Off-the-Wall Gadgets, Weird Ideas Abound at CES 2016

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-01-08
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Off-the-Wall Gadgets, Weird Ideas Abound at CES 2016
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    Off-the-Wall Gadgets, Weird Ideas Abound at CES 2016

    From eye massagers to levitating speakers, here's a look at some of the most unusual, interesting gadgets to reach the show floor at CES 2016.
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    The CrazyBaby Mars Speaker Gives You Weird Powers
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    The CrazyBaby Mars Speaker Gives You Weird Powers

    Who doesn't want a levitating speaker? The CrazyBaby Mars is just that. When the speaker is turned on, a flying saucer-like component hovers above the rest of the device. It can levitate for up to six hours before automatically resting back on the shell for auto-charging. While it may be little more than a gimmick, CrazyBaby says the hovering speaker is a powerhouse and can deliver high-quality audio.
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    CleverPet Tries to Give Animals a Brain Workout
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    CleverPet Tries to Give Animals a Brain Workout

    The makers of the CleverPet device say it will make your dog happier and maybe even smarter. The device comes with touch-pads that light up in different patterns. Once the dog learns a pattern and repeats it, CleverPet automatically dispenses a treat. The company argues that CleverPet is the best way to keep your dog active, assuming the animal will even pay attention to the device. And for good measure, it comes with an app so users can check their dogs' progress.
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    Kube: Part-Sound, Part-Cooler
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    Kube: Part-Sound, Part-Cooler

    At first blush, Kube is little more than an audio speaker that promises big sound. But it earns its spot in the offbeat list for its core component: a built-in cooler. The middle of the portable speaker opens to reveal "insulated storage" space for a favorite cold beverage. What's not to like about a speaker that keeps a beer cold?
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    So, How Much Muscle Do You Really Have?
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    So, How Much Muscle Do You Really Have?

    The Skulpt Chisel claims to be the "future of fitness." In reality, it's a device that connects to a smartphone and tells users how much muscle and fat they may have on their bodies. The device is rather simple: Users place its sensors against a muscle. From there, Chisel analyzes muscle composition and body fat to tell gym rats on which body parts they need more workout time.
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    iDerma Inventor Claims Device Helps You Age More Gracefully
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    iDerma Inventor Claims Device Helps You Age More Gracefully

    Who doesn't want to look younger? That's what a company named Apira Science is asking at CES 2016. The company showed off a device called iDerma that uses LED-based light therapy to improve facial skin condition. Users will need to wear it like a mask three times a week, but iDerma promises to "minimize fine lines and wrinkles and diminish crow's feet," among other benefits.
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    Control Everything in Your Home—With Your Brain
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    Control Everything in Your Home—With Your Brain

    BrainCo is developing a technology that it claims will use "electrical signatures" in the brain to turn on lights, communicate with someone else and more. In order to do so, users need only to think about what they want to do or say. Assuming the recipient has a receiver that can talk to those brainwaves, it'll respond accordingly—or at least, that's what BrainCo says.
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    Autonomous Cars Give Way to Autonomous Drones
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    Autonomous Cars Give Way to Autonomous Drones

    There's been much talk about autonomous vehicles at CES, but what about an autonomous drone? A company named Ehang has developed the electric-powered Ehang 184 drone that flies at low altitudes without requiring user input. Best of all, it's big enough for a passenger, so it can fly manned or unmanned. But for now, it's uncertain whether a pilotless drone with a passenger can ever fly under current U.S. aviation regulations.
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    Aurai Massages Tired Eyes With Water
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    Aurai Massages Tired Eyes With Water

    Everyone needs to relax. That's why Aurai has developed a technology that uses water to gently massage the eyes. Aurai is worn around the eyes and splashes water across the headset. The result is the owner's choice of a cool or warm massage that can help with eyestrain, dark circles and, of course, dry eye.
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    Sony Has Decided Vinyl Isn't Dead
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    Sony Has Decided Vinyl Isn't Dead

    The only big tech company to make it on this list is Sony. At CES, Sony showcased a USB turntable that can play vinyl records. While some may think vinyl is dead, Sony says its player has a real, useful function: It's designed to be hooked up to a PC via a USB connector and capture in digital the full, lossless audio.
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    Learn What It's Like to Age Before Your Time With Genworth
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    Learn What It's Like to Age Before Your Time With Genworth

    It's not easy getting old, and Genworth wants everyone to know it. The company has created a suit called the Genworth R70i Aging Experience that uses sensors, software and other features to simulate the aging process. According to Genworth, the suit simulates vision and hearing impairments, muscle loss and other troubles of getting old. If nothing else, it'll provide some insight into what the future looks like.
 

There has been plenty of talk that CES 2016 has been transformed into an auto show or a mobile technology show, or is now more of a computer show than ever. But at heart, it's still what it was originally organized to be, a consumer electronics show. The proof of that is in the wild consumer gadgets on the show floor.  Along with concept cars like the Faraday Future Batmobile-like electric car, and LG Electronics' display of what may be the best-looking and most flexible television ever launched, some clearly off-the-wall ideas were on display. Some exhibitors came to demonstrate ideas that had to make some attendees scratch their heads. Walking around the showroom floor, visitors have found age-defying masks, eye massagers and even a way to keep a beer cold while playing music. While some of them may sound lame, the companies behind those products believe that their creations will ultimately go mainstream. In truth, market success may prove elusive for many of these gadgets, but their inventors should be given some credit for at least giving them a try. Read on to learn more about some of the strangest, most interesting gadgets to reach the show floor at CES 2016.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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