CES 2016: Meet this year's weird, wonderful and worst tech

[UPDATED] You sometimes have to wonder who came up with these gadgets.
Topic: CES
1 of 14 Samsung

Samsung's WELT smart belt

Perhaps Samsung should stick to televisions sets.

The smart belt, dubbed WELT, is a health tracking belt which monitors your fitness, activity levels and waist size.

I'm not sure what the point of such a product is, as you're unlikely to wear such a device while running and exercising. In addition, a device which tracks your waist size could encourage people to look only at measurements and what the scales say rather than changing their habits and building lean muscle.

2 of 14 PitPat

PitPat wearable activity tracker for dogs

British startup PitPat has come onto the scene this year with the PitPat, a wearable activity tracker for your canine companions.

GPS-based trackers for pets are nothing new, and can certainly come in useful should your pet be an adventurer or Houdini at heart. However, PitPat -- when clipped onto your dog's collar -- perhaps goes a little too far by monitoring walking, running and resting based on daily guidelines for your dog's breed and weight.

The gadget may appeal to owners that have overweight dogs, but it's unlikely to go too far in the mass market.

Via: PitPat

3 of 14 Okto

Okto's Smart Rings

Glasses, belts, jewelry, and now rings. Okto's "smart ring," unveiled at CES 2016, is designed to allow users to make calls and follow online notifications, and if you have a smartwatch compatible with the device, you can dial a number and then talk through the ring by "cupping your hand over your ear."

Honestly, I can't see this chunky, unwieldy gadget capturing much imagination, but I suppose it could be an option for people who want to leave their smartphone in their bag when making calls.

Via: Okto

4 of 14 Revolar

Revolar: Taking on sexual assault with emergency response

This isn't a product you would ever hope to use, but perhaps in emergency situations could be a critical element to your safety. Unfortunately, sexual assault against both men and women in the West is not unheard of by a long shot, and so Revolar decided to take on this culture via wearable technology.

If you press the button on Revolar, your GPS coordinates and location are sent to trusted contacts and updated in real-time. The discreet device uses Bluetooth technology to send alerts, and removes the need to rely on your smartphone to call for help.

Via: Revolar

5 of 14 Samsung

Perhaps ostentatious but still interesting, Samsung unveiled a new lineup within the firm's smart fridge range.

The company's "Family Hub" fridge is not only large, but sports a massive 21.5-inch display which can be used not only to monitor your perishable goods and temperature, but since it is connected to the Internet, also comes with recipe and cooking apps and the option to stick music on while you're busy in the kitchen.

Via: Samsung

6 of 14 Digitsole

Digitsole SmartShoes

Keeping your feet warm in Winter can be a pain, but Digitsole hopes you're willing to spend $450 for a pair of shoes to do the job for you.

Digitsole's SmartShoes are Bluetooth-enabled footwear which users can control via smartphone to automatically warm up your toes, track your daily activity and tighten or loosen based on your preferences.

The shoes are available as pumps, heels and sneakers -- but it does make you wonder why you shouldn't just invest in some fluffy socks instead.

Via: Digitsole

7 of 14 Acton

Blink electric skateboard

The hoverboard debacle over Christmas left many disappointed over mass safety-based recalls, but for something similar, Acton has developed the Blink electric skateboard. The electric skateboard can go up to 6 miles at 12mph and can go for up to two hours on a single charge, and is light and small enough, naturally, to carry around on your travels.

If you want to invest in this electric skateboard, you can pre-order one for a rather pricey $499.

Via: Rocket Skates

8 of 14 MyBrain Technologies

Melomind: Neuroscience for a better nights' sleep

Can neuroscience help you get a better nights' sleep? MyBrain Technologies thinks so.

First debuting as a prototype at CES 2015, this year the company unveiled a version of Melomind now ready for the market. The headset tracks EEG signals transmitted while the wearer is asleep, analyzing sleeping patterns and revealing the results to users via a smartphone application -- which can then be used to "train" you to sleep well.

The prototype has also been redesigned for a more comfortable experience and, while worn, "scientifically designed music" plays to send you off at the end of the day.

Via: Melomind

9 of 14 Tipron

A robotic entry at this year's Consumer Electronic Show is Tipron, a cyclops-style robot for your home.

Developed by Cerevo, the robot flits around your home and avoid obstacles via sensor technology. Tipron is controllable via an Android app and gives you the option to transform the robot into a mobile projector.

The robot is capable of displaying media on an 80-inch screen with 720p HD resolution. However, if Tipron reminds you of the Sphero BB8 robot which became a hit over Christmas, you wouldn't be the only one.

Via: Tipron

10 of 14 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

This invention, showcased at CES 2016, reminded me somewhat of my visit to Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas robot bar. Dubbed Somabar, this $450 robotic assistant comes preloaded with hundreds of cocktail recipes for use in your home.

Six "pods" are used to contain ingredients for your drinks alongside a bitters dispenser, which you select via an app. Whether or not this device can replace a mixologist is up for debate, but the product -- currently available for pre-order -- could at least make cocktail parties at home entertaining.

Via: Soma

11 of 14 I'mUp

I'mUp compact mirror, portable charger

Some will love it, some will hate it -- a rather twee compact blush kit for ladies with an inbuilt mobile charger.

While I personally think paying €84 for an organic blush palette and mobile charger -- which isn't even wireless -- is very steep (and considering its failed Kickstarter, others would agree), this still may appeal to some who enjoy the look of the compact.

Via: Melely

12 of 14 Volkswagen

Volkswagen's BUDD-e concept

German automaker Volkswagen constantly hit the headlines last year, but very little of the exposure was good press. After being embroiled in an emissions scandal which severely damaged the firm's financial health and reputation, the company used CES to promote a "zero-emission" van concept -- a stark contrast to a number of Volkswagen's toxin-spewing previous vehicles.

The BUDD-e concept is an electric vehicle complete with connected car technology and infotainment systems. The van is a hat tip to the firm's Volkswagen bus roots -- but what a pity the design leaves something to be desired when it comes to modern standards.

Via: Volkswagen

13 of 14 Huawei


I've had a play with Huawei smartwatches, and they aren't too bad. It's no surprise that the company has followed Apple in merging technology and bling, but perhaps the firm missed the mark on this one.

At CES, Huawei unveiled the Jewel and Elegant edition smartwatch editions, complete with rose-gold plating, Zirconia, Italian leather and plenty of swirls. Due to go on sale in March, Huawei hopes the watches will attract women "who sparkle and shine" -- but whether consumers will think these watches are pretty enough to wear is anyone's guess.

Via: ZDNet

14 of 14 James Martin/CNET

Intel's X-ray helmet

The Daqri smart helmet, developed by Intel, showcased at CES 2016, uses RealSense 3D camera technology to overlay reality with computer images -- which is a take on the virtual reality trend. The hard hat, which ships from this week, is a pretty great application of augmented reality for the workplace. As an example, engineers could use the helmet and image overlays to spot problems and flaws, or a plumber could use source images and digital tools to assess damage.


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