9 of the weirdest products at CES
Between the people watching in Las Vegas and grand technological displays, there was certainly no shortage of strange sights at CES.
But the most peculiar sights were found at the product booths.
We rounded up a few of the CES finds that made us scratch our heads, from innovative products that need to work out some kinks to just-plain-why devices that complicate and cost a steep price. While we do see benefits in each for certain people, the common consumer need not add these to their shopping lists.
If you have trouble sleeping, the Dreem device is designed to help. It's a headband -- which fits across the top of your head with another band across your forehead -- that you wear for improved rest.
Sounds good in theory, but wearing it alone may be uncomfortable enough to disrupt one's sleep. While it provides information on your vitals and why you may not be sleeping well, plays soothing audio, and coaches you, it's $499 and with its iffy design, a bedside sound machine and nice bedding might be more practical and effective.
While you can't buy this to have at home (and it's as large as a desk, so why would you?), you can book Selffee for an event if you want guests to get their own sugar cookie with their face on it. They take your photo (weird facial expressions encouraged), and then a few minutes later, your cookie is packaged up and ready to show off. If nothing else, it definitely works as a conversation starter.
While DNA/ancestry kits are all the rage, and they make sense for humans and even dogs, a cat DNA test seems... silly (especially for $95).
The main issue is the authenticity of the results, as most cats are a mix of the same handful of popular breeds. It tells you about their "funny quirks" - but if you cat loves catnip and sitting in boxes, don't you just know?
The Ripple Maker
Ripples' custom foam-topped drink "printer" lets you create your own latte art, no artistic ability needed. Cool? Maybe. Ridiculous? Definitely. Still, the appeal is there, and this might be a great product for a hipster cafe.
Nima gluten sensor
We love this concept for those who are extremely gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease, but it seems like a lot of work.
Those with food allergies or intolerances are used to being careful unless they've prepared the food themselves, and are well educated on ingredients to avoid. With Nima, you put a small piece of your food into a capsule, close it and put in in the Nima sensor, push start, and a few minutes later you'll know if there is gluten in it (or peanut if you choose that version). If you're really worried, it might be a good product, but otherwise stick with your usual self-guided routine (albeit a little more risky, especially when you dine out).
ForwardX Ovis AI self following suitcase
No need to even pull a handle - this smart suitcase follows alongside you. It definitely has the wow factor, but it's also potentially dangerous.
I witnessed two near-collisions, as it doesn't perfectly stay along the owner, especially in crowds. The concept is great if you're a regular traveler who often has your hands full, but beyond that, we don't see it being all that useful - and actually worry about it wandering off if it doesn't like the destination at your gate.
These bright, shiny rings go inside your ears, but don't look like plugs as much as they look like weird jewelry. The company describes them as letting "wearers avoid tinnitus without looking like a dork" - but that's questionable. One thing is for sure: you may reduce outside noise, but you'll be attracting it as well with all the people who will ask you what you have inside your ear.
Nurture system breast pump/massager
This awkward-looking device seems like it would make the natural task of breastfeeding more awkward and uncomfortable. It might have benefits for those who struggle with pumping and feeding, or who need to speed up the process, but at nearly $400, you might want to stick with the basics.
Star Wars fans, rejoice! Soon, you may be able to own your very own lightsaber that looks almost as cool as in the films, and even has built-in Bluetooth so you can turn up the sound effects. But this runs into the typical problem with replica lightsabers: in that, it doesn't do much to ward off the dark side except illuminate.
Katie Reseburg is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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