Tech Junkie – Amazon’s new Glow combines cool tech with family

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I see a lot of tech, it’s WHAT I DO. It’s not too often that I see a new gadget that truly surprises me! The Amazon Glow did exactly that. It’s SO cool. Think of it as a combination of a tablet, webcam, projector and tabletop touchscreen. I took the new Amazon Glow for a test in my home.

Hardware

The Amazon Glow is interesting. It almost looks like a tower. You have the speaker toward the bottom, an 8″ touchscreen above that, then a web camera and above that is the projector that points down at the table. You lay out a white mat (included) in front of the Glow to create a surface for the projector. Power up the Glow and the touchscreen lights up as well as the projector. You can use your finger to interact with the projected image on the table. It works just like a touchscreen. I was impressed with how well it worked and how responsive it was.

Software is where it shines

The hardware is important… critical…. but what’s really important is that you don’t notice the hardware. The software on this this has to shine so that you forget about all the cool technology that it takes to make it happen. Amazon did a great job on the software. The menus flow, the games are fun to play and the graphics look great. I had a blast playing Go Fish against cousins in Ohio. Putting together puzzles with the grandparents in Cleveland felt almost as interactive as sitting next to each other at a table. The software did exactly what it’s supposed to do… it made me forget about the technology.

Most importantly, when I set the Glow in front my daughters, they played for 2 hours. They loved it! That’s the true test. It officially passed the kid test!

A few hiccups

As a “Day One” Edition device from Amazon, you have to expect a few rough edges. It’s essentially a beta product that they’re letting people buy early, before it’s 100% ready. In my testing, there were a few times when the app seemed to get stuck loading. We had to disconnect and reconnect for things to get back on track. Huge deal? No. But you should know this going in that there may need to be a few more software updates before the kinks are worked out.

Conclusion

I love this thing. I’m really blown away by how cool of an experience it really is. Pictures and demo videos don’t do it justice. You have to try it to see how cool it is. It also passed the kid test in my house with flying colors! My 6-year-old and 11-year-old were hooked within minutes. Well done Amazon!!

To buy the Amazon Glow, you will have to request an invite, if you’re accepted it sells for $250 on Amazon.com.

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