Some of CES’ weirdest gadgets for 2019
By: Amber Healy
We all know that the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a fever dream of creativity, innovation, dazzling technology that might not be ready for mainstream acceptance but will capture the imaginations of those who want the latest and greatest – even if the bugs aren’t all worked out yet.
But there are some items that are a little hard to embrace. These could be lightyears ahead of their time… or they might just be too full of their own hype and better left on the workbench.
Here are a few that could go either way.
A foldable phone from Huawei – didn’t we already have this? Before smartphones? It was called a flip phone? Some dads and uncles and grandparents still keep them around? Apparently Samsung is working to get in on this game too.
Smart footware from Samsung – we already have watches that track fitness and movement. Do we need shoes that tell us how far we’ve walked, or how lazy we’ve been? These aren’t Marty McFly’s self-lacing sneakers from the middle Back to the Future movie, by the way. They go well beyond that.
PurrSong’s smart and self-cleaning litter box, LavvieBot. This looks to be a box in which the cat does its business, then a robotic comb comes out and scrapes it all up into a drawer that needs to be chucked every two weeks. This is different from other self-cleaning boxes because it is app controlled and can monitor your cat’s weight and can different between a single and multiple cats and on by the way, you can get a happy little text when Fluffy has, uh, done her business.
A smart bottle opener. Because… the manual ones bartenders keep in their pocket are too complicated? I mean, who hasn’t wanted a Wifi and Bluetooth-enabled opener? (Ok, who HAS wanted this?)
A smart mirror. What would Homer Simpson say? Or what would the mirror say to him? It’s capable of interacting with Alexa or Google Assistant, of course.
A remote-operated smart padlock. Use a keypad in person or a PIN code remotely to unlock! Or, y’know, a key! But physical metal keys are SO 20th Century.
A smart garden. When looking at the dirt and seeing plants aren’t growing because you haven’t wanted them in a week is just too complicated. It also kind of looks just like a hydroponic growing system. So there’s that.
Between Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, are there too many detached robotic voices in your life? Meet Miranda, Smart IoT’s smart assistant for smart assistants. Really.
Or there’s Mui Lab’s wood panel, which looks like a 2×4 on a wall until it’s touched, at which point it lights up and interacts with Google Assistant.
Lumen will be demonstrating a prototype of its new contraption that uses the air you exhale to give you diet and exercise advice. It evaluates carbon dioxide to determine whether you’re getting the right nutrition or if you’ve had too many carbs and fats.