or lasagna reaches the right temperature and sends an alert to your Smartphone.
- Whirlpool's CoolVox refrigerator concept features built-in wireless speakers so cooks can listen to an audio book or music from their favorite Smartphone or tablet apps while chopping vegetables or washing the dinner dishes.
Even with so many digital options available, television remains popular with families. Today, 87 percent of homes feature anywhere from two to five television sets – 40 percent of those flat-screens, and 60 percent have HDTV.
- This year's show revealed that fighting over the remote may be on its way out. Soon, Smartphones and tablets will become the remotes of the future with the ability to operate a host of functions, including searching online for programming.
- Attendees at CES also learned that if you love 3D movies, you'll soon be able to watch 3D shows at home — without the requisite glasses.
Safety & Security
With at least one cell phone in 97 percent of households and one to three tablets in 42 percent, families increasingly look to technology that builds on the convenience and mobility of these devices.
- Forget about locking yourself out or worrying while on your way out of town if you remembered to lock the door. With SimpliciKey's KeyCloud, consumers can soon access their home locks remotely by using a computer or Smartphone.
- The SpareOne emergency cell phone offers families an always-charged phone for cars, vacation homes, and more. It stays charged for 15 years with just one AA battery.
Streamlining Video Footage
With so much technology available to families — nearly 54 percent of households own a camcorder and 63 percent own a Smartphone with photo/video capability — parents find it easier than ever to capture video of kids' milestones or vacation memories.
- Even though most parents take vacation footage in an effort to create fun family videos, these plans typically fall to the wayside upon return. Magisto's free app takes family video clips and edits them down into mini-movies in just a few steps.
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