It isn’t easy to find the oddball gadgets across CES. This year’s big tech trade show in Las Vegas covered more than 2.6 million square feet of event space, with nearly 4,000 exhibitors. But as usual, we came back with our impressions of the weirdest gadgets that are coming in 2017.
There were lots of analog turntables, virtual reality headsets, home robots, selfie drones, and smart refrigerators. But those things seem so normal now, compared to some of the new weirdness.
The LoveBox was created by a French romantic who missed his wife. She didn’t like the impersonal nature of Skype or WhatsApp calls, and so he created a box that was just for messages between the two of them. The sender can type a small message for the receiver to see on a mirrored surface. The box heart spins when there’s a new message. It will cost $120, with shipping starting in June 2017.
Withings worked with L’Oreal’s Kerastase brand to create a smart hairbrush dubbed Hair Coach. The brush uses sensors and algorithms to evaluate your hair. It senses brushing patterns to provide insights into frizziness, dryness, split ends, and breakage. It counts your brush strokes and gives you haptic feedback if you are brushing too fast.
Japanese tech startup Xenoma has created an e-skin motion capture shirt so that you can translate your body’s movements into digital form, which can then be used to control a character in a video game. The e-skin has 14 strain sensors strategically placed to detect the wearer’s body movements. A $5,000 developer version will be available on February 1, and the company hopes to launch a $600 consumer version by mid-2017. The shirt is also being targeted at athlete training and virtual reality apps.
FoldiMate laundry robot
FoldiMate has created a robot that will fold your laundry. FoldiMate’s machine requires you to clip your clothes onto a slot on the machine (this task might be too much for the laziest among us). The robot pulls the item over a board and steams it, then folds it. It takes the robot about 10 seconds to fold one item, and it has a capacity of about 15 to 20 items. Once the robot is finished with the whole rack, it spits out the folded clothes for you to remove. The machine will cost around $850 or so.
GeniCan garbage can
The GeniCan smart garbage can has a camera on it. As you dispose of objects, it scans what you’re throwing away and adds the item to your grocery list. Combined with a smart refrigerator camera, it might very well help you create a full grocery list with a minimal amount of trouble. It’s available for preorder now.
Sleep Number 360 smart bed
This smart mattress uses machine learning to figure out how to help you sleep better. If you snore, the bed can raise your head slightly before the snoring wakes up your spouse. It also detects when you might snore and makes adjustments beforehand. The bed also adjusts the firmness, depending on how you sleep. (John Brandon)
Aryballe’s digital nose
Aryballe Technologies’ NeOse is a digital sniffing device aimed at uncovering dangerous smells, such as gas leaks. It uses an optical sensor to identify molecules. It can discern hundreds of smells. At the moment, the technology is expensive — at $10,000 to $15,000 — so the company is targeting enterprises at first. Over time, Aryballe hopes to create a consumer device.
Spartan tech-proof underwear
Spartan debuted its male underwear that blocks radiation that could be harmful to your manhood. The boxer-briefs prevent radiation exposure via pure silver fibers that protect the family jewels. Radiation has been known to have adverse effects on men’s reproductive health.
Dring Smart Cane
This smart cane has sensors that can detect if someone has fallen (or if they’ve simply dropped the cane). It can measure how much the person walks and what paths they take, as it has built-in navigation detection.
The Oria product is built on the idea that scents can improve your quality of sleep. The Oria produces smells that it claims can recharge your batteries faster while you sleep. I sniffed various scents like a lavender mix that the company says could help you relax, fall asleep faster, and sleep better and longer. It uses recyclable scent capsules that last about two months.