Stuff‘s second law of trade show dynamics states that for every awesome and deeply desirable bit of kit unveiled there must be an opposite and equally ludicrous or superfluous piece of gear launched. As a complement to our selection of five of the coolest things to come out of CES 2017, herewith a list of five of the worst.
There are a whole lot of “smart” water bottles at CES this year. The next best contender for this slot is called the iBottle, which tells you most of what you need to know about it, especially as it’s not made by apple. This monstrosity is a combination of Bluetooth speaker, battery booster, key holder and water bottle complete with a touch display and “aircraft grade ABS body”. Do you need something like this? Because we certainly don’t.
As if the name wasn’t enough to make us shift about in our chairs uncomfortably, Poof makes a range of activity and sleep trackers for dogs and cats. They’re the Fitbits of the pet world. Available in as a disc-shaped Pea or the smaller Bean, Poof’s products track exercise and sleep patterns and let you know if your furry companion isn’t getting enough exercise or shuteye. Don’t get us wrong, we like pets as much as the next person, but this might be taking the quantified life a little too far. Besides, what happened to the tried and trusted combination of tape measure and scale?
Netgear’s Arlo Baby is an HD IP camera for monitoring your progeny. We get it, you want to know what’s happening with the heir to your fortune, but you don’t want them to get weirded out by the camera in the corner of their crib so you stick some feet and ears on it and hope for the best. The only problem is the bunny version reminds adults of Frank from Donnie Darko and the spotted one doesn’t make any sense at all (is it a Dalmation with monochrome measles or freakishly small spots?) Perhaps this one is actually inspired as it’ll prepare our youngsters for the rapidly advancing surveillance state they’re set to inherit.
Withings Hair Coach
As a maker of smart scales and other health gear, it’s only natural Withings would look to get into other crucial corners of the digital healthcare and quantified-self space. Which is no doubt what prompted it to partner with Kérastase to create a smart and connected hairbrush. It tracks how vigorous your, umm, strokes are via sensors and a gyroscope and uses built-in microphones to assess your follicle fidelity and alert you to split ends and other potentially life-ruining hairmergencies. And we thought last year’s connected toothbrushes were bonkers.
Bodyfriend massage chair
As tempting as it is to let this one speak for itself (the website includes this gem, “Daily inspiration is evoked with Bodyfriend and ordinary space is reborn as a dignified healing space”), but we’ll opine a little. CES 2017 was awash with massage chairs and long queues of people waiting to try them out. All we could think was how, with the addition of wheels and a Big Gulp sippy cup with a length straw or snippet of hose, this sort of tech is what we were warned about in the movies Wall-E and Idiocracy. Step away from the massage chairs, folks, your body’s ability to stand, walk, jump and run without assistance will thank you later.