Joyful Tech Innovations

Mama & Me Selfie at MacWorld

Mama & Me Selfie at MacWorld

Growing up in the Bay Area, I looked forward to MacWorld every year. My mother, a lifelong Apple addict, would come home with bags crammed with goodies and stories of innovation. The giveaways were mostly crap with the occasional gems, but I loved all of it.

This year I took Mama to the opening day of the exhibition. We’d gone together once years ago when I’d been working for The San Francisco Chronicle, but it was fun to recreate the experience. Here’s a round-up of our favorites from the show:

Slate, makers of the Mobile AirDesk, at MacWorld

Slate, makers of the Mobile AirDesk, at MacWorld

The fairest of them all… The Slate Mobile AirDesk is more than just a smart solution for laptop users, it’s stunningly gorgeous. Lightweight, super strong and it solves the problem of overheating laptops. Plus it’s made from bamboo (typically an Eco-friendly source), and “hand-built in America by people who give a damn.” The Slate Mobile AirDesk blows all other lap/desk options away!

Coolest all-in-one… A detachable Bluetooth keyboard slides out from an invisible hiding spot in the case, which also folds into an awesome adjustable stand. Moshi made the VersaKeyboard compact, lightweight and beautiful. Perfect, if only it wasn’t solely for the iPad Air (which I don’t own).

Stump Stand at MacWorld

Stump Stand at MacWorld

Take a stand… Hands-down the best iPad stand we saw was the Stump Stand, allowing for multiple angles and directions. It’s easy to use, versatile and compatible with everything so you won’t be throwing away money into a stand that will only work with a single (ahem, immediately outdated) model. The Stump Stand also comes in fun colors, and I customized my turquoise Stump with an “I ♥ SF” badge on the back.

The best shot… The Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens is like getting an upgrade on your iPhone’s camera. The small (fits in your pocket) lens easily clips over the iPhone’s built-in camera, and gives you fisheye, wide-angle, and two macro lens options (10X and 15X). This high-quality add-on will exponentially expand your creative possibilities!

After our own hearts… Though we don’t currently have small children in the house, the Chore-inator App captured our attention. We love charts – always have. When I was a kid, Mama made me charts featuring drawings outlining my chores. This app is the modern, digital version of that. The Chore-inator also includes a rewards system teaching delayed gratification.

Abby at MacWorld (photo credit: a sweet stranger)

Abby at MacWorld (photo credit: a sweet stranger)

Most fun giveaway… The New York Times set up a little booth capturing shots to create a personalized flipbook. Mama, Abby and I went inside and goofed off. Then the NYT people printed us a customized flipbook!

Venue-wise… Check-in was a breeze — we just scanned a code from our phones, and the coat/bag check was great. Moscone Center also had an impressive number of women’s restrooms, but there was not enough handicap parking nor enough seating (we had trouble finding rest spots for Mama), and the aisles were not wide enough to accommodate the crowds.

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