11 'born-to-fail' worst gadgets at CES 2014

11 'born-to-fail' worst gadgets at CES 2014

Summary: CES may have traditionally been where the Silicon Valley giants have paraded their latest and greatest. But hundreds of new gadgets don't make the cut. Here's a selection of the worst.


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  • Eyelock ID unlocks your PC with a glance, whether you want it to or not

    We're slowly getting to grips with unlocking our iPhones with fingerprints. But iris and other eye-based biometric technology is still a long way off. Eyelock thinks it has a solution: a prototype eye-scanner that unlocks a computer with a glance.

    Except, is that really what we want? It takes just under a second to work. What if you're walking past and glancing at something on your computer desk? It's a nice idea but it may take some time before it's refined to a point where we don't accidentally unlock our machines just by being near to the damn thing.

    (Image: Eyelock)

  • The iPad periscope that looks like a torture device

    At no point in my life have I ever said "iPad" and "periscope" in the same sentence: until now that is. Bright spark iTOi thinks iPad video-calling can be a little more realistic, by creating a device that has a set of mirrors in that makes it appear as though video caller is further from the shiny rectangle than they actually are.

    What's the point? Beats me. And just to make matters worse, it looks like an iron maiden of sorts. Not the sort of thing you want lying around the office, let alone at home, is it?

    (Image: CNET)

Topic: CES

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  • Thanks, Zack

    Your commentary was great!
    • agreed...but...

      I find myself strangely desirous of an iperiscope, can't quite work out why seeing as I don't have any appleware at all... still...
    • Except...the chopping board isnt QUITE as odd....

      ...as one might expect.

      How is a tablet handy? God knows its not for work.

      A tablets handy because you can look something up quick and march the bit of info around the house like its on a piece of paper or in a magazine. That's how a tablet works for the non tekkie part of the world.

      That means they are indeed quite handy to look up a recipe while relaxing in the living room, and just march the tablet into the kitchen without having to print off your new found recipe.

      This cutting board seems like the obvious place to keep the recipe/tablet upright while completing the preparation process, perhaps beyond even just the cutting.

      So...ya. Its still a little odd.
      • Chopping block Pad Holder

        Its a great idea, until Grandma wanders in and decides to do the dishes.
        Seriously though, I too can see this being used, I bring my small laptop in with AllRecipies, and so far no culinary/electrical mishaps.
        But I'm EXTRA careful about spillage, and even small laptops are bulky things in a small kitchen couter.

        Speaking of balancing acts, a ROUND hard drive? Oh come on, this is a bad joke, isn't it. Knock the table, scare the cat, 2 year old sees pretty shiny thing... in a regular household this would NEVER last. I'll leave that one for the fashionistas. Although, if it could tell me the future... yah, I might consider it.
  • Chopping Block iPad Holder

    There are cook books for the iPad as well as lots of web sites with recipes. If the iPad is showing the recipe, seems like a plausible use to me. The only drawback I see is chopping can be a messy ordeal -- especially when manipulating things with a lot of internal juice. Having an iPad that close to potential over-spray doesn't seem like a good idea.
    • @robradina; you may want to sharpen your knives

      @robradina; you may want to sharpen your knives if you really worry about splashing internal juices ;-)

      @Zack you're too harsh on the chopping block imho. I use a lot of recipes in digital form,I like the solution
      • If I needed to keep looking at an iPad in a kitchen

        I would have bought a stand for it.
        I am not sure about other people, but I do wash my chopping board quite often.
        Somehow I think that this will only work on TV shows when everything is made up.
      • Yeah... no, maybe not. I suspect this is going to cost a lot of people a

        lot of severed fingers
        Johnny Vegas
        • No problem

          Just download the iFirstAid App.
          David Underhill
        • Finger Foods

          Get a Gauze i-Pad. Hey, it's 'digital'. Get it? hurr de hurr derp derp!
    • Actually not such a bad idea...

      More than once someone has forwarded me a recipe online and rather than print it out (or if it is a video) I've tried to prop my iPad up in the kitchen with mixed results. This is an elegant solution, especially given the apparent size, but will never sell as a tech gadget. I would expect to see it as another over-priced item at Williams Sonoma.
      • Count me "on board" with this one too

        I cook almost exclusively from my ipad and while I don't think it is a huge hindrance to just put it up on a stand, I might shell out for this if it isn't too expensive. It would also be convenient to watch video for those times when I am waiting for something to finish in the oven or stove or if I am cooking something that I make often and don't really have to pay attention.
        • Yeah, until your iPad falls onto the raw chicken you're cutting.

          • Agreed William Ferrel.

            I do an absolute pile of cooking from different dishes from all over the place.

            Anyone who cooks starts out understanding there are some very basic things you need to be a little careful of whenever your cooking. Like not slicing your finger off, or just cutting yourself in general, not burning yourself, or burning the food, make sure you don't undercook and poison yourself or others, keeping raw and cooked product separate and keeping your surfaces clean. These are some of the basic most things to always watch out for if you intend to make edible meals without injuring or killing yourself or someone else.

            So now I guess it wont be long before a new common basic concern will be "don't drop the iPad in the raw chicken".

            I guess we have just about arrived. "The future is us".
    • Easy to imagine the utility of this

      Unfortunately for Zack it doesn't back his premise if us readers have any speck of imagination.
    • Cooking with a tablet

      I use a Surface Pro and just pop the kickstand out and leave the keyboard off. I love to cook and have tons of recipes that are stored digitally plus I experiment with many from various cooking sites. Can't say I have ever seen a need for a chopping block like this but I have, on occasion, drenched the Surface and needed to wipe it clean after. Never been a real problem. A specialty chopping block seems like a real silly investment when all you really need to do is put the tablet on something elevated. By the way it isn't like I just have the recipe up on the screen all by itself, usually the system is running Netflix or Dish Anywhere so I can watch my DVR content in the kitchen in snapscreen mode otherwise what would be the point?
      The Heretic
    • Beyond pointless.

      I can see that being one of the arguments the creators might put forward to defend their solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. There are multitudes of stands available on the market for under $10 that you could use to do what this ridiculous gimmicky product does without putting you precious iPad right where the messiest kitchen work occurs, and the best part is you can use those stands anywhere else in the house!
      • Agreed but...you forget.

        People are nuts.

        Its proved.

        People will justify, depending on how much money they own, buying any overpriced, even if seldom used as compared to the money invested, object they can justify as "handy" and "helpful".

        Its the kind of thinking Steve Jobs 100% counted on when he convinced the world to blow $500+ a piece on a tablet with no DVD drive, USB support practically nonexistent storage and an undersized screen and a few other shortcomings , all based on the notion it was handy because you could carry it around a fair bit easier then a laptop and didn't need to flip it open.

        Don't tell me people with enough money to blow wont buy this and swear on it and say its an indispensable device for them now.
    • Plastic wrap and power!

      @robradina, just cover the front of the iPad with plastic wrap. That should take care of any overspray. What's REALLY needed is combining this chopping block with a mandolin slicer that has a generator in it. That way, you can charge up your iPad while you're preparing your salads!
  • Agreed

    With these gadgets it just shows what qualifies as 'Innovation' these days. They've all gone mad.
    Dreyer Smit