Reprinted from the February 2010 Cooney Center Bits Newsletter:
The Cooney Center kicked off 2010 with the 3rd annual Consumer Electronics Show Kids@Play Summit in Las Vegas on January 8. The jam-packed agenda included an announcement by the Cooney Center that our Prizes for Innovation in Children’s Learning are now open for submissions. White House executives, including FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Department of Education Director of Technology Karen Cator delivered remarks. Panels included a mix of industry, public media, research, and policy leaders, as well as a “Demo Derby” showcasing new innovations in children’s products for the first annual KAPi Awards.
The Cooney Center team also walked the floor of the show, and observed these top 5 trends:
Top 5 CES 2010 Trends
- – Natural User Interface: CES included a marked shift toward natural user interface (NUI), which allows users to interact with computers through voice, gestures, and touch rather than traditional graphical interfaces such as a keyboard and mouse. NUI is the key ingredient in a number of notable innovations that created buzz at the show: in-car technology, PC tablets, new eBook readers, and the much anticipated Microsoft Project Natal.
- – Cloud-Powered Convergence: CES showcased better integration between mobile devices and other computing systems. Companies considered the rising importance of mobile devices in the design of larger screen experiences (computer, TV, in-car screens) and allowed access to the same content through multiple channels powered by the cloud. This convergence presents a huge opportunity to realize the idea of 360-degree learning with mobile devices leading the way.
- – eBook Readers: CES revealed that many companies are waiting in the wings to challenge the Amazon Kindle’s early market lead. New interactive features allow readers to scribble on “pages” and perform functions that are included on other mobile devices. With the introduction of color and the natural user interface features, these devices could become interesting allies in children’s literacy. Nokia-Sesame Workshop’s Story Visit certainly points the way to this potential, but for now the makers of eBook readers seem to be focusing on adults.
- – 3D Television: Widely reported on, but worth mentioning, is the arrival of the next generation of televisions: 3D TV. The TV sets promise to usher in a new age of home entertainment that immerses viewers in a broad range of content, from sports to video games. 3-D TV has huge potential in the video game space to support rich learning experiences for kids.
- – In-Car Technology: The vast offerings of the Internet are being brought to drivers and passengers, with technology that not only helps car owners maintain and monitor their vehicles and puts geographical and local information at their fingertips, but also provides entertainment options for drivers and passengers. Voice-activated interfaces and streamlined touch input interfaces hope to address safety concerns critics have raised.