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Intel Showcase of The Future Preview

*See Disclosures at the bottom of this post.
**GIVEAWAY WAS CLOSED 9/17
 

This summer I went to an Intel Future Showcase Press event in San Francisco to learn about  Intel’s current and new technology. I am always on the lookout to learn about the future and envision what exciting technology will help make my (and my family’s) life more efficient and productive.

 

Intel Edison - Showcase of the Future

Photo credit: Intel press release

 
GIVEAWAY CLOSED!
To celebrate, I am giving away an Intel-powered Dell Venue 8 Pro to a lucky commenter on this post who shares what future technology they are looking forward to using. Here are the details for the giveaway:

1. One Blog Post comment per person. One Blog Post comment is equal to one entry (so only one entry per person)

2. Winners are limited to US residents only 21 years of age or older.

3. If a valid email address is not provided in the entry, another winner will be chosen.

4. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded.

5. Approximate value of prizes may vary.

6. All decisions are final

7. By entering any giveaway on this website you release Techmamas.com from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action.

8. Contest starts Sept. 12 and ends Sept 17. Winner will be notified by Sept 20.

 

 

INTEL FUTURE SHOWCASE – PRESS EVENT

 

At Intel Future Showcase, the press was shown some impressive form factors, technology and trends. The press release explained, “Intel is working with the technology industry to accelerate and deliver a smart, seamlessly connected and integrated digital world. Because Moore’s Law enables us to continuously shrink devices , technology is beginning to disappear into the objects and spaces that we interact with on a second nature basis even the fabric of our clothes. One day the need to remember to ‘bring your device’ may seem quaint because intelligent objects will encompass you to suit whatever you need in the moment.”

 

 

 

*Personalization is an important computer trend and this new app takes it a step further with a new 3-D mobile messaging app called Pocket Avatars. Pocket Avatars allows you to choose an avatar and then give it your “facial expressions, head movements and voice, and then maps this data onto a 3D character chosen from a library.” The Pocket Avatar app is available now for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

 

Intel Showcase of Future: Apps

 

 

**2 in 1 form factors are a hybrid computer/tablet that can detach, flip or slide. It also has multiple form factors and input including type, touch and stylus to write. The key advantage for the 2 in 1 form factor (highlighted at the showcase with Intel(r) 4th gen core processors) is the flexibility to use the devices for work, entertainment, gaming and more.

 

Intel Showcase of the Future: Devices

Photo credit: Intel press release

 

The whole trend of versatile devices extends from 2 in 1 devices to smartphones. Some of the key features are:
1. Screens that can be detached from the keyboard to become a lightweight tablets. Screens that can be flipped around, switching effortlessly from a traditional notebook into a tablet., Stand-alone tablets come in a range of sizes, including compact 7-inch and 8-inch devices that can be tucked into a handbag.
2. Devices that offer a dual-boot option with both Windows* 8.1 and Android. Intel processors also power mobile phones, including tablet-sized devices running Android. With cellular capability offering up to 32 hours of talk time , these devices also are ultra slim and offer a powerful, full HD display.
3. Intel is at the heart of Chromebooks*, too. Chromebooks are low-cost devices that run Google* Chrome OS and connect via the cloud to your Google services.

 

Mobile Security:


The Intel showcase also highlighted the importance of mobile security by sharing a recent McAfee Mobile Security Report which found that Android malware almost tripled from 2012 to 2013. Here is some information about Intel’s initiative: “As part of Intel’s initiative to make security an integrated part of the consumer experience, a full-featured McAfee solution is free for all Intel-based mobile devices. McAfee’s mobile security suite takes a number of steps to protect your Intel-powered device, including alerts regarding risky Wi-Fi networks you are trying to connect to and the CaptureCam feature that snaps a picture of someone who has made multiple unsuccessful attempts to unlock the device. The suite is integrated with Intel® Device Protection Technology to provide atom-level security extensions. It is high-tech peace of mind designed to protect your phone from today’s threats.”

 

Wearables and Maker Movement:


Two areas I find most interesting are the Wearable tech and Maker (#STEM) movements.  Wearing our tech devices offers a more seamless interaction than using a separate device. The wearable tech movement is just starting to offer more functionality and has a long way to go. The Maker movement is exciting because that it allows the general public to experiment and create their own devices, some of which will propel the wearable movement forward as well.

 

 

Maker Movement: “Both Intel® Galileo and Intel® Edison are designed for tinkerers and makers, taking personalization to the next level by designing creations from their own imaginations. CEO Brian Krzanich first unveiled Intel Galileo at the Maker Faire Rome in October 2013. Intel Galileo is Intel’s family of Arduino-compatible development boards featuring Intel architecture and designed for the maker and education communities. The Intel showcase includes a light installation that is controlled through Intel Galileo.”

