Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Children

The Hugbike lets kids sit in front, while allowing parents to steer

On a traditional tandem bike, the person in front steers and watches the road, while the rear rider concentrates on supplying pedaling power. That's fine if they're both adults, but what if the riders are a parent and their young child? That's where the Hugbike comes in. It lets the parent sit in the back, while reaching forward around their little 'un to steer.  Read More

Scalextric RCS Race Control System uses a wirelessly-connected smart device to display rac...

Many people of a certain vintage will have fond memories of playing with Scalextric, pulling a trigger and seeing your slot car fly around, or all-too-often off, the track. But disappointingly, the game hasn't exactly kept up with the latest high-tech toys. However, that could change with Scalextric RCS, an update which adds smartphone and tablet game management, along with displaying live race information.  Read More

Chibitronic stickets lets you add circuitry to art projects creating an interactive greeti...

"Cute circuitry" is not a term you hear often – if at all – but it could be used to describe Chibitronics, which is a crafty merging of electronics and paper. The system combines familiar adhesive stickers with electronic components, such as LEDs, sensor circuits, and even a programmable microcontroller, to create a play set that educates while adding some flash to one’s works of art or otherwise mundane birthday cards.  Read More

The Kurio Phone is made for kids – and their parents

KD Interactive recently made the headlines with the debut of its latest child-friendly tablet, the Kurio 7x 4G LTE. The company is now taking on the smartphone market with the launch of the Kurio Phone. It's a high-tech android smartphone designed solely for kids that incorporates enough parental controls and special features, the company claims, to allay any concerns parents might have about its use.  Read More

The not-so-spherical Sphero 2B

The Sphero 2B will be the next robot toy from Orbotix, maker of the Sphero smartphone-controlled balls. A departure from the ball-like form of its stablemates, the 10 mph (16 km/h) tubular robot will also use interchangeable parts – with different wheels, tires and hubcaps designed for different terrain.  Read More

In what could be a blessing and a curse for parents of tech-enthused kids, the Kurio 7x 4G...

Techno Source and KD Interactive first made waves in the childrens tablet market by collaborating to produce last year's Wi-Fi Kurio S Series devices. They have now returned to offer full-time parental control and connectivity with a CES debut of the Kurio 7x 4G LTE.  Read More

The Brussels sprout battery, with the Christmas tree

You've probably seen a light powered by a lemon or a clock hooked up to a potato before, but a group in London recently built a similar device using a much smaller, less popular piece of produce. To promote The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, a team of designers built the world's first Brussels sprout-powered battery and hooked it up to a set of Christmas tree lights.  Read More

Toymail lets family and friends send voice messages to kids toys (Photo: Toymail Co)

How can you mail a simple hello or send your love to kids too young to pick up a phone? Here's a thought - mail them through their toys instead. Toymail, the brainchild of Clocky's inventor Gauri Nanda, lets anyone send messages to kids through cute smart toys that act as voice messengers.  Read More

The Loop gaming platform is comprised of the Loop Clip, motion bar, headphones and an open...

As technology has gained a reputation for drawing children indoors and keeping them there captivated by the latest Angry Birds update or building their Minecraft kingdom, we have seen a conscious effort from within the industry to counter the perception of technology as a facilitator of unhealthy childhood habits. Loop, from Pushstart Creative, is the latest effort in this growing trend, relying on movement tracking technology as a vehicle to promote physical activity.  Read More

Kulturinsel Einsiedel: dawn view from the balcony of the treehouse hotel

In search of weird and unique hotels in Europe, Gizmag’s Loz Blain visits a beautifully hand-carved treehouse village on the German-Polish border. The treetop hotel itself is remarkable, but as it turns out, the rest of "Culture Island" is just as amazing.  Read More

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