You know you're going to find a lot of crazy gadgets at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and CES 2013 has delivered.
Some of the products are actually clever and could do well in the marketplace. Some are simply absurd, proof that just because something is possible doesn't mean it's a good idea.
Sorting through the avalanche of CES 2013 reports coming out of Las Vegas this week, we've identified five of the most head-turning things people have been talking about:
Five Outlandish Products from CES 2013
- The Diet Fork: Dieters of the world, rejoice! We now have a fork that vibrates as a warning when you're eating too much, or too fast. Called the Hapifork, it costs a mere $99.99. Sensors in this battery-powered utensil monitor the fork's movements. It even has Bluetooth so you can transmit the data of your eating habits to your iPhone for further analysis. (Yes, there's an app for that.) ;So what's the biggest advantage of using an electric fork? "Your mind doesn't have to do the work," explains inventor Jacques Lepine.
- Nailed It: When the first iPhone launched in 2007, many women with longer nails complained that its touchscreen – designed for fleshy fingertips – was difficult to use. Now a company called Tech Tips (get it?) has come up with a nail treatment called Nano Nails that turns the fingernail itself into a touchscreen stylus. Not only does it make it easier for women with long nails to use a touchscreen, it's actually more precise than a fingertip. That could make some men jealous. Will we see a "Mano Nails" product designed for men at CES 2014?
- Too Much of a Good Thing: Panasonic drew stares when it unveiled a 20-inch tablet at CES 2013. One has to wonder about the practicality of a tablet the size of a desktop computer monitor. At 5.3 pounds (an iPad 4 weighs 1.45 pounds), holding this beast for any length of time will get very uncomfortable.; No word on cost or availability, but this misbegotten device won't survive long in the real world.
- Too Much of a Good Thing II: Likewise, many TV manufacturers seem to think we want ginormous, wall-sized screens. At least three companies unveiled 110-inch TVs at