 

Intel Showcase of the Future: Maker Movement

Photo credit: Intel press release

 

 

 

Wearables: “One technology that straddles today and tomorrow is wearables, devices that make technology truly personal. Devices can now measure running speed, heartbeat, steps, blood pressure and even gauge the quality of your sleep via wristwatches that act as a companion to – or even replace – your smartphone. Intel’s strategy is to imagine and create reference design devices and platforms ready to be used by customers in the development of wearable products. At the showcase, you will be able to see one example of Intel’s commitment to wearable devices in the form of the Basis Health Tracker, in addition to browsing some of the top entries to the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge. The Challenge celebrates creativity by inviting individuals, teams and organizations to develop ideas for wearable products.”

 

 

Intel Showcase of Future: Wearables

Photo credit: Intel press release

 

 

 

What’s in store for the FUTURE?

 

 

The Intel Technology Showcase highlighted some very interesting future technology. I was first exposed to some of Intel’s future vision back in January at CES, when Intel demonstrated the Mimo Baby Smart Onesie that interacts with devices to let parents know when the baby is sleeping and can also help predict when the child is hungry (and in the future WARM the bottle to prepare)! The Mimo Baby used the Intel Edison system on a chip. As a mom of twins, it just would of been great to have that technology out years ago when the kids were babies!

 

Listed below is the press information provided about some of Intel’s future technology:

 

Llama Mountain: “An Intel concept design fresh from its debut at Computex, Llama Mountain captures the future of 2 in 1 devices while remaining feather light, super sleek and staying cool without a fan. The concept 2 in 1 detaches from its keyboard to function like a tablet, features a 12.5-inch screen and measures just 7.2mm thick. The Intel® Core™ M processor makes the sleek design possible with 14-nanometer Backgrounder transistors, which are smaller than today’s 22-nanometer transistors of 4th generation Intel Core processors.”

 

Wireless Charging:How many times have you had to hunt around for a charger and cable for your device? Families can often find that every plug in the house seems to have sprouted a charger with a mobile or tablet umbilical cord connected to the wall. And what if you have a device that doesn’t use a standard charger? If you’re running out of juice at someone else’s home or office and they don’t have the right connector for you to borrow, you’re in trouble.

Intel’s wireless charging bowl is a concept shown that is an example of how  meant to put an end to the ‘spaghetti junction’ of wires and endless hunt for a charging station. It’s a smart and smart-looking bowl that can charge a number of devices at the same time. Using smart charging coil technology, the wireless bowl is a consumer-friendly product that shows how powering up several different devices can be a no-brainer – even ones that use different connectors. And, as the icing on the cake, the bowl will look equally appealing in a chic corporate environment or in a home.”

 

Intel® RealSense™ Technology:Last year Intel made a foray into perceptual computing, which promises to bid farewell to the old way of interacting with technology: farewell to the mouse and hello to gesture-controlled devices. Since then, the technology has matured by getting smaller and neater. Intel RealSense frees you from clipping a chunky camera onto your monitor. The camera has been made smaller and moved into all-in-one systems and the lids of laptops. At the heart of the system is an integrated 3-D camera and 2-D camera model, which means devices can ‘see’ depth in the same way as humans.

As well as being able to control devices with gestures, Intel RealSense will be able to create 3-D objects on the computer that the user will be able to mold using natural gestures, and ultimately share those objects with others and print them out using 3-D printers. This will bring a whole new level of realism and interactivity to work and play: from gaming to calling grandma, from videoconferencing to designing product. Without the added distraction of bulky 3-D glasses, RealSense is the most natural way to interact with technology – and with distant people.

 

Intel Edison: “Honey, I shrunk the computer! Just when you thought they couldn’t get any smaller, Intel introduced Intel Edison a system-on-a-chip that isn’t much bigger than a stamp. The Intel Edison development board is a product-ready, wirelessly enabled general purpose compute environment. It is designed for inventors, entrepreneurs, consumer product designers and industrial IOT solutions providers that create wearable or small form factor devices to be sold through commercial channels to consumers. Intel Edison is slated for release in summer of this year. “

 

Intel Showcase of the Future: Edison

Photo credit: Intel press release

 

Make Your Own Robot:Meet Jimmy the Robot. Jimmy, who was shown off at the Maker Faire in New York at the end of last year, was created by Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson to demonstrate how anyone will be able to use open-source files to create their own robot and print it out on a 3-D printer.

 

Intel Showcase of the Future: Jimmy The Robot

Photo credit: Intel press release

 

Jimmy himself will soon be available for you to download and print for an affordable price, thanks to Johnson’s sharing of the “Jimmy template” with 10 teams at various universities. Once you’ve printed out and assembled Jimmy, the idea is that you’ll be able to program him and install apps to add to his capabilities in the same, simple way we now install apps on mobile devices.
Jimmy is a glimpse of a future when we will all be able to create and print our own robots – and their possibilities are endless. It’s up to you to come up with innovative applications for Jimmy; the only limit is your imagination.”

