CES 2010 is no different than previous years, in that there is not shortage of displays that make people wonder how they got their license. Everything from digital cigarettes to headphones that literally use your head as opposed to your ears were on display. Although those are the obvious points of ridicule, there are others that might not be top of mind when discussing weirdness. Here, we review a few that made the crazy cut.
Top Five Goofiest CES
5. 3-D TV Glasses:While they’re still a necessary evil for the fledgling concept of 3-D HDTV, the presence of glasses is already drawing the ire of potential customers and dealers alike. Here in the 21st Century, we are supposed to be excited over introducing 3-D into our living rooms – using a modern equivalent of paper colored shades used in the ’50s. When that’s not needed, call us.
4. Knockoff Products: Witnessed for the first time by yours truly was evidence of the influx of China-built dupe product, notably the 3/4 size “iPhone”. Noted for brazenness as well as poor quality, these phones are actually openly sold in China. Known as “Shenzhen” products, these items are sometimes lauded for superior functionality in some cases, but might not be the safest things in the world.
3. The TV Hat: This is great in a geek-strange way. Employing a small mirror and cell phone/iPhone/video player of choice, this hat is essentially a visor with a shroud, all but ensuring minimum safety when in public or commuting. Although no pricing was determined, well, it looked and felt cheap.
2. The Aforementioned Krave E-Cig: Utilizing a shocking degree of technology inside this fake disposable cigarette, the Krave is designed to mimic the look and feel (just not the smoke) of a real live cigarette. Indeed, the Krave actually deposits nicotine into the blood stream of the smoker, but by products are nil to the outside observer, other than a little LED in the tip that simulates a lit end. As of this writing, we’re still unsure whether these too will be banned in many restaurants.
1. The PARO Robot Seal: There’s something inherently eyebrow-raising about a robot seal, designed to help rehabilitation patients suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) received exemption from the FDA for this prior to CES, but that didn’t stop many from looking at the robot in a curious manner. A baby seal is a cute idea, albeit an odd choice for patients to rely on for psychological and physiological support.
Without doubt, CES 2010 was one of the strangest shows in its history. With many new companies and established ones attempting to establish themselves in a more connected, greener marketplace, expect the show to become even odder. Although the turnout was a little smaller than in years’ past, the things show goers view as odd might very well become mainstream.