What will be hot in consumer electronics and computing in 2014? Read our full coverage of International CES 2014 to find out.
On second thought, let’s not go to CES. It is a silly place.
One gets a veritable smorgasbord of gadgetry at CES. Some, like fresh Alaskan king crab legs, are delightful. Others, like the last questionably prepared morsels of bouillabaisse in the far corner of the chafing pan, will undoubtedly give you food poisoning.
Abandoning metaphors, in addition to the endless booths of iPhone cases, washing machines, and underdressed young women, you will also find smart robotic drone-grills, biometric 4K social helmets, and every imaginable energy-efficient, LED-bedazzled plastic turd your imagination can devise.
But enough with the realm of imagination. Here are the actual, real-life stinkbombs of CES, as judged by the infallible VentureBeat CES staff.
The smart Crock-Pot
This is like trying to make a smart whoopee cushion — it’s dumb. It’s supposed to be dumb. Just freaking let it be dumb.
Also, the Crock-Pot is the ultimate in lazy kitchen gadgetry. There is almost no way to screw up a Crock-Pot meal unless you forget to plug it in. If you are inept enough that you need your Crock Pot to tell you how to use it, do humanity a favor and get out of the kitchen.
LG created a home network where you can have conversations with your devices. They showed an example of a guy asking if his refrigerator had beer. Why couldn’t he just go open the refrigerator door? I can understand the refrigerator pushing data about what it has to me while I’m out grocery shopping. But do I really want to have a conversation with it?
OpticWash: A car wash for your eyeglasses
Ever worry that you’re wearing a bacteria-ridden pair of glasses that will just never get clean, no matter what you do? Me neither, but OpticWash has, for some reason, created an elaborate gadget to clean and sanitize your glasses like they’ve never been sanitized before. While it costs only $1 to get your glasses clean, the process takes a while. And if you own an expensive pair of glasses, I’d be worried about potential damage.
OpticWash is meant to be a vending machine platform that store owners can buy and hopefully make money from over time. But I can’t imagine that many people, even eyeglass store owners, would opt for a monstrous machine instead of just selling eyeglass cleaning wipes and sprays.
Above: The first major CES press event was jam-packed this year.
Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat
Whether you’re holding hands with your life partner, wheeling a roll-aboard three feet behind you, or just pondering fate, if you’re standing at the top of an escalator and blocking the way, you’re being an absolute douchenozzle.
Is it too much to ask that you demonstrate a little situational awareness there?
Also, Rule Zero of navigating crowded places: Stash your pathetic BlackBerry and freaking watch where you’re going.
And a crowded convention is already stuffy enough, so if you feel a hot, stinky one coming on, you hold it in, got it?
Lacie’s Sphere hard drive: Why?!
Tired of all those boring boxy gadgets on your desktop? How about a sphere-shaped 1 terabyte backup drive over-priced at $490? Sure, it’s pretty, but Lacie’s latest storage endeavor reeks of vanity and uselessness.
On the one hand, we feel nothing but sympathy for the explosion-happy Hollywood director, who froze up and fled when his teleprompter malfunctioned. Who hasn’t been there, right? Seized in the clammy grip of stage fright, bowels twisting, head swimming — it’s not a happy place.
On the other hand, come on, man. Get some poise, some humor, some grace, some dignity — something. Once you get into politics, media, or junior high, ad-lib public speaking is non-optional.
Above: Valor marketing
Image Credit: J. O'Dell / VentureBeat
We get it. CES is a designated no-girls-allowed zone for crotch-grabbing, towel-snapping, secret-boner-sporting “men” who never successfully made the transition out of adolescence.
Even so, this marketing strategy is ridiculous — especially when you say your products are for women.
Using butt-nekkid ladies to market to other ladies rarely works. Good luck washing off the clinging residue of sleaze, jerkoffs.