 

Future In-Car Experience:While there’s significant talk about self-driving cars, Intel’s vision of cars includes one where you’re still in control of the vehicle – although the car will be an intelligent device. You’ll be able to talk to your car and tell it where to go by talking to it – and the car will detect if you’ve got the kids on board and will automatically fire up their favorite movie to entertain them during the journey.”

 

At the Intel Future Showcase, a demonstration in the automotive space highlights how modern vehicles are now computerized. Many deeply embedded computers are responsible for monitoring and control of vehicle systems, such as telematics, infotainment, connectivity and advanced driver assistance systems. While such features enhance usability and convenience, they also widen the threat landscape significantly, increasing the potential for malicious activity. In the demonstration, there is a lightweight, trusted execution scheme optimized for the vehicle, which will demonstrate how malicious software manipulation can be successfully intercepted.

 

Intel Showcase of the Future: Car

 

 

Smart Solar Controller:Solar power is already ubiquitous, but Intel has envisioned a 500cm solar panel that uses the variable DC current output directly rather than converting the sun’s energy into AC. The aim is to use this device in developing world locations where there is no existing electricity to charge devices, such as the Intel® Classmate PC made for children. 

 

Intel Showcase of the Future: Solar charging devices

 

 

Embedded Security for the Internet of Things: One of the hot trends getting a lot of attention right now is the “Internet of Things,” where connected devices reach out to the cloud, sharing analytics and insights (e.g. data from local sensors) to add to and inform their functionality. Anything from cars to wearable devices and home appliances may be connected, but we have now given hackers a brand new, vulnerable entry point. Intel’s latest security research aims to identify these ports and ensure devices and information remain as safe as possible from cyber threats.”

 

 

This week was the Intel Developer’s Conference (IDF) where more future tech announcements were made: What’s New at IDF14.

 

 

One of the new projects it the connected Intel Connected Wheelchair Project explained in this video with Stephen Hawking:

 

 

 

 

What types of technology are you looking forward to in the future?

 

 

Disclosure: The information was obtained (in Italics) from a press event. This is press post. Products were given in the past for review purposes. All of the words are my own.

 

 

 

Giveaway: Tickets to Maker Faire May 18-19 (Invention + Creativity)

As a technologist that writes about setting rules for technology limits with kids, I am always on the lookout for events and activities that inspire invention and creativity.

 

The Maker Faire is one of those events that will inspire kids and adults to show their creative side. It will be at the San Mateo County Events Center, CA Saturday 10am – 8pm and Sunday 10am – 6pm. Here is a link for more information.

 

 

The Maker Faire About Page explains: “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.” It is a fascinating event that we look forward to each year!

 

I was thrilled to receive an email that gave me the opportunity to offer a (flash) GIVEAWAY for three families to win tickets for their family to attend the Maker Faire this weekend. Maximum of 5 tickets per family.

 

Update: Winners of tickets were randomly choosen -Sabz Moscon, Lizz Porter and Sandy Gram.

 

TO ENTER – PLEASE FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM BELOW.   *FLASH CONTEST* Contest ends 5/17 at 8pm winners will be notified by 10pm.

 

I am also excited to see the latest electric car from Toyota (RAV4 EV) will be at the Maker Faire. We hope to convert our cars to electric as we replace them moving forward. Here is the press release information about the new Toyota RAV4 EV:

 

The new Toyota RAV4 EV, the latest electric car from Toyota only sold in California; it’s a family-friendly car that’s piquing the interest of environmentally-conscious Californians. Attendees also have the exclusive opportunity to ask questions directly to people who helped develop the new electric car at Toyota.

 

Some of the activities in Toyota’s area will include:

·         Explore the RAV4 EV and speak with Executive Program Manager Sheldon Brown

·         Participate in the bicycle-powered slot car track (photo below)!

·         “Recharge” at The Maker Lounge with wi-fi and power outlets
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am receiving complimentary tickets to the event for hosting this giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

Dent The Future Conference 2013 Press Trip: Sun Valley

I was lucky to be invited many years ago on a magic bus ride to CES, which was the first time I had a fun adventure with the team from Parnassus Group (Steve Broback, Jason Preston and more). Over the years they always had the pulse of social media,  organizing events such as Tweethouse and It Won’t Stay In Vegas at CES.   So when I was invited to join the (pre) Dent The Future 2013 press trip in February (to check out the location) organized by none other then the Parnassus Group, of course I said yes!

 

Dent The Future (March 24-27 in Sun Valley Idaho) is a new conference that “explores the magic and science of visionary leadership and groundbreaking success. They aim to translate the success of great leaders in business, politics, or charity into a set of lessons for those who would “put a dent” in the future.”

