I Found The Worst Things At CES
January 10, 2016 3:04 PM   Subscribe

"Without asking, I started working for @internetofshit with some hot, on-the-floor reporting on the worst technology at the Consumer Electronics Show."
posted by jenkinsEar (96 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
The big trend seems to be wearable technology for pets.

Remind me again how Angel and VC-funded technology startups are solving all the big problems in society.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 3:16 PM on January 10, 2016 [34 favorites]


Not entirely sure what the wheelchair has done to earn it's place here.
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on January 10, 2016 [26 favorites]


CATS: Ooh, a smartphone.

*sound of smartphone being knocked to the floor*
*sound of smartphone being batted around the room*
*sound of smartphone sliding under the couch, never to be seen again*
posted by thomas j wise at 3:21 PM on January 10, 2016 [22 favorites]


"What's going on. What is this. It just seems to be a series of words "

This is my impression of "internet of things" so far. Like let's all just do a thing because it seems like we should be doing that. Not because we need these things, not because we know how to build them yet, because we don't. It just seems like what's supposed to be happening in the 2010's. So we're going to fake it till we make it.
posted by bleep at 3:21 PM on January 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


TBH this mostly seems like average trade show stuff.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on January 10, 2016 [26 favorites]


growth at all costs people, growth at all costs.

.
posted by lalochezia at 3:22 PM on January 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


You notice all those pet devices are attached to dogs. My cat successfully lost 10 collars before we just gave up. The hell I'm putting some kind of device on him.
posted by emjaybee at 3:23 PM on January 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


If you go to any large trade show, spend an hour or two in the back corner where the smaller booths live. You'll see an amazing mix of companies just like these. Some have really cool ideas and are hoping for a break, some are average, some have amazing delusions of fame and fortune. Some look like they have no idea why they are there.

It kind of reminds you there is this permanent undercurrent of creativity, hope, and/or just plain batshit crazy in this country, and I love it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:24 PM on January 10, 2016 [67 favorites]


I will pay any amount of money to anybody who can prevent my wife from ever learning about the Owlet.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:28 PM on January 10, 2016 [17 favorites]


You notice all those pet devices are attached to dogs. My cat successfully lost 10 collars before we just gave up. The hell I'm putting some kind of device on him.

Cats don't do that. I tried putting a harness on my first cat. Did not work. They also hate nail trims and baths. Dogs listen. They will go for it. Cats do not do tech except chase after laser pointers...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:33 PM on January 10, 2016


In my experience, horrible company names are decided by a web search of what domain names are available. The quality of startup names is going to continue to plummet. First they dropped the vowels... what's next? The consanants?
posted by bendy at 3:39 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm proud to announce my new company, "Unicode code point 216B, code point 2603".
posted by kiltedtaco at 3:46 PM on January 10, 2016 [19 favorites]


"agalmic dot holdings dot root dot one-eight-four dot ninety-seven dot A-for-able dot B-for-baker dot five, incorporated"

Actually, .inc is in pre-register. I wonder how much they'll charge for five.inc
posted by Leon at 3:53 PM on January 10, 2016


The best part is that at least one of these ideas will make billions of dollars.
posted by miyabo at 3:59 PM on January 10, 2016


The tweets were worse than the products.
posted by humanfont at 4:03 PM on January 10, 2016 [37 favorites]


That was way too difficult to navigate and really frustrating. This should have been a blog post. You can embed all the pictures and all the commentary in a single page, or two pages, or a slideshow. Twitter is absolutely the worst place to do this.
posted by Neronomius at 4:14 PM on January 10, 2016 [14 favorites]


When all you've got is Twitter, everything looks like a tweet.
posted by pipeski at 4:16 PM on January 10, 2016 [51 favorites]


Suffering a Sunday night case of "ugh I really don't want to do the laundry" I can almost buy into the Laundroid....even if it could just be a small person hiding inside the machine faking it.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:17 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


...even if it could just be a small person hiding inside the machine faking it.

Mechanical Turkish Towels?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:19 PM on January 10, 2016 [17 favorites]


Cats do not do tech except chase after laser pointers...

You should see Cat Watch 2014!

