Every year the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) showcases some of the strangest inventions in the world of gadgets. Executive Traveller takes a look at some of the coolest gadgets on display this year.
Starting with gadgets that warn you if you are eating too fast and ending with one that helps your troublesome toddler sit still on the potty, some of the prototypes showcased in the annual gadget show might just succeed in the market. But here’s to the creativity of the innovators who forsook the fear of being tagged as weird. Here’s to the innovative new gizmos… doesn’t matter if they are nothing short of being downright strange.
Come 2013 and bass heavy headphones are the things to own. But all dedicated to the genres of hip hop and dubstep, metalheads have been left out of the party. But with British metal band Motorhead, endorsing a line of headphones that “go to eleven”, rock fans, there is hope for you.
According to lead singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister, “I just said make them louder than everybody else’s. So that’s the only criteria, and that it should reflect every part of the sound, not just the bass.”
The Motorheadphone line consists of three over-the-ear headphones and six in-ear models. The initiative came from a Swedish music-industry veteran, and distribution and marketing is handled by a Swedish company, Krusell International AB.
According to Kilmister, the headphones are ideal for Motorhead fans. “Their hearing is already damaged, they better buy these.”
Eyes Sensing TV
A prototype of an eye-sensing TV from Haier was not a big hit. With an on-screen cursor appearing where the viewer looks to help select a show to watch. Blinking while controlling the cursor is supposed to result in a click. In our brief time with the TV, we observed may quirks and comic difficulties.
For one, the company’s demonstrator Hongzhao Guo said the system doesn’t work that well when viewers wear eyeglasses. (That kind of defeats the purpose of TV, no?) But it turns out, one bespectacled reporter was able to make it work. But the cursor appeared a couple inches below where the viewer was looking. This resulted in Guo snapping his fingers to attract the reporter’s eye to certain spots. The reporter dutifully looked, but the cursor was always a bit low. Looking down to see the cursor only resulted in it moving further down the TV screen.
People too lazy to move their arms. “It’s easy to do,” claimed a tester. But the demonstrator, Guo said the device needed to be recalibrated for each person.
Parrot Flower Power
For all those who love the birds and the trees, Parrot is here to make life much easier for your plants. This plant sensor christened Flower Power was conceived and created by Paris-based Parrot and is designed to update your mobile device with information about the health of your plant and the environment it lives in. All you have to do is stick the Y-shaped sensor into the soil, download the accompanying app and get set to marvel at your green fingers.
According to Peter George, vice president of sales and marketing, Parrot, America, “It basically is a Bluetooth smart low-energy sensor. It senses light, sunlight, temperature, moisture and soil as well as fertilizer in the soil. You can use it either indoors or outdoors,” The device will be ready for use by the end of this year Parrot promised.
All the green-finger hopefuls, ones who enjoy watching the flowers grow on the windows.
For all those, who have wished you could actually watch what you’re eating this little gadget from HapiLabs is made specially for you. A fork with a fat handle, electronics and a battery coupled with a motion sensor that knows when you are lifting the fork to your mouth lets this smart fork know if you are eating too fast. As a warning it vibrates in your mouth to make you check your bite. HapiLabs, believes that using the fork 60 to 75 times during meals that last 20 to 30 minutes is ideal.
However, the downside of the smart fork is that it will not know how healthy or how big each bite you take will be, so shoveling through a plate of greasy bacon is equal to eating a plate of healthy greens.
Of course, people who eat too fast. And the gadgetheads who want company for their “smart” refrigerator and other kitchen gadgets.
Toilet training toddlers is perhaps one of the most difficult things on earth. From wanting to go in public to refusing to sit on his designated seat, this one comes with a paraphernalia of nightmares. But iPotty from CTA Digital seeks to make it a little easier by letting parents attach an iPad to it. This way, junior can gape and paw at the iPad while taking care of business in the old-fashioned part of the plastic potty. IPotty will go on sale in March, first on Amazon.com.
“It’s novel to a lot of people but we’ve gotten great feedback from parents who think it’d be great for training,” said CTA product specialist Camilo Gallardo.
Busy parents who are this close to tearing their hair out thanks to their troublesome toddlers.
Mondo Spider, Titanoboa
From Lord of the Rings, to Harry Potter, these eight legged scaries were far from being your friendly ride down the neighbourhood. But Canadian art organization eatART invented this ridable 8-legged creature which is a pair of giant hydraulic and lithium polymer battery controlled beast. Mondo Spider weighs 1,600 pounds and can crawl forward at about 5 miles per hour on battery power for roughly an hour. The 1,200-pound Titanoboa slithers along the ground at an as yet unmeasured speed.
The original version of Mondo Spider, meanwhile, first appeared at the Burning Man arts gathering in Nevada in 2006.
The child in you. Not to mention, those who have more than large living rooms.