 

While I had some scheduling challenges (including Spring Break for my kids) so I won’t be able to attend Dent this year, I already put it on the schedule for next year. I will look forward to bringing my whole family with me to enjoy Sun Valley while I experience Dent 2014.  Those who will be following the conference from afar like me can do so by following Dent on Twitter (hashtag #Dent2013).
 

 
Listed below are some of the details from the “Pre” Dent 2013 press trip in February. We had an amazing trip that was not only filled with fascinating discussions on social media, but also with the beauty and fun of the fabulous Sun Valley Resort. I will be writing another post with more details (and sharing my pictures) about Sun Valley Resort (which was a highlight of the trip!).

 

 

This is a picture I tweeted from Sun Valley on our last night of the trip – enjoying a great dinner at a local restaurant.
 


 

#dent2013  @sbroback @bikehugger @pop17 @scobleizer  @svalleysunshine  @techmama @visitsunvalley  @shaunacausey  @jasonp
 


 

Our group lunch on Bald Mountain included yummy food, beautiful location and lots of social media talk!
 

#sunvalley @sbroback @jasonp @scobleizer @chasejarvis @pop17 @shaunacausey ..@techmama @neilblecherman #dent2013 pic.twitter.com/qyOkry58

 

Here is a summary of some of the locations we visited (post with full details will be published soon):

 

  • Yummy places we ate during our trip included: Knob Hill Inn, Della Mano Restaurant, The Kneadery and the Konditorei for breakfast. But there are many other places to eat.
  • Zenergy Health Club is a great location for a workout and spa treatments! http://zenergyts.com/
  • Here are the two websites to find out more information about Sun Valley Resort: www.visitsunvalley.com  and www.sunvalley.com. We stayed at the Sun Valley Resort Inn and it was beautiful. There is a great transportation system to go to the mountains, it is not crowded and the weather is usually sunny (per the name “Sun Valley”).  The resort is very family friendly – and even has a mountain that is perfect for beginners or family skiing called Dollar Mountain. The other mountain (Bald Mountain) is great for Intermediate to advanced skiers.  The Sun Valley Snowsports School has lessons for all levels (and even family lessons). I was excited that they have a “fundamentals” day program for kids (8:30 – 3:30) that includes lunch. There are also programs for Intermediate or Advanced kids as well. There are other winter activities such as ice skating and sleigh rides.

 

**My next post will share more details about the beautiful and family friendly Sun Valley Resort.

 

Disclosure: Travel related expenses were provided to the press covering this event.

 

CES 2013: 5 Tech Trends That Will Simply & Automate Busy Life of Any Mom


Attending this year’s 2013 CES helped me conclude that there is hope for my house and my exercise routine to become even more efficient and enjoyable. In the past, companies would showcase their products with a general message of “here’s this new high tech thingy”. This year the messages focused more on value, communicating “here is how you can simplify your life by using this new technology”.  I have been waiting to hear the word simplify for years. If new tech adds any additional steps to my daily routine, then it does not fit into my busy life as a mom. But if it helps streamline and automate any of the processes I do each day – then that is technology I will embrace in a heartbeat. I will be covering my picks for CES 2013 top trends over the next few weeks. Here are some of the top tech trends from CES that will simplify (and automate) the life of any mom.

 

 

1. Mobile Health Tech:   Fitbit, Fitbug, iBitz and Withings (to name a few) offer activity, sleep, medical and weight management information automation as well as environmental feedback (i.e. The Withings scale also measures indoor air quality). Utilizing mobile health tech will help me get the information I need for weight and health management from mobile devices so I can just incorporate it into my day.

 

DSC05149_zps9b4166d8

 

 

2. Home Monitoring (from your smartphone!): Dropcam is a HD Wi-Fi monitoring video camera that not only remotely captures and monitors activities in a whole room, but also can send alerts for movement or loud noises.

 

 

 

3. Mobile Home Lighting Control:  The Belkin WeMo line has a new internet connected  Light Switch that remotely controls household lighting from the internet via a WiFi router and an iOS device (v5 or higher). Android 4.0 device (or higher) compatibility will be enabled “shortly after launch”.

 

 

DSC05111_zps2076670e

 

 

4. Streamlined and Connected Kitchen:  Smart Appliances were a top trend at CES 2013. At the Whirlpool booth I saw kitchen concepts that could help me automate some of my key daily challenges. Fresh Connect from Whirlpool would allow me to reorganize the way I store and shop for food by grouping foods that need to be stored in similar temperatures together and automating my shopping with mobile apps and home delivery to my front door.
freshconnect_small

 

 

Whirlpool Appliances with 6th Sense Live will allow me to manage my appliances remotely (such as a refrigerator’s temperature or when a wash cycle is done) and because it would be connected to the Smart Grid I could save energy costs by tracking my usage and remotely running wash cycles at “off peak” times.
washer_small

 

Two concepts adding new functions to appliances would be the Whirlpool Cool Vox that streams music or podcasts through the refrigerator directly from a Bluetooth-enabled device and The Fireplace concept that could turn the family kitchen table into a social “Fireplace” that also warms food or keeps it cool.

