6 posts categorized "DEMO09"

March 10, 2009

DEMO09 - Ubergizmo: Always Innovating Netbook Tablet

While at DEMO09, I had the opportunity to film an interview (using my Flip Mino) with Gregoire Gentil of Always Innovating about their new netbook tablet. Being on my momof3boys schedule, I have not posted yet about it. I will upload the interview soon, but for now I have permission to share some pictures that Eliane Fiolet from Ubergizmo took of my interview.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE UBERGIZMO WRITE-UP ON THE TOUCHBOOK, and read about the 10-15 hour BATTERY LIFE!
Photo credit: Eliane Fiolet from Ubergizmo

March 04, 2009

DEMO09 - SmartyCard "Educational" Online Gaming

There are so many different online gaming and virtual worlds available, that many parents are confused about which sites are safe. Taking it to the next level, if the site is safe in regards to content - the next issue is if the website is just "sugar" and addicting with no learning experiences involved. As parents, how do we allow our children to have some screen time that is just fun but also provide some with learning experiences? And if we find that solution, how do we get our kids to buy in?

My solution for my 6 year old twin boys seems easier then for my 10 year son. For my twins, they enjoy spending time on educational websites for their "screen" time.  So while I have been able to engage my 6 year olds in educational websites, I have not been able to with my ten year old. He is very bright but feels that after he goes to school, does homework and outside sports then he is done for the day. He does not want to do additional activities that may be deemed *gasp* learning activities other then reading (which he loves).

The issue was that my fourth grade son (like most students) needs practice with math facts and other areas outside of schoolwork. My problem was that the "nagging" was not working. Paper workbooks and some of the educational sites for older kids did not engage him. I had a point system but was not consistent in carrying it out. My ten year old has limits on his screen time, but when he does have a few moments - he goes to game sites that have the word "addicting" in the name.

Homepage **Enter my opportunity to test out the beta of an online (educational) gaming site called SmaryCard for 3 - 6 graders**

I was given the opportunity to log onto the beta website for SmartyCard before heading to DEMO09 (where they were launching). So I decided to give the site the ultimate test and see if my rebel 10 year old son would engage.

Here is a the explanation of SmartyCard from their website:

"SmartyCard provides children grades 3-through-6 with bite-sized learning activities in subjects such as reading, writing, math, social studies and science. Children earn points that can be redeemed for their favorite play time rewards - toys, DVDs, video games, books, iTunes downloads, Club Penguin™ and other virtual world subscriptions, and much more.

SmartyCard offers child-friendly, parent-approved learning activities available from some of the world's most respected and popular education content providers, including Learning.com, LearnStar and Ignite Learning
. "

During my testing on one Sunday afternoon when my 10 year old was allowed to have his screen time - he was using SmartyCard.com to practice *gasp* math and spelling, excited to be earning points.

Here is an interview with Chris Carvalho, General Manager of SmartyCard (and father of 3 boys!) -using my Flip Mino:

Children can only sign up after their parents sign up and "activate" them. The point system is applied to the educational games - after the child gets 7 out of 10 right - they earn a specific amount of points based on the level of difficulty of the question. Hints and input are given to help the child learn as the go. Points are listed on the left side of the screen so children and parents can keep track of progress. Parent account has "Fund My Child's Account" - Add points, Change acct settings and buy a smarty card. From parent account you view "play history" and "purchase history" for all of your kid's accounts.

Children can only buy items if Parents have entered their credit card information into the account, and emails are sent after every purchase. SmartyCard vetted the list of reward items offered and the website is COPPA compliant. There is no cost to register and try out SmartyCard but unfunded accounts have limited access library of learning activities, and points earned with unfunded accounts cannot be redeemed for rewards. Points can be added to a free account for as little as $10.

If kids try to "game" the system and fake their parents email address for signup - then they won't have access to redeem points (because no credit card information would be entered). 

The first question I had was "why should I give my child points that they can redeem for items to play an online game"? After I used SmartyCard, I realized that the points were providing the incentive for my son to participate in supplemental education. Because I already had a point system and my son was able to save up for things like iTunes cards or a RipStiK (which they happen to have in their reward list already) - I realized this would fit in with our current incentive program. Best yet, I was so frustrated trying to redeem iTunes cards - that just providing easy access to redeem those was a plus for me in itself!

Every family has different needs, but I found that the digital world is here to stay. Children interact with media rich environments on a daily basis - and it has become part of how their interact socially. I am a big supporter of parents educating themselves and their children on the digital world, make educated decisions for how and what websites your children interact with - then have fun. SmartyCard falls in the supplemental education, incentive and "have fun" boxes for me. I also appreciate the graphic rich environment that adds to the experience.