Liz Bonnin joins forces with some of the world's top cat experts to conduct a groundbreaking scientific study. With GPS trackers and cat cameras, they follow 100 cats in three different environments.
posted by adept256 at 4:22 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Had to Google for Swar Gusta's “Adi-En” &“Allison” superluggage. No product images, but from the description it's awesome, has a life-time warranty and weighs less than a half-gallon of milk (sic!), comes with 24/7 support center and a concierge service that can help you with anything, but if you check it in the warranty is immediately void and they're confiscate your pet.

I liked the remote teddybears, though. And Mr. Zitron apparently isn't a parent, or know anyone who is, or he'd known why breathing monitors is a thing.

And now he's ranting about high-resolution 3D printers? Wake me if there's something entertaining later in the article.
posted by effbot at 4:25 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


So every time we smoked a joint and had a great idea.... We could been billionaires..... Who knew... Honestly. I apparently have had fucking amazing ideas that trump all of these.... I realized the next day they were stupid idiotic ideas. But I guess I just needed to find the right moron to give me money.

Ideas I had well under the influence:
Gps trail mapping for hikers to be able to not miss important geological features
Wireless headphones (1989) ok.... That was a good one but yeah... So did a thousand other people
Birder software for windows ce that allows you to record the birdsong and identify the bird.... Also a silhouette pic for bird types
Application to track your home brews
Chicken coop sensor
Ability to trade and sell gift cards with less than $5
.... A zillion more

Memail me..... My price is simple to get me to zero debt....after that I plan to grow pot
posted by mrgroweler at 4:25 PM on January 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


crying
posted by mwhybark at 4:26 PM on January 10, 2016


Alexandra Kitty: "You notice all those pet devices are attached to dogs. My cat successfully lost 10 collars before we just gave up. The hell I'm putting some kind of device on him.

Cats don't do that. I tried putting a harness on my first cat. Did not work. They also hate nail trims and baths. Dogs listen. They will go for it. Cats do not do tech except chase after laser pointers...
"

So, epistonyrical?
posted by Samizdata at 4:36 PM on January 10, 2016


My cat successfully lost 10 collars before we just gave up.

I read this as "10 dollars" and immediately started wondering about cat-enabled payment systems
posted by neckro23 at 4:41 PM on January 10, 2016 [28 favorites]


Cats do not do tech except chase after laser pointers

My cat loves one of those ipad fish-swatting games.
posted by pompomtom at 4:43 PM on January 10, 2016


"Do you even windform, bro?"

I'm curious about so many of these products. Mostly what they do. I can almost imagine what windforming might be, but since these people made 3D a verb... perhaps not.

EmoCam is a photography app that allows you to attach your emotions to a photo via your heart rate and an emoticon.
Pureple is a "virtual closet app".
Whill inc: "moves seamlessly throughout your life and goes effortlessly where you want to go. It is the combination of both high performance and unparalleled beauty. WHILL Model A was engineered and designed to integrate within the various rhythms of your life, whether at work, rest or play."

You know what, now I know why Twitter dude didn't provide explanations. Whill is a four-wheel drive "mobility scooter" not a "combination of both high performance and unparalleled beauty".

My spirit is broken. If I find an app for that I might google Swar Gusta onwards. But I doubt it.
posted by Mezentian at 4:44 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


That was way too difficult to navigate and really frustrating. This should have been a blog post. You can embed all the pictures and all the commentary in a single page, or two pages, or a slideshow. Twitter is absolutely the worst place to do this.


What? Twitter is by far the best place to do that. Incremental bursts of text and image (which is absolutely how this was documented) are twitters bread and butter. I don't see how scrolling down a page is hard to navigate.
posted by Ferreous at 4:53 PM on January 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm gonna just turn over control of this comment to Mr. Freddie Mercury.

Queen - Don't Try So Hard
posted by Existential Dread at 4:54 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tupperware that automatically vacuum seals itself when the cover is put on and then logs itself in to a calendar app embedded on a device magnetically attached to the fridge. When it it taken out, time and duration out is tracked. Higher end versions sample temperature and log that to help determine if food has remained safely cooled. Smart Tupperware.
posted by Chrischris at 4:55 PM on January 10, 2016 [11 favorites]


Swag Gusta - secure carry-on luggage, which can only be opened with its owner’s retina pattern!

Carpyz - Machine for Producing Circular Products by Means of Layer-by-Layer... something.

Lovehandle - Wow. A bad choice in the Google stakes. But it makes your iPhone wearable.