 

 

Whirlpool CoolVox small

Whirlpool Fireplace Concept small

 

 

5. Home Information AutomationAbout One is an online tool/app that utilizes the existing calender and contacts to not only organize household information (inventory management, school info, medical info etc) but also offers “ reporting, alerts and private sharing”. New announcements at CES 2013 include partnerships with Swagbucks for gamification real world rewards and Working Mother  to “gather product feedback from Working Mother readers, who will then be alerted when their requested product updates have been implemented”.

 

 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

BlogHer ’12: How To Prepare And What to Wear

 

BlogHer’s 8th annual conference will be held in New York City on August 2-4, 2012 and for the sixth consecutive year I am heading out to join in the fun, connect with my fellow bloggers and hear about the latest blogging & social media tips, tricks, trends and strategies. As I shared in a recent post about what people learned from previous BlogHer conferences: “Because blogging is an isolating activity – BlogHer also invigorates me by connecting with the amazing network of “BlogHers”!

 

I will be speaking this year (i.e. getting my geek on) at the BlogHer 12 Geek Bar.
Check out the schedule and make sure to sign up for some great sessions. I am leading the discussion titled, “ Managing Social Media Via Mobile: Android OSMaximize your mobile device to get the most of social media! Learn best practices, top apps, and security precautions you need for Android”. ANDROID OS users – PLEASE SHARE your favorite ways to use social media on your Android device by commenting on this post. I also look forward to hearing tips from others at the conference.

 

Because I’m a BlogHer veteran, here are my tips for how to prepare and what to wear to BlogHer 12 – NYC version!

 

STEP 1 – “The Schedule”:  The first step is to confirm all of your travel arrangements including hotel and transportation. Many of us made plans months ago (especially those of us traveling to New York City). Five weeks before BlogHer, I always like to circle back and confirm my travel arrangements. One year, I realized that I had made an airplane “reservation” but not purchased the tickets (luckily I still was within the month before so I made a new plane reservation).

 

The next step is review the BlogHer12 agenda and start putting together your schedule. Check out the official BlogHer ’12 party plan and update your schedule with some nighttime fun. It is important to make sure you plan time to visit the BlogHer Expo to see the exhibits and interact with the sponsors. Those who want to start early can attend the BlogHer Evening at the Expo Hall event the night before the conference. If you are new to BlogHer, there are official parties every night that offer additional opportunities to network. Those who have been to BlogHer before may attend one of many other social events that go on around BlogHer as well. But my key piece of advice is to network as much as is comfortable – but not overdo it.  Don’t pay attention to all the crazy plans that everyone else is setting up – create a schedule that works for you and allows you to connect with the bloggers most important to you. Also make sure to reach your hand out and introduce yourself to people you don’t know and make new connections.

 

 

Step 2 – Take Your Schedule Mobile: To prepare for the busy conference schedule, make sure your personal schedule is not only organized but also on your mobile device via an online calendar or mobile app. One important mobile app to download is the official BlogHer12 mobile app that is available via iTunes for iPhones or the BlogHer12 app for Android phones on Google Play. The CrowdCompass page will also have other mobile apps that are available for BlogHer12. For those with Windows Phones, The Windows Marketplace also has great mobile apps for networking.

 

I also like to have “backup” paper printouts of my schedule just in case my battery runs out (but some prefer not to use paper). On the topic of batteries – I suggest everyone bring a mobile battery charger because batteries can run out and you will not have time to charge during the day. I will do another post on battery chargers – but I am always happy to help people find one that works for them. The key is not to buy the cheapest – but buy the one that really works. While there are budget friendly mobile device battery chargers that work well, the key is to test it before you leave for the conference and keep the packaging/receipts just in case it does not meet your needs.

 

 

Step 3 – Prepare Your Networking Materials: With all the technology available to share contact information, I still prefer good old fashioned business cards. Therefore, my next tip is to make sure you schedule time to print business cards before you leave for BlogHer. I usually print around 500 to have enough for passing out to old and new friends and at the BlogHer Expo hall. Some of my colleagues prefer to print even more. At past conferences I have seen bloggers use creative ways to share their own professional brand by giving away branded screen cleaners, business card holders, bags, bracelets and tee shirts. I have also seen creative business cards that fold and have headshots printed on them. When preparing materials for BlogHer, it is important to comply with the guidelines for sponsored bloggers.

