What it does: A baby monitor that lets you control the direction of the camera using a PC or your iOS device.
Why it’s worth it: Parents can rest easy when the iBaby is on patrol. In fact, if your little one moves in her crib so that she’s slightly out of range of the baby monitor, you can simply swipe your iPhone (or other iOS device) to pan around the room or tilt up or down to see what’s going on.
The monitor has both day and night video and two-way audio. That means you can talk to your baby in a soothing voice in the night without actually going into the nursery.
The really cool thing this baby monitor lets you do is snap a picture of what you see on the monitor and save it to your device. How’s that for instantly being able to show off and share the latest pictures of your sleeping baby?
What it does: Sifteo is an interactive play system that uses 1.5-inch cubes with built-in accelerometers that emit a wireless signal to interact with each other.
Why it’s worth it: Gather everyone around the dining room table and bring back family game night. With Sifteo cubes, toys and tech come together to entertain both kids and grown-ups.
Each cube features an LCD small screen that shows the gameplay. They respond to shaking, flipping and tilting. For instance, if you’re playing a game of marbles, you physically tilt the cube, and the marble will roll. Holding two cubes next to each other allows them to exchange information, like colors or numbers.
There are games like Mount Brainiac in which you have to sort numbers and solve equations. Other games have you building machine parts. The best part is, when your kids get bored, you can simply download a new game to play.
The cubes have rechargeable batteries but you can’t really go very far. You’ll need to be connected wirelessly to a computer to play.
What it does: The Kinect sensor adds a camera to the Xbox 360 gaming console that literally lets you put yourself in the game.
Why it’s worth it: How about a little football game in the house? Or take a ride down some roaring rapids? The Xbox 360 gaming console already offers video games that appeal to the whole family. The added Kinect sensor brings it to life and puts you and the kids in the action. Not only that — kiss your remote goodbye because you literally become the remote by moving your body side-to-side, or ducking down to avoid on-screen objects.
The Kinect camera, which simply attaches to the console, has sensors in it that scan your body and can tell which way you’re moving or if you’re really holding that yoga pose properly.
If you just want to sit back and have a family movie night, you can do that, too. With Xbox Live, you can stream Netflix and Hulu Plus, and navigate the menu with a swipe of your hand. When your arm is tired from all that gameplay, voice control works as well. If you have to answer the phone or take a snack break, saying “Xbox pause” stops the action.
What it does: The HMDX Jam is a Bluetooth wireless speaker small enough to move from room to room.
Why it’s worth it:The HMDX Bluetooth wireless speaker is so adorable, you’ll want one in every room of the house. Because it connects via Bluetooth, there are no wires. It works with all Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
The music will jam for up to four hours, and when the music stops, simply recharge the lithium-ion battery. It’s portability makes it great for taking on a road trip, too.
The Jam comes in great “flavors” — Strawberry, Grape, Blueberry, Blackberry, Apricot and Apple.
What it does: It’s the first power-folding stroller and the most high-tech baby stroller we’ve ever seen.
Why it’s worth it: We’ll admit, this is one expensive stroller. But when it’s designed by moms, you know it’ll have everything you need.
The first thing that strikes you about the Origami stroller is its ability to open and close itself. Simply touch a button, and watch it fold itself up, like, well, origami.
As you push your baby, the generators in the rear wheels actually charge the stroller. That energy is used to power the pathway lights that automatically turn on in low-light conditions or to charge your cellphone.
Safety is paramount in this high tech buggy. Built-in sensors can tell when a child is in the seat, so it won’t fold up by accident. It has a one-push brake, sunroof (we should all be so lucky) and a reclining seat.
An LCD dashboard displays a thermometer, speedometer, odometer and a tripometer, in case anyone asks you what you did today.
The Hot List highlights tech products that are worth splurging on, and it’s presented by the new Acura ILX. With technology centered around your life and a design that pushes all the right buttons, luxury starts here.
What it does: The Fisher Price Apptivity case lets you share your iPad with your little one, keeping it safe from any accidents.
Why it’s worth it: You may question the wisdom of handing an iPad over to a baby still in a onesie but remember, these are digital natives after all. Keep your iPad safe from all the drool and accidental drops with a protective case. Once it’s inside the case, the tablet is locked away and there’s a clear film protecting your precious screen from your precious little one.
The rubbery grip makes it easy to hold onto, and the case ensures no accidental pressing of the home button. The case lets babies use the tablet by holding it flat or standing it up like an easel.
There are free apps you can download from Fisher Price so your baby can start figuring out how his touch makes the tablet work.
What it does: This is the portable play yard you want in your house. It’s the easiest one ever; opening and closing with a single touch.
Why it’s worth it: Forget hands and knees and poles into fabric. The Breeze play yard is made by 4Moms, the same company that designed the Origami Stroller, so it opens from the center and folds back up in one smooth motion, at the touch of a button.
The best part is it functions as more than just a playspace. If you’re traveling, it comes with a bassinet, and a changing table. They both conveniently fold and store inside the crib so when you travel, it all fits neatly into the included travel bag. Great for taking on the road to Grandma’s house.
What it does: An app that lets you manage family memories and household paperwork on-the go.
Why it’s worth it: AboutOne is a family organizer application, designed to make sure your family’s schedule winds up in one place. It pulls from everyone’s calendar, whether they’re using Outlook or Gcal and puts it in the palm of Mom’s hand — because we all know moms rule the roost, right?
You can also use it to document and store important papers. Snap a scan or photo of a receipt for a new TV or dishwasher, and instantly add it to your home inventory with links to warranty info, user’s guide and where you bought it. That way, when you need to return it or file a claim, you don’t have to go digging through file folders of paper searching for the right receipt.
AboutOne’s Family Organizer also lets you store important medical info about your family members, and since the data is stored in the cloud, you always can access it.
The app is available on Windows and Android devices, and coming out for iOS in the next few weeks.
What it does: Logitech TV Cam HD brings Skype video calling to your HDTV.
Why it’s worth it: For those of you who gather ’round the computer monitor or your iPad to Skype with Grandma or friends far away, Logitech wants to make that more family-friendly. It’s moving the Skype camera into the TV room with the Logitech TV Cam HD. The Skype software and Wi-Fi are built right into the camera, so no computer is needed. That means you can sit on the couch or dance around the living room, and the camera captures the action in HD video. All you need is an HDMI input on your TV.
You can use the TV Cam to call anyone using Skype, whether they’re using a tablet, a smartphone or a computer. This is a great tool for a set-it and forget-it way for the grandparents to Skype with you and the kids. You’ll show up full screen on their TV with minimal steps on their part.
Oh, and don’t worry about missing a call from Grandma. The TV Cam HD has its own built-in ringer so you can hear the call even if your TV is off.
What it does: RedRover is a great app for scheduling playdates and get-togethers with your friends.
Why it’s worth it: RedRover, RedRover, can Betsy come over? Remember playing that game? This app is kind of a digital version of that, letting you reach out to groups of friends and invite them to get together. If you want to see if your daughter’s ballet class friends are around, send a note and invite them over. Or if you found a great table at the local ice cream shop, let your friends know and invite them to join you.
The app uses the GPS technology in your device to search locations near you, so if you’re looking for a kid-friendly restaurant, it can help you out. Want company? Find just those friends your kids are in the mood for and send them a note.
RedRover is free and works with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices.