What would the Consumer Electronics Show be if it didn’t have it’s fair share of weird, wacky, zany, and otherwise silly technology proudly on display? It’s easy enough to catch the 3D displays, the ultra-slim TVs, and other hot new stuff. But seeking out the “take a picture of yourself and print a custom press-on nail kiosk” take a lot more effort. Here were some of my favorite fun things at the show:
DIY Personalized Press-On Nails
Thanks to the digital camera and modern inkjet technology, the trappings of instant print-your-own-anything are here to wonder and delight. Custom shirts, hats, mugs, skateboards and stickers have been all the rage of late. But that era is now past, thanks to the make your own press-on nail system. It’s funny, but in reality, someone’s going to make a killing setting these things up in malls across the country.
The Changhong Panda
Not sure why the panda was there, what the company was doing, or really anything other than there was in fact a six foot tall panda. And his new friend Adam.
The Sony Bloggie
This camera hits home with the “we’re gonna try to appeal to them bloggerators” marketing pitch. Yup, from the company that basically invented portable music, numerous industry standard playback formats, the plasma display, and more. Next year they’ll ship the twittie, a micro-camera.
The “real” headphone
If you think your ears are the only part of your body that can hear noise, well, ok actually you are correct in that regards. However, if you think hearing noise is just about the external part of your ear, well that’s where you’re wrong. Turns out your entire head can absorb sound, it’s a concept called bone conduction, and it’s actually been around for a while. But nobody’s quite mastered the art of the demo and pitch like these guys:
Programmable Color Keyboards
Let’s face it, keyboards are boring. Every other accessory, from mice to USB drives, come in hundreds of flavors and varieties. But thankfully the wait is over, you too can have a customized keyboard. American Flag pattern? Got it. Rainbow? Check. Jersey Shore theme? Sigh, it’s inevitable.
The 4th-gen iPhone?
Could this be it?
(no – it’s just a 3/4 size knock-off by some random Asian manufacturer. it might turn on, probably can make a phone call or two, but there’s definitely no app store)
Automatic Bottle Opener
Just think of all the wine bottles you open over the year. If you are American, it’s a grand total of about 6 bottles per year (as opposed to your French cousin, who is closer to 40). Assuming you exert about 12 calories per bottle opened, just think of all the muscle energy you’d save if only you had a gadget to perform this laborious recurring chore for you. Ta da:
Space Station Styled iMac Workstation
In all fairness this isn’t really as goofy as anything else on the list, in the right kind of office this could actually look pretty interesting. Not *my* office, but…
The Nickelodeon Oxygen Bar, Massage Center, and Nap Station
Why wouldn’t Nickelodeon, a popular children’s TV network be at the Consumer Electronics Show? And why wouldn’t there be an Oxygen Bar in the middle of a booth? And why wouldn’t there be a place for people to just chill and, well, fall asleep? And while we’re at it, why wouldn’t we think of the same network that brings us shows with insanely loud music and bright colors to “inspire” our children as the same place to deliver us such a restful location? Convergence.
This is clearly the first generation of products from CONTROL, as a prototype for next year’s edition which’ll have the phone inside. I think I can summarize by saying “missed it by that much”.
Forget 3DTV, CES was all about E-Cigarettes
I am not exaggerating nor incorrect when I state there were more demonstrations of “e-cigarette” products than there were 3DTV products. Why? Because every third or fourth Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, and other manufacturing representatives were showcasing them in their booths. As I am not a smoker, I don’t get the appeal of regular cigarettes, but I am willing to wager these don’t quite replicate the experience.
Automatic Head Massager
Unfortunately there were no demonstration units to try out. I am a big fan of all massage-related technologies (and if someone from Panasonic wants to send me that amazing $6000 massage chair, I will happily accept it as a permanent featured addition to the man-cave). Not sure how the head massage feels, but I think you can slip it an extra $20 for a happy ending.
That’s it for my CES wrap-ups, coming in the next few days will be some thoughts and analysis on the trends and themes for gadgets in 2010. If you aren’t satiated yet, here’s Engadget’s “CrapGadget” post, oddballs from CNET, and a huge list of lists of lists of CES stuff from Robert Scoble. Thanks for reading!