Tech-savvy kids are all about making the rest of us look bad.
Tech-savvy kids are all about making the rest of us look bad. (John Roberge/Tallahassee Democrat/MCT)

The future, baby

Just heard about this new product from Fisher-Price: the Apptivity Seat for iPad. It's a bouncy seat for babies with an iPad holder positioned directly in front of your wee captive audience's eyes so your infant can ... what? Download apps via squawk-and-burp recognition technology? Change her Facebook status to "In a relationship with Elmo?" Learn that she never needs to interact with actual humans to order a pizza?

Here's part of the product description from the Fisher-Price website: "Soothing, entertaining and technology all in one great grow-with-me seat for baby! Lock your iPad device inside the case to protect from dribbles and drool. Play and learning are at baby's fingertips, with free apps you can download for your iPad."

The idea is to educate and stimulate growing brains, of course, not just to entertain. So enthusiastic parents will probably set it to run French lessons (Ca va, Mama?) and Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major.

But still. We thought the "Sesame Street" generation had short attention spans. What's next? The iVitro Snapgraminstawitter? I mean, fetuses probably need something to do in the womb. Growing can get kind of boring, and you want them to come out ready to program the latest billion-dollar app. Apptivity for baby is the future, people. Maybe an Amazon drone will deliver it. The bouncy seat, not the baby.

Trendy joy

If such a product takes off as a trend, it will likely be used by Baby Sophia and Little Boy Jackson. Those are the No. 1 baby names of the year, according to BabyCenter's recently released list. Apparently Aidens are still big, as well as all the J-group of names like Jacob and Jayden. For girls, Emma, Olivia and Isabella are in.

No offense to the Sophias and Jacksons in the world (hey, Sofia Vergara is my girl, all the way), but, well, yawn. Clearly we have to be sheep when it comes to naming our sweet little lambs. What about throwing in a Hazel occasionally? Or maybe a Ralph? I'd love to come across a little kid named Ralph. He could join the Ralph ranks of Lauren, Waldo Emerson, Wiggum, Macchio and Fiennes. And you could put him in a little bus driver's outfit and teach him to say, "To the moon, Alice!" Retro and hilarious.

Do-si ... d'oh!

Kids raising money for causes by selling Thin Mints and Do-si-dos out in front of Starbucks -- please, that's so 20th century. Jackson and Sophia will be having none of that. Instead, they'll be the children batting an eyelash on their Google Glasses to enable their direct-cerebrum-linked iPads to use Piggybackr.com to fund robotic space exploration, pay for research for cures for friends with brain tumors or support efforts to keep Tahoe blue.

Piggybackr, the Silicon Valley startup dubbed the "Kickstarter for Kids," is a really cool crowdfunding website for everyone from kids in grade school on up through college and beyond. The site is "devoted to helping kids fund their goals." And for the holiday season, Piggybackr is running a contest called the "1 Million Leaders Challenge," to "rally kid entrepreneurs, philanthropists and leaders to raise money for their businesses and causes." Kids can win prizes like a meet-and-greet with Selena Gomez or a startup pitch opportunity with one of the "Shark Tank" investors.

All this comes under the category of making the rest of us look bad. Heck, I never even sold cookies. I have wasted my life.

-- Angela Hill, ahill@bayareanewsgroup.com

Follow Angela Hill on Twitter @GiveEmHill.