"Expert Teleportation" - offers no such servce. It's French, and I don't speak French (I need an expert for that) but seems to combine an app and a GoPro so some schlub can do brain surgery physically while advised by an expert.

Petbot - Tell your pet that you love them or play some calming music to help with pet separation anxiety! Have them send you "selfies".

Smaato - "Smaato is a global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, with a strong focus on helping these parties monetize their mobile apps and websites."

Brainbit - "narrows the gap between research and discovery by providing fresh, never frozen, micro-surgically dissected, live brain tissues and essential growth" OR it is "a New York City and Silicon Valley based technology company pioneering brain activity monitoring using EEG solutions". Possibly the latter.
posted by Mezentian at 4:57 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


The best part is that at least one of these ideas will make billions of dollars.

My money is on the Bluetooth vibrator.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:01 PM on January 10, 2016 [18 favorites]


I will pay any amount of money to anybody who can prevent my wife from ever learning about the Owlet.

I don't get the snark about the owlet. SIDS is a real thing, isn't it? Admittedly I know nothing about parenthood, but presumably there are some times when both parents are asleep?

(I also don't get the snark about the wheelchair, but Artw has that covered)
posted by juv3nal at 5:05 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, vibrators are "cool" now.
posted by Mezentian at 5:05 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Most of this was from the Sands Hall G which was the bargain basement (literally) of both space. It was indeed petty funny. I did much the same commentary via chat to coworkers. The "smart duck" had the highest combined crazy idea x expensive booth score, being upstairs at the Sands with real companies.

The real crazy thing about CES is that it's like 25% USB cables, USB chargers and USB batteries. Hundreds of companies with "shenzhen" in their name all peddling the same stuff. I don't know how it's economically viable.

The real funniest thing of CES was the the two biggest press releases were a turntable rerelease and Kodak's 8mm film video camera. Welcome to CES 1976 or something.
posted by GuyZero at 5:21 PM on January 10, 2016 [22 favorites]


This seemed like a series of tweets where somebody took pictures and went, "This is dumb!" with each one, but there was no real commentary. For the most part, I can't tell if an idea is truly a bad one just from a picture of the booth, especially if I can't figure out what the thing is supposed to do. All this accomplished for me was to make me really dislike the guy doing the tweeting.
posted by not that girl at 5:22 PM on January 10, 2016 [15 favorites]


Also, no, none of these companies will make a billion dollars mostly because they are wasting their money at CES.
posted by GuyZero at 5:22 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, it is comforting to know that business loans can still be obtained without many questions and venture capitalists are still willing to dump cash into dang near anything "tech"!
posted by Muncle at 5:23 PM on January 10, 2016


"Not entirely sure what the wheelchair has done to earn it's place here."

Me either unless that guy is really familiar with wheelchairs and wheelchair users. There are a few small* design factors I thought about but really it looks like a good chair for what is actually a decent price. You can find a good review and a video of it online. It seems that their primary market is the eldery with some mobility issues and their secondary market is for users with disabilities.

I've certainly seen worse power chairs.


* Not every chair is good for every user. For that chair I wonder about:

How well does it allow a user to transfer out of it forward using the controllers as an arm rest? It looks like it would tip forward with a weight transfer. Plus the controls look like the would be easy to accidently push when transfering forward.

There are no arm rests or easy way of doing trunk support. That rules it out for users with a certain types of disability. It also looks like it would be difficult to hang a purse, backpack or bag on the seat, as many people do.

Also, there is no way? to mount an iPod or other communication device on it so you have a chair AND a voice. But again, that may not be their market.
posted by ITravelMontana at 5:36 PM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


In 2014 Zitron attended the Consumer Electronics Show as a journalist with the intention of covering the public relations aspect of the event. When he began receiving hundreds of mass-mailed public relations pitches that were sent to him over the course of the show, he responded by asking the senders: "Can you send me more information on Updog?" Many respondents asked "What is updog?," to which Zitron replied, "Not much, what's up with you?"

That's on the author's Wikipedia page.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:36 PM on January 10, 2016 [17 favorites]


Thanks, tech guys, for giving China so many great reasons to make air unbreathable.
posted by amtho at 5:42 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the baby and pet monitors will be sucessful. I assume the guy writing this feed doesn't have pets or kids.
posted by humanfont at 5:44 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't get the snark about the owlet

It's the apex of products aimed at insecure parents. There is very, very large amount of products that prey on parental insecurity. SIDS is actually pretty rare, but you'd never know that from the way people talk about it
posted by Dr. Twist at 5:45 PM on January 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


venture capitalists are still willing to dump cash into dang near anything "tech"!

