It can't all be good at CES, and these products … definitely weren't.
Buzzing about CES 2017 typically means running into some really cool stuff worth sharing with readers. Sometimes, however, you run into really dumb stuff that has no business vying for your attention … this list contains the latter.
Tinder thought it'd be a good idea to use CES as a means to make a statement about how technology reduces our ability to make IRL connections.
The company's mission is "to get people together to have real experiences in the real world," but it also wanted to make a VR headset. So how do you reconcile those disparate ideas? By annoying everyone with a technology-free "VR headset."
The Tinder VR headset is essentially two pairs of goggles connected in the middle. When you strap one side of the device to your head and a stranger straps the other side of the device to theirs, you're forced to gaze into each other's eyes and suss out the contents of their soul.
Because CES is the best time and place to make a statement about the state of society and genuine communication … cue eye roll
U by Moen
You know what's better than a shower that turns on unfailingly with hot, pressurized water? Nothing, but Moen thought it could improve the shower anyway.
U by Moen is a "smart shower" that promises to help you "shower like never before." If you're wondering what that means, it apparently means controlling your shower with a smartphone app. The app lets you set a timer for your shower (because I definitely want my shower telling me when it's time to get out, not the other way around), features a start and stop control (make sure your device is water resistant!), lets you control the temperature so you can get it just right, and notifies you when your shower has reached the perfect preset temperature (because we're all brewing coffee and tea with our shower water?).
The U by Moen requires a custom installation that starts at $1200 and the whole thing connects over WiFi. Because we all need a WiFi connected shower. We definitely need that. Yep. Def.
Withings Hair Coach
What do you get when you cross a microphone with a hairbrush? I wish I had a punchline, but alas, it's the award-winning (as in won awards) Withings Hair Coach.
The Withings Hair Coach is set to hit the market this fall and promises to be the future of hair care. Using built-in sensors, the Withings Hair Coach hairbrush analyzes your hair health and routine. It claims to track the following:
- Force & rhythm of brushing
- Stroke count
It tracks all of those data points using a microphone that listens to the sound of your hair being brushed, 3-axis load cells that measure the force of your brushing, an accelerometer and a gyroscope, and conductivity sensors for determining if it's brushing dry or wet hair.
Basically, it's a crap-ton of technology packed into a hairbrush that'll tell you you're really bad at brushing your hair. So if you're into that sorta thing, the Withings Hair Coach is for you! I'll be over here brushing my hair blissfully ignorant of my poor technique.
My colleague Cella Lao Rousseau has already shared five reasons why she's fine living in a world without CMRA, and CES gave us a few reasons more.
In theory, a wrist-mounted camera seems like a good idea, right? When we went to check out the tech at CES, we were greeted with a prototype device and absolutely no demo. In fact, there weren't any demos available throughout all of CES.
If there's one thing we should all have learned by now, it's that gadgets don't exist until they do (I call it the Crowdfunding Caution), so until I see the thing in action (and the company addresses Cella's concerns), it gets the big ol' DUMB stamp.
Essential Vibrating Jeans
I mean, need we really say more than "vibrating" and "jeans" in the same sentence before your eyes start rolling? Didn't think so.
The Essential Vibrating Jeans are meant to offer up notifications with a slight buzz … in your pants. To be fair, there is one use case that makes a little sense: GPS feedback. Much like Apple Watch, the pants can give you separate vibrations for left turns and right turns.
Unfortunately, the company also imagines a world where students and employees can receive notifications from their teachers and bosses, respectively … in their pants. Because buzzing a subordinate's pants is definitely a good idea.
(Please excuse me while I go switch off the HR alarm.)
Moore USB Drive
The Moore USB Drive claims to be able to offer unlimited data storage anytime, anywhere — even when there's no internet connection available.
The flash drive is supposed to connect to a cloud storage system and — thanks to a special artificial intelligence algorithm — it automatically knows what data you need on the device at all times and makes sure it's available locally.
Let me kick you a scenario: The flash drive is 32GB and you've uploaded 3,200GB of data. You get on an airplane and you're looking for a movie you edited from a couple years ago — the ingenious AI will have the movie ready for you! You don't need internet access and you don't need to sync.
BWAHA! Nope. I'm thinking this company thinks we're dumb.
The first dumb thing about the Graalphone is that it claims to be coming in late 2017, but it's only offering up mockups on its site (Crowdfunding Caution, folks!).
The Graalphone claims to be "the perfect synthesis between efficiency and fun," which just means it's a tablet, a computer, a smartphone, and a 2D and 3D camera. Y'know, no big.
The tablet and computer features a 7-inch screen, full-on keyboard, Microsoft Windows, and Android OS. The slide-out smartphone features a 5-inch screen with Android OS. Oh, did we mention the camera features 5X optical zoom? That thing zooms right on outta the casing … err, it would if it were real.
I'll gladly eat my graal if this thing ever makes it to market.
See anything stupid?
Were you keeping track of the happenings at CES? What's the dumbest thing you saw?