 

But there are also technology options that can enhance the sharing of contact information. For example, if you print a QR code on your business card then those with QR code readers can scan it to load your contact information. Or even have your QR image on your mobile device to share. Many mobile apps (even SMS applications) share contact information, but when sharing contacts via mobile devices it is also important to consider the security implications. I will cover some of my recommendations in another post  and please do share your favorite contact sharing mobile apps if you have some recommendations.

 

 

 StI'll be wearing cute shoes to BlogHer '12ep 4 - What to Wear: When attending a conference one of the key questions is what to wear. For social media conferences, all outfits should be camera appropriate for all the pictures and instant uploading that takes place. Personally, I also focus on comfort for my feet to survive all the walking of long days in big conference halls.
I’ll admit it… I love wearing heels. I’m always on the hunt for comfortable, stylish shoes and went through years of trying different brands of shoes with heels. I have even tried to find comfortable flats and stylish sneakers. While sneakers are of course the most comfortable, I did not want to give up on my search for the perfect pair of heels. Luckily, several years ago I bought my first pair of Sofft shoes and they passed many years of walking miles at the Consumer Electronics Show. After I had already decided that Sofft shoes were my comfortable and stylish shoe of choice and filled my closet up with different pairs, I did get the opportunity to review some of their new 2012 Spring Summer shoes (disclosure – I received shoes as part of that review, but all of my words are my own). I had already been a Sofft Shoe customer for years before the review opportunity.

 

Here are 5 of the 7 pairs of Sofft Shoes I have purchased over the years…

 

 

My clothing strategy is to plan something comfortable for the day, that can withstand the heat of New York City in the summer -but also has layering to adjust to air conditioning indoors. Sometimes I will bring a dressy top to change into if I don’t have time to switch clothes before the night events. I also bring some dresses to change into for those nights I feel like taking it up a notch. I try to choose outfits that fit within my personal style, but also feel comfortable when I am sitting on the floor at sold out conference sessions. I have also learned that just because I love silver sequin tank tops together with a jacket does not mean that it photographs well on me (sequins can accentuate a twin mom’s tummy). I realized that for my shape I like to have solid black or jewel tones, throwing in accent pieces with patterns that works for photographs. I also like to layer with either a shirt, wrap, sweater, jacket. Lately I have been obsessing over the look of women’s tailored jackets over tee shirts as a great way to have outfits with clean lines.

 

 

 

Step 5 – At the conference, have an open mind to learn, network, have fun and meet new people: Go to BlogHer 12 with an the goal of learning, networking and having fun. Set a goal to not only connect with old social media friends but also meet new ones. Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Check the pictures of some of the social media BlogHers you read about online but have not yet met and introduce yourself. Take the time to meet new people and ask them about their site and interests. At the same time, try to catch up with your existing social media friends because social networking is not complete without the “live” connection.

 

I look forward to connecting “live” at BlogHer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us at #PixyKids Twitter Party Thursday 4/26 to talk kids, tech and social media

Join Sarah Auerswald of Sarah & Sons / MomsLA and me (Beth Blecherman of TechMamas.com) as we discuss kids’ online habits with PixyKids, the soon to launch interactive and engaging social media platform where kids 6-12 can create, share, learn, and have fun through their personalized digital space. We’ll be on Twitter Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 10am PST with Hashtag #PixyKids – and we’ll also be live at the Digital Kids conference taking place in Pasadena.

We’ll be joined by expert panelists Ciaran Blumenfeld of Momfluential.net, Katie Dillon of LaJollaMom.com, Heidi Leder of Coast2CoastMom.com, Janis Elpas of MommyBlogExpert.com.

 

RSVP by clicking HERE – to sign up at the PixyKids blog for a chance to win one of our prizes! For more details, here is the post on the PixyKids blog.

PRIZES: One Amazon Kindle Fire and 2 $50.00 Amazon gift cards.

 

You must RSVP here to be eligible to win, so be sure to click over!

 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

 

 

 

CES 2012 Press Tour: Next Gen Qualcomm Mobile Technologies

 

One of my favorite parts of CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is the booth tours that help me learn more about the tech companies and their technologies. For CES 2012, I was invited to a Qualcomm press tour that included a booth tour and briefings on the new technology Qualcomm presented at CES.

 

I was already well aware of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor after years of reviewing mobile phones and tablets.  I have used multiple phones with Snapdragon processors and found the performance to be speedy and responsive (even with the ultra demanding mulit-tasking I demand of my smartphoness). Just recently I gave myself a holiday present by purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab from the AT&T store during a sale.  But there are many other devices with Snapdragon processors including the range of my old phone the BlackBerry Torch to my new favorites Samsung Galaxy SII, HTC Sensation 4G, HTC EVO 3D, T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide , HTC Radar 4G, Samsung Focus Flash. I realized some of the new technology I saw at CES and covet also has Qualcomm Snapdragon processors: Nokia Lumia 900 Windowsphone that has just started pre-orders and Samsung Galaxy Note (tablet/phone hybrid).