I doubt many of these have venture capital, except perhaps for the companies in the "What is my mother no longer doing for me?" category.

That's on the author's Wikipedia page.

In the first revision, even, an 800-word essay on how great Zitron is, written by an anonymous author who has a "conflict of interest" and has only edited this article, and approved on April 1st. Internet is beautiful.
posted by effbot at 5:47 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pointing and laughing at easy targets? No thanks.
posted by oddman at 6:08 PM on January 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


RICK. RICK.
What?
ITS ME THE CAT. I CAN CALL YOU NOW.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:09 PM on January 10, 2016 [51 favorites]


RICK. RICK.
What?
YOU ARE AT WORK. DO YOU KNOW WHERE I JUST POOPED?
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:12 PM on January 10, 2016 [31 favorites]


This post is helping to fill a void left by the demise of SkyMall. Well done.
posted by 4ster at 6:27 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


No scorn for the cell phone that is also a vape rig?
posted by boo_radley at 6:36 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can someone please message me the RICK. RICK link?

I lost it and miss it
posted by ITravelMontana at 6:38 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Lovehandle - Wow. A bad choice in the Google stakes. But it makes your iPhone wearable.

In my headcannon, and riffing off the logo, it was a sextoy.

Like everything else at ces, according to gizmodo.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:40 PM on January 10, 2016


Whill inc: "moves seamlessly throughout your life and goes effortlessly where you want to go. It is the combination of both high performance and unparalleled beauty. WHILL Model A was engineered and designed to integrate within the various rhythms of your life, whether at work, rest or play."

You know what, now I know why Twitter dude didn't provide explanations. Whill is a four-wheel drive "mobility scooter" not a "combination of both high performance and unparalleled beauty".


What's wrong with Whill?
posted by sweetkid at 6:43 PM on January 10, 2016


I'm on the plane back from CES right now and I keep thinking about what aliens, seeing only this, would conclude about our needs and wants as a species.

Mostly we are constantly running out of batteries for our USB powered drones which need to be connected to our smart iPhone cases that we use by the dozen while riding our hoverboards. (You can never have enough hoverboards, the demand is insatiable.)
posted by dmd at 6:57 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just drove back from Vegas/CES, is this where I can share my link of VR demos happening at the closing night party? Is VR the new VIP?
posted by RichAndCreamy at 7:08 PM on January 10, 2016


What's wrong with Whill?

Have you read his journals?
posted by Mezentian at 7:29 PM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


No scorn for the cell phone that is also a vape rig?

Ideas to try:
cell phone + vaporizer
car jumpstarter + music player
toothbrush + computer game
shoes + usb charger
hair brush + two-way radio
e-book reader + humidifier
skateboard + megaphone
belt sander + wifi router
tennis racket + camera
posted by sfenders at 7:35 PM on January 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


The biggest things smart phones and vaporizers have in common is that their users get jumpy if they're out of arm's reach and also they are constantly putting their mouths on them.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:42 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had a Lovehandle. At the time it was called a ThingSling, or maybe a SlingGrip? The inventors can't decide on a name, and each is worse than the last, but the gadget itself is pretty useful. It's the only reason I felt comfortable taking photos from the rebar tunnels on the roof of the City Museum.

Swar Gusta though.
posted by mama casserole at 7:44 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


For the Pureple!

-- Strongbad
posted by freecellwizard at 7:46 PM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


My favorite thing from Hall G in the Sands: the dude making attachable furry tails you will be able to remotely control via Bluetooth. I asked him who his market was.

"I've got a special effects company that likes them for puppetry. College mascots. Comic-con..."

I leaned in and asked, "So what about people who --"

"Yes, I have a lot of customers who are furries."

It made for a nice break from the umpteenth "smart home" interview of the day.
posted by sobell at 7:48 PM on January 10, 2016 [32 favorites]


Actually, that "What's updog?" is making me laugh so hard I am crying, and trying not to wake the kids…mostly because one of them, who loves the Henway Gag, would be awake until dawn yelling, "NOTHING, WHAT'S UP WITH YOU?"

