Technology for Kids
CES 2009 devoted a section of the showroom floor to technology designed with children in mind. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which is the organization that produces CES, named this special area the Kids@Play Summit. There were two main components of the summit: the space on the CES show floor where exhibitors could display their products and a series of conferences about the ways children use technology.
The products ranged from educational devices to toys and games. One of the most popular items at the summit was the Mind Flex game from Mattel. The game consists of a circular playing surface that has a small air vent aimed straight up and several obstacles mounted on a rotating track. To play the game, you place a plastic ball on the vent and try to maneuver the ball through the obstacles as they rotate in place. But there's a catch -- you control the ball using a device you wear on your head. Mattel claims the device measures your brainwaves and you control the ball's height by concentrating or relaxing.
The conferences at the Kids@Play Summit covered topics like education, Internet safety and defining what it means to play within the digital landscape. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss issues with experts and corporate executives as well as get a sneak peek at toys that would soon hit the market.
Kids didn't represent the only age group that received special attention at CES 2009, as we'll see in the next section.