 

 

And as luck would have it, last week I had the opportunity to obtain an  AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note review unit (that has the  Snapdragon processor with 1.5 GHz dual-core CPUs). I was impressed not only by the Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen offering me the ability to write notes (that can be converted to type) and draw pictures – but that the speedy processor raced between tasks in a device that was the perfect mix of smartphone and tablet.

 

But it was the CES Keynote with Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs that helped me learn more about their mission of mobile tech to connect phone, tablets, eRreaders and growing list of devices. Qualcomm will be expanding mobile offerings into Windows 8 tablets, more Windows Phones, Snapdragon TV and Augmented Reality by discussing their partnership with Sesame Street (Grover actually made an appearance at the Keynote).

 

The augmented reality can be experienced on devices such as tablets by utilizing the Vuforia platform to read images and turn them into augmented reality. Sesame Street characters not only become animated but kids can interact or even pick Ernie up!

 

Qualcomm also works closely with top game developers utilizing advanced graphics capabilities in Snapdragon mobile processors to improve the gaming experience in mobile devices. To help mobile users find and access games, Qualcomm created the Snapdragon GameCommand which was just released in the Android Market on January 10, 2012.  Currently there are over 100 Snapdragon GamePack featured games for mobile phones and tablets. Future versions of Games Command will have Augmented Reality games, something I can’t wait to start playing.

 

Along with a selection of wireless health initiatives, Qualcomm announced at their keynote the Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize: a 10 million dollar global competition to revolutionize healthcare. Their goal is to “revolutionize healthcare by accelerating the convergence of mobile, wireless, and health technology”. Any fan of Star Trek (yes, I am a Trekkie) can’t help but recognize the word “Tricorder” which was used by Star Trek’s doctor to diagnose illness. The goal of the Xprize is to bring Tricorder to life (partnership Qualcomm foundation) which translates to teams around world building devices to integrate artificial intelligence, wireless sensing, cloud computing, digital imaging, lab on a chip technology. People could diagnose themselves without going to hospital. Parents especially could benefit from Tricorders, especially when their child is sick at night when the Doctor’s office is closed.  At the end of Xprize, the winning technology launches a new industry.

 

The keynote also discussed the Hanvon C18 e-reader that was released in China. The Hanvon C18 e-reader is the thin, light and uses the Mirasol display technology. The press release added that the Hanvon C-18 e-reader “includes access to tens of thousands of e-books, more than 100 Chinese newspapers and more than 300 magazines, 90 percent of which offer full-color digital editions.  Additionally, the device features Hanvon’s patented handwriting recognition technology – Hanvon Input – to further enhance the user experience.” I look forward to thinner, lighter e-readers coming to the US, especially those with handwriting recognition technology.

 

On my tour of the Qualcomm booth I learned about Qualcomm’s vision for the Connected Home - which includes blending together broadcast video with services like Netflix. With facial recognition you can walk up to the TV and the interface will recognize your profile, changing to match the device. Connected home technology will evolve to 100′s of devices being connected (not just TV – things like light switch etc).  The demos at the booth included the Qualcomm Atheros technology which wirelessly connects and shares content between tablets, smartphones, computers, TVs and other Consumer Electronics Products. One demo at the booth was a tablet game that was shared with two other screens (a PC and a TV). The Skifta Media Shifting Platform was also announced at CES, which “transforms any Android device into a global media remote control, helping consumers access and enjoy their music, videos and photos at home over Wi-Fi and while on the move with 3G.”

 

Another exciting connected home product is the first Snapdragon powered smart TV running on Android 4.0 (made by Lenovo) with Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi to deliver real-time Internet video, multi-player online gaming, voice control and local content to home TV’s. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Smart TV press release explained “Thousands of apps from Android Market and Lenovo Store, including console games, are ready for access with a simple touch. With full Internet access, consumers can access their favorite songs and videos, share files between the TV and their tablet, smartphone or PC and control the TV via tablet or smart phone. ”

 

DisclosureSome CES 2012 Travel Expenses were sponsored by Qualcomm. There was no obligation to post, all my opinions are my own.