Listed below are some screen shots from SmartyCard and a link to the press release:

Continue reading "DEMO09 - SmartyCard "Educational" Online Gaming" »

March 03, 2009

DEMO09 - Social Entrepreneurship Panel

I exchanged emails with Suneet Bhatt of DreamVillage and met Efe Osagle from Lead Now Fellows at DEMO09, but missed the DEMO Social Entrepreneurship panel. Happily, I found the video at the DEMO video library and VIEWED IT. Social Entrepreneurship is a term used to describe "someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change".

As a mother, I think social entrepreneurship can provide great lessons to children/tweens/teens to show that businesses can also help with social issues to make an impact on society. Information on the Dream Village website gave an interesting explanation of their goal: "Our goal is to operate as a for-profit social enterprise, promising a substantive donation to charitable causes, while also generating a sound return for interested investors."

Suneet Bhatt will be emailing me more information about his organization for me to post on TechMamas.com. Moderator was Ami Kassar from Advanta and IdeaBlob.  But for now, here are the links to the speakers organizations:

Continue reading "DEMO09 - Social Entrepreneurship Panel" »

DEMO09 - View Live Or From Video Library

Now that I am back in Silicon Valley from going to Day 1 of DEMO09 (kids happily  - or unhappily - dropped off at school) I am now watching the DEMO Livefeed via Facebook/BitGravity (CLICK HERE FOR LIVE FEED, feed valid only during live presenations).  For those that missed the presentations, they can all be also viewed via video at the DEMO website (CLICK HERE TO SEE DEMO VIDEOS).

The availablity of videos from conferences are a great tool for busy parents who don't have the opportunity to attend as many conferences as they would wish to (or have the funding to). Most conferences now publish videos from key presentations on the conference websites.

March 02, 2009

DEMO09 - Vue™ Personal Video Network For Families

Vue_Front_Hero_clip Internal computer webcams are great for some communications, but when it comes to family communication - trying to fit everyone in front of the webcam can be difficult and limit participants to a confined area.

At DEMO09 I saw a product called Vue™ Personal Video Network by Avaak, a wire-free video system that allows families to communicate from virtually anywhere in the house. There are "no cords to connect, no software to download or home networks to configure" - the system utilizes the existing home wireless system. The Vue™ enables simple recording with one click. The video's can be shared or families can communicate with family and friends who also have the video system. Moms or dads on business trips can view videos and families can hold live video events. One of the demonstrators showed a video of her son doing karate, which made me think of my boys (who I have not see since Sunday morning). Funny enough, karate and wrestling seems to be the first thing my boys do when they wake up in the morning.

UPDATE 3/309 Here is the video presentation by Avaak, Inc at DEMO09:

There are two parts of the product: personal video network hardware and a online software web interface.

Product-shot1. Personal Video Network hardware: A Gateway (attaches to the home wireless router), two cameras and 4 wall mounts in the kit. Additional camera's can be purchased. The cameras have a range of 300 feet and can be moved easily.  An estimated one million frames can be transmitted from a single battery (which is about one year under normal use). The wall mounts are "peel and stick" but the camera's can be moved anywhere. Repeaters can be purchased for those locations too far away from the Gateway.

2. Software Web interface (my.vuezone.com) for online viewing, sharing and recording. To register, a username and password must be created.  After logging on, videos can be shared with family and friends.Two gigabytes of storage online is included in the service plan.

InfoWorld published a post that with an interesting discussion about the security. Instead of modifying current home firewalls, the Gateway makes a secure "outbound" connection to my.vuezone.com. The home firewall "sees it just like another computer on your home network". The key control is to only give access profiles to trusted family and friends.

The Vue™ Personal Video Network price is $299 per system, $99 for additional cameras and repeaters are available separately. 2gb of secure private storage with service plans for expanding. The gateway can support up to 50 cameras. The product will begin shipping in early summer 2009. Pre-orders can be placed now on Avaak's Web site at http://www.VueZone.com.

Relevant Links: PRESS RELEASE - Avaak Launches Vue Personal Video Network; Camera System to Enhance Consumers' Lives

TechMama - Live at DEMO

I decided to go to DEMO to cover the companies with products relevant to moms/families. I will be posting throughout the day as I hear the presentations. At DEMO, the press (yeah, I am now in that list) was given a list of the companies presenting here but it was under embargo until the day of the companies presentation (a list of companies was allowed to be printed on Friday Feb. 27). Here are a few links to posts from someone I sat next to at the press dinner and a blogger buddy of mine. I will post details about the companies as I see their presentations today.

Ubergizmo published a list of companies and CNET with 5 launces to watch. More to come as I see the demostrators today.

Here are the companies for Day 1 of DEMO:

Continue reading "TechMama - Live at DEMO" »



My New Gig

Current Projects

Video Fun

Follow Me

Twitter Updates

Worthy Causes

  • I am a ONE Week Team Member banner


  • Add to Google Reader or Homepage

  • Subscribe in Bloglines

Speaking At:

So Honored

My Life Scoop Posts

I Blog With Integrity

  • BlogWithIntegrity.com