And I have Stuff To Do in the morning, you know?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:53 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I kinda think with Whill, he's just making fun of the name. First tweet says "...is dumb has a dumb name or both"
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:12 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whenever I think of CES, I think of Metafilter's own Mat Honan's amazing 2012 article Fever Dream of a Guilt-Ridden Gadget Reporter. To me that is the true CES.
posted by Nelson at 8:27 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


tennis racket + camera

I reckon that would actually sell.
posted by pompomtom at 9:02 PM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think Whill looked pretty cool and helpful for people with disabilities. I was more wondering why it perturbed that person up thread so much.
posted by sweetkid at 9:15 PM on January 10, 2016


Thanks, tech guys, for giving China so many great reasons to make air unbreathable.

Factories don't do hundred-million-unit production runs because of tech guys, they do it because of regular people. We all have to own some of the responsibility.
posted by anonymisc at 9:26 PM on January 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


If you are referring to me, I was perturbed by the empty marketing speak.
posted by Mezentian at 9:28 PM on January 10, 2016


tennis racket + camera

It's been done, at least by strapping on a GoPro.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:48 PM on January 10, 2016


It's been done, at least by strapping on a GoPro.

Dude, just letting you know, you're never going to be able get VCs interested with that pitch. Some more "actualization", "experience", "remote", "app", etc. Send me another draft when you're done with it, I'll check my email at 3AM.
posted by maxwelton at 10:23 PM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Not entirely sure what the wheelchair has done to earn it's place here."

been invented for someone that isn't the author or his circle of able-bodied friends? I'm just spitballing here.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 10:33 PM on January 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


Re: Owlet

There are already several home infant breathing monitors engineered by medical device manufacturers.

Guess what? Research shows in almost all cases they do zero to prevent SIDS and are excellent at causing unnecessary ED visits, excessive blood draws for lab tests and parental anxiety.

I'm not thrilled about the idea of a startup aggressively marketing (directly to parents) the idea that all their babies could stop breathing and die at any second.
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:52 PM on January 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


Not entirely sure what the wheelchair has done to earn it's place here.

Having a silly startup name, or that's my only guess.
posted by atoxyl at 12:30 AM on January 11, 2016


I suspect the Whill is just there for its somewhat daft name ... there's plenty more of those in the list.

Personally I think it's a shame that "Whill" isn't some kind of protein shake so they could use the tagline "Where there's a Whill there's a Whey" but ummm ... I'll see myself out.
posted by nickzoic at 12:34 AM on January 11, 2016 [12 favorites]


SIDS is actually pretty rare, but you'd never know that from the way people talk about it

#3 killer of infants under the age of 1. Kills tens of thousands a year.

As I mentioned to Zitron, if I ever have a kid there will absolutely be HR/accelerometry in their crib.
posted by effugas at 1:23 AM on January 11, 2016


The thing about the Owlet is that even if you owned one you would still go and check on your kid's breathing. It's not a rational calculation, like, oh, she has a 0.004% chance per day so I should check every 17.6 hrs to get an optimal result over my lifetime. It's a sudden intrusive thought that the absolute worst thing in the world might have happened and you know it's crazy but if you don't check you'll worry about it secretly until you do. No Thing is Internety enough to override that part of the parental brain. (And yeah, I speak from experience.)
posted by No-sword at 3:13 AM on January 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Internet of Things Your Mother Told You Not To Say

The Internet of Things That Go Bump In The Night

The Internet of Things That Do Not Care What You Think
posted by cstross at 5:59 AM on January 11, 2016 [4 favorites]



Not entirely sure what the wheelchair has done to earn it's place here


Yeah, it looks like a great product. The name is fine.
posted by sweetkid at 6:17 AM on January 11, 2016


#3 killer of infants under the age of 1. Kills tens of thousands a year.

Just over 2000 deaths per year in the US, according to the NIH, which is enough to make it "the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age."
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 AM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I expect C-Net to name that Pureple booth Best in Show.
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:25 AM on January 11, 2016


The Internet of Things Your Mother Told You Not To Say

The Internet of Thingie.
posted by The Bellman at 6:31 AM on January 11, 2016


Had to Google for Swar Gusta's “Adi-En” &“Allison” superluggage. No product images, but from the description it's awesome, has a life-time warranty and weighs less than a half-gallon of milk (sic!), comes with 24/7 support center and a concierge service that can help you with anything, but if you check it in the warranty is immediately void and they're confiscate your pet.

If the attendant insists on checking your bag, they instruct you to "get off the flight and take the next flight or choose another airline to fly with."
posted by almostmanda at 6:51 AM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


This seemed like a series of tweets where somebody took pictures and went, "This is dumb!" with each one, but there was no real commentary.

Nobody around here follows Ed Zitron on Twitter, do they?
posted by slogger at 7:01 AM on January 11, 2016


If the attendant insists on checking your bag, they instruct you to "get off the flight and take the next flight or choose another airline to fly with."

I love how they explain that they have a special hotline and if you call, they'd be just happy to explain to the airline staff how special your luggage is. Have these people ever been on a plane before? Keep that up and you'll be getting off the flight in handcuffs.
posted by zachlipton at 7:13 AM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can someone please message me the RICK. RICK link?

Are you thinking of Text From Dog?
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:43 AM on January 11, 2016


No, they want Louis vs Rick (still online, but he ended it a while ago)
posted by briank at 9:02 AM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


The tech factories are clean by comparison. The killers for Chinese air quality are all the steel mills, residential and neighborhood coal powered heating systems, heavy industry and old trucks without emissions controls.
posted by humanfont at 9:35 AM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


I cannot stop hearing:

All I'm suggesting is we occasionally throw in a little pet appeal. Some birds, a squirrel... Mice.
Mice, exactly.
You remember Kojak and the lollipops? What about a cop that dangles string, that's his gimmick. Lots of quick random action.
Frank, wasn't there a dormouse in "Scrooge"?
No, but I always felt that it needed a dormouse.
Dormice, better.

posted by blurker at 9:36 AM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


The thing about the Owlet is that even if you owned one you would still go and check on your kid's breathing.

I don't know how the Owlet is supposed to work, but there were a number of occasions where I sat there scrutinizing our video monitor for a couple minutes looking for the pixel-level movement indicating that the baby was still breathing. (I didn't want to go in because that would have woken him up.)

That said, it was still only a handful of occasions. I basically assumed I would buy a device like this when we had a kid, and as it turned out I wouldn't have used it very much.
posted by bjrubble at 10:18 AM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Owlet or something similar might be useful for preventing deaths of children accidentally left in cars. Which is rare but so vividly awful - and has so many slap-dash solutions that pretty much rely on parents just remembering to check or implementing some mnemonic device system - that I can see it selling well -

Oh, wait, already invented tenfold.

I also just googled and only 24 children actually died of heatstroke from being left in a car in 2015. When you realize that, this all does seem very frivolous. Thanks, capitalism, glad we're focusing on the solutions that make a difference.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:36 AM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


The photo here originally depicted pairs of pistols, then mathowie got to it with Photoshop.
posted by exogenous at 12:15 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Personally, I think the worst thing about CES is that I no longer write their advertising (2010-2013). But I might be biased.
posted by djpatch at 1:28 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


This quote from The Guardian regarding personal security focused, folks at CES,
"“Not at all. You can already do that. If you’ve got a phone and I’ve had access to it. Or if you have Chrome with location services turned on, I can already track you,” he said. “The privacy boat? That ship’s sailed.”

I liked the tone.
posted by Oyéah at 2:23 PM on January 11, 2016


Pureple is a "virtual closet app".

This is what I wish this was: everyone wears soft white cloth jumpsuits and wears augmented reality glasses (not virtual reality, which is so passé). When you walk down the street and see someone, your glasses will make it look like they are wearing clothes that they picked from their virtual closet.

You would think that the fashion industry would go broke, but not so! Now they are selling virtual clothes. You wouldn't be caught dead going out without your virtual reality Versace outfit.

Looks like that is what this is except for the augmented reality glasses and jumpsuits (which I think is the best part).
posted by eye of newt at 8:15 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


I made a joke a couple years ago that the future of tech was going to be smart collars for cats that let them tweet pictures of their balls to random users.

I'm glad we're getting close to that future.
posted by lkc at 11:17 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


smart collars for cats

Sounds cool... for cats.
posted by Mezentian at 1:23 AM on January 12, 2016


I made a joke a couple years ago that the future of tech was going to be smart collars for cats that let them tweet pictures of their balls to random users.


The cat can have my collar. Turns out pictures of my nethers got my followers a little ... testy.
posted by Chitownfats at 10:37 AM on January 12, 2016


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