 

Connecting With The RickiLakeShow

I have been a fan of Ricki Lake for some time and was excited to see her on Dancing With The Stars. Putting my own fantasies aside of dancing on the show with those fantastic costumes, I was rooting for her to win as a fan and as a fellow working mom. When she made the finals – I was so proud! But I am most excited to announce that I am one of the members of social media community called Friends of Ricki that supports her forthcoming television show: The Ricki Lake Show.   Our first fun event is a #FriendsofRicki Ustream (http://ustream.tv/rickilake) at 5pm PST this Wednesday, February 1. They also shared some social media tips with us – that we can then share with our communities So here it is:

 

How To Connect On Social Media (#1 Tip from @RickLake)

 

Social media has changed the world forever.  In just 140 characters or an update to your Facebook status, you have the potential to connect with a complete stranger in the same town or across the globe.  In an instant, Friendships are being formed.  Business is taking place.  People are connecting.  And the world will never be the same.

But it isn’t that easy…

 

Many people are standing on the sidelines of social media, unsure of how to jump into the conversation and contribute their thoughts.  There is uncertainty about how one can form bonds with people they have never met “face to face.”

 

Are you one of many asking the question, “how?”

 

That is why we are here and you can know one thing for sure… You are in the right place!  We have teamed up with Ricki Lake, one of the most engaged celebrities on social media, to share 5 tips for connecting with people in an instant on social media.

 

Watch this video to hear Ricki Lake’s #1 Tip for Connecting on Social Media:

 

2.  Be Respectful.

Leave judgment at the door and respect that other people on social media have beliefs and opinions that are their own.  This is what makes them unique!  Just as in offline relationships, if you want to make friends, you have to be one first.  If you want people to respect you, start by being respectful of them.

 

3.  Be Inspiring.   

People like social media for many reasons.  Many will share that they feel uplifted and empowered to live their best life by connecting with inspiring and positive people.  If you want to make a lot of friends on social media, be inspiring. Be encouraging.  Be a friend.

 

4.   Be Generous.  

The more you offer to help others in life, the more “likeable” you will be.  When on social media you can help others by supporting their work.  Take the time to mention people, and give them positive feedback.  When  you re-tweet or share the content of others they feel good and are more likely to appreciate and connect with you.  Remember, “it’s not about me, it’s about we”.

 

5.  Find a Fun Community! 

Following a hashtag community on Twitter or joining a group or community on Facebook is a great way to connect with people who are like you and who are usually looking for the same type of connection you are looking for.   Twitter and Facebook are the largest gathering of individuals on the planet.  Communities are simply small groups within.  Think of communities on social media as you would small break-out sessions at a very, very large conference.  The name on the door is the community.   Pick the door that tells you that you share common interests with those on the other side.  Then, open the door, step inside and say hello via a tweet or a post on the Facebook wall.  You will be surprised that many are waiting for… you!

 

 

If you are looking for a community that is based on friendship and connection, please join Ricki Lake and the Friends of Ricki for a very special announcement and a first hand look at social media connection on Ustream at http://ustream.tv/rickilake and using Twitter hashtag #FriendsofRicki at 5pm PST this Wednesday, February 1.  We look forward to seeing you and connecting with you there!

 

Do you have any ideas or questions about making connections on social media?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments and let’s discuss.

 

Disclosure: This is not a paid post.

 

Macworld 2012

Macworld/iWorld is “ifan” event (not associated with Apple computer) where those that have Apple related products, apps or content gather and share. I went to look for new products to share that are relevant for families -but also bring my 13 year old son (I call techboy) on his first media assignment. I am a Window/PC fan mom but my son uses Apple products – so he is my expert. Here is some of what I shared on Twitter: Continue reading

 

CES 2012 – Tech Adventure

International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a yearly conference held in Las Vegas that focuses on none other then my favorite topic: consumer electronics across all product categories (including emerging tech, hardware, software, gaming, digital health, auto, accessories and telecom). The CES website press release explained: “The 2012 International CES was the largest in the event’s 44 year history, with a record number of more than 3,100 exhibitors across the largest show floor in CES history – 1.861 million net square feet of exhibit space – and drawing a record of more than 153,000 attendees, including more than 34,000 international attendees. More than 20,000 new products were launched at the 2012.

I just came back after a week of doing video, tweeting, going to fabulous events and trying my best to make it through the 4 exhibit floors to gather the latest and greatest consumer tech for my audience. I will be sharing my finds on TechMamas.com – but also sites I contribute to including the top tech shopping site for moms: CoolMomTech.com. I will gather my links on this post as they are published.

Post: CES 2012: 5 Tech trends that parents should know about

This year was another great conference. CES may be big, but it is well organized and many of the top tech brands and tech journalists/bloggers I like to connect with attend – so it is also a great networking event for all. I am a big fan of live conferences and networking events. But because of my busy life as a mom with three boys – I had to limit the number of out of town conferences I attend. But CES is the one conference my wonderfully supportive husband and family know I NEVER miss. Doesn’t hurt that it is in Las Vegas (even if it always seems that I have my first glass of wine at the end of the conference – after I have finished all of my work). I need to find another time to go back to Las Vegas with my husband and our friends to really enjoy the nightlife… Someday!