Gadgets

Our tech wishlist for CES: A fantasy in reply-all

Image Credit: Star Trek

CES 2014

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An email thread from VentureBeat staffers.

Jolie O’Dell, reporter: For CES, we’re doing a walkup on fantasy gadgets.

What’s the gadget (or gadgets!) you wish existed? Can be sci-fi inspired, can be silly, can be based on stuff you’ve seen prototypes for.

I personally want to see humanoid robots, Star Trek-like working tricorders, a non-lethal taser alternative, clear and flexible mobile phones with holographic keyboards (like in the series finale of Weeds!), and wearable tech for my dog — pedometer, GPS, camera, the works!

Dean Takahashi, reporter: Holodeck.

Jason Wilson, editor: A dental implant that makes food that tastes bad to you taste good.

Amy Nichols, events director: Agreed. Or something that makes vegetables tastes like cupcakes.

Dan “Shoe” Hsu, editor: If Jason can have that, then I want the dental implant that makes food that tastes good to you taste bad. We’ll have all possibilities covered, and I won’t have to exercise ever again.

Meghan Kelly, reporter: There ain’t a salad in the world that’s going to give you muscle definition, Shoe.

Shoe: Wait, I change my mind. I want a machine that creates salads that will give me muscle definition. And I get to eat them with Jason’s dental implants.

Eric Blattberg, reporter: I want a cloud gaming platform that works.

Jeff Grubb, reporter: I want glasses that can block out the sight of Shoe and Jason swapping dental implants.

Ricardo Bilton, reporter: I want clothing that makes me invisible to surveillance cameras.

Jeff: I want an app that tells me every time the NSA is peeping on my metadata.

Dylan Tweney, editor-in-chief: The gadget I want is a sonic screwdriver, duh. With it I’d be able to open anything, analyze the molecular structure of anything, tap into computer networks, translate alien languages, and probably even change the channel on my TV when my kids have lost the remote.

If I can’t have that, I second Jeff’s suggestion.

Ryan Boswell, engineer: I definitely second the sonic screwdriver.

Morwenna Marshall, editor: To the dental-implant crowd: I read recently about some kind of berry that makes sour things taste sweet. So that tech apparently already exists.

Jason: But that still leaves bitter, and dammit, just about every “healthy” veggie (broccoli and kale especially) tastes bitter to me. And all fish taste spoiled to me. That berry wouldn’t help for these!

Dylan: I bet a sonic screwdriver could remove stray tags from WordPress posts.

Romain Nervil, events: Small motorized mirrors that cover house facades and reflect sunlight to windows across the street that are facing north, or inside light wells.

Gloves and joysticks controls to move around and link content around between apps, emails, spreadsheets and CRMs on our laptops instead of keyboards and copy and paste.

Voice controls that work to the point we wouldn’t use anything else to work on computers.

A translucent “pod” that could muffle all sounds and allow you to take phone calls in a crowded office.

Nano bots that can crawl the threads of a piece of clothing, remove stains, mend tears, making the fabric “self healing”. Maybe they can do the same thing and weld a crack in plastic/metal to fix broken appliances.

Matthew Kotler, sales director: Since we’re on the topic of dental implants, I wish there was a way to eliminate cavities. Some sort of special toothbrush that zaps away plaque, maybe with UV light?

Also, the oxygen mouthpieces they use when swimming underwater in Star Wars — I want that!

Garrett McCullum: Back to the Future hoverboard.

Matthew: Garrett FTW.

Devindra Hardawar, national editor: Semi-realistically, I can’t wait until we have truly flexible smartphones that can serve multiple purposes, a la this Nokia design concept.

Taking things a bit further, I can’t wait until we have real teleportation devices to squash commute times dead. (Mainly, to keep working in New York City while living somewhere with saner housing prices.)