Courtesy of Manufacturers.
Every year, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, brands launch new products, preview things that will hit shelves later this year, and present pie-in-the-sky ideas that they hope to eventually see to fruition. It's the biggest trade show in the world, so there's a lot to unpack.
Our Parents editors explore the show with an eye for useful items that could make families' everyday lives a little better. We scout products for home, family, kids, and entertainment. We don't try to understand the automotive advances (many years away) or the gaming world or business technology—if a tech company can solve supply-chain problems, we will just leave that to them and be grateful! But we do try to find tech we'd like to buy ourselves, and things that other families might find useful or fun.
Here are our top 11 picks from the 2022 CES. (And yes, the Grammys may be postponed, but CES went on!)
Baby Sleep Coach: Owlet Dream Sock
A new innovation in wearable baby tech, launched at CES 2022, is the Owlet Dream Sock. It monitors your baby's sleep, giving you real-time feedback about heartrate, wakings, and movement, and it monitors trends over time so you can learn what is going right and what could use some help. It's paired with the brand's electronic sleep coaching, which serves up age-appropriate healthy sleep-training habits from 4 to 12 months, when instituting a routine is key. We love that it lets you choose from three proven methods, because families are all different and a little flexibility is key. In the earlier weeks, you'll get postpartum tips and help for the "fourth trimester" before your baby is ready to settle in and really learn day from night. All the info goes to your phone, on the Owlet Dream App.
Also: For $100 more, the Owlet Dream Duo includes a video monitor so you can watch what's happening in the crib from your phone, in HD. The sock fits for up to 18 months.
Décor-Worthy Air Purifier: Coway Airmega 150
It's two years into a pandemic and we all need air filters, in our homes and office and schools. The most space-saving in this line of popular air filters is also now sold in swoon-worthy colors. A Coway Airmega 150 can look great in your nursery, kid's room, adult bedroom, or the living room. Our favorite is this Peony Pink, the prettiest and yet least expensive shade that they sell. Note that this fall the brand will release the model in botanical art prints, further elevating the appliance. In the meantime, snag one of these in a solid color to clean pollution and allergens out of a room up to 214 square feet. On setting one, you won't even hear the filter doing its job. On settings two or three it emits a low fan noise that won't distract.
To buy: $142.12; amazon.com.
Better Toothbrush: hum by Colgate Smart Rhythm Sonic Toothbrush
This runs on AAA batteries (they come in the kit) and promises a gentle but effective cleaning. It produces some 30,000 sonic vibrations per minute to defeat plaque. Every 30 seconds, the hum by Colgate Smart Rhythm Sonic Toothbrush pulses to cheer you on, and you can also connect it to an app if you want to watch the two-minute countdown and track your brushing history. (Who doesn't like to earn a streak?) The app gives you virtual rewards for your efforts. There's a version for your kids, too, that gamifies brushing for them.
For the Family Dance Party: Revolution Go from Victrola
Vinyl record sales are booming, since physical albums are beloved by fans and collectors. They're also a fun way to introduce kids to your favorite music, since your kids can actually hold an album jacket and study the artwork! Victrola's Revolution Go is a rechargeable, portable vinyl record player with a state-of-the-art speaker system. Carry it with the thick guitar strap. Plug it in, or use the charge to get some 12 hours of unplugged play at the park or in the backyard. You can also connect your phone to it via Bluetooth and use it as a high-end speaker when you want. It's a toy for the whole fam!
To buy: $200; amazon.com.
To Keep Tabs on Your Kid: Moochies
If you don't want your early-elementary kid to have a Smartphone but do want to be able to communicate with your child and spot their location, Moochies is an optimal solution. The phone/watches are similar to burner phones in that you can prepay a month at a time, and Moochies run on a SIM card, not your phone plan (hooray!). As the parent, you can get in touch with your kid through the Moochies app. It has: messaging between your child and a list of callers that you set, GPS tracking (many parents' favorite feature), and video calling (also only with people you allow). You can set a "safe zone" and be alerted if your child is out of that area. And it counts your kid's steps! It does not have: social media or internet browsing. Finally, it is super durable. Your kid could even jump in the pool with it and wouldn't wreck it, not that it's recommended!
To buy: $130; Best Buy.
Luxe Razor: Gillette Labs Bugatti Special Edition Heated Razor
With kids at home, you might not be making it to the barber for a hot-towel shave. But you can mimic the experience in your own bathroom with the Gillette Labs Bugatti Special Edition Heated Razor, which warms up instantly with the touch of a button. The auto-inspired razor docks onto its charging station magnetically and provides up to a half-dozen shaves from a single charge. The kit comes with the razor handle, two five-blade refills, the charger and plug, and a cleaning cloth to keep it in top shape.
To buy: $170; amazon.com.
STEM Toy: Blocks by Tonies
If you own a Toniebox for your child to use to listen to stories (it was among our Best Family Tech of CES 2021), the new Blocks series is a smart addition. And if you don't yet own a Toniebox, maybe this will help convince you to try the screen-free kid entertainer. Each Blocks set utilizes an expert in their field to introduce kids to STEM ideas. There are four themed kits, each containing four 7- to 10-minute audio lessons, for about a half-hour of content per set. In Innovations & Inventions, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains breakthroughs from the printing press to the internet. In the Gentle Dinosaurs set, paleontologist Jack Homer teaches about creatures including the Nodosaur and Argentinosaurus. For kids who love to learn by listening to stories, these are an educational treat.
To buy: $20; tonies.com.
Charger That Stops Your Phone from Eavesdropping: Pozio Cradle
When you sit your phone in this charging cradle, it won't listen, record, and store information that you're saying out loud. (Because yes, your phone does that!) The new Pozio Cradle fits and charges any Android or iOS phone wirelessly, even when it's in its case. And it truly isn't interested in your information—the charger is not going to store anything about you, there's nothing to log into to get it to start working—it just blocks the listening function in your phone as long as the phone is docked inside. If you're a parent who doesn't want the cloud picking up on your personal health or your kid's health, not to mention relationship or financial issues, this may be for you.
To buy: $119; pozio.com.
Easy New Greeting-Card Service: Handwrytten
Paper greeting cards now seem to cost at least $5. And you have to find a stamp, and time to write. The newly launched Handwrytten.com blends the ease of electronic cards with the personal touch of snail-mail and, most touchingly, the ability to (kind of) handwrite your inside message with a real pen.
Log on, sign up (it's free), select a card, and type the inside message, choosing from more than 20 handwriting styles. Input the address and pick a date for the card to go out. Then, unlike the similar service Cardly.net, your message gets written by a robot holding a real ink pen before it zips off to your recipient. You can also work from the Handwrytten app for even more convenience. Use the service for thank-yous, birthday cards, congrats for weddings and babies, or whatever else deserves a proper paper acknowledgement.
Outdoor Camera That Can Run On Solar: Cync Outdoor Smart Camera
So many neighbors are using outdoor cameras now, to catch deliveries and visitors and anything going on while they're not at home. If you've been wanting one yourself, but are intimidated about the wiring required, know that GE's new Cync Outdoor Smart Camera can run on batteries, and even be solar-powered rather than wired if you buy a solar accessory pack. It's got HD video and night vision, and stores video images to either the cloud or on an SD memory card. The whole setup is easy and unintimidating for the non-tech-savvy.
To buy: $130 for the Battery Camera and $45 for the Solar Panel Accessory; on Amazon.com in February 2022.
Alexa-Enabled Microwave: Panasonic Smart Inverter Countertop Microwave Oven
Cooking one-handed or even no-handed gets easier for parents with the forthcoming Panasonic Smart Inverter Countertop Microwave Oven. Paired with any Alexa-enabled device, including the Echo, you can say, "Alexa, pause the microwave" if you need to tend to the kids or "Alexa, reheat one cup of coffee" (heavy sigh understood). It responds to more than 100 commands and counting. The smart model includes other features you'd want in a primo microwave as well. It can turbo-defrost, be programmed with a delay so it begins heating later, and you can activate a child safety lock. And there's the popcorn test! Dial in perfectly popped popcorn just by entering the weight of your popcorn bag.
To buy: $300; on Amazon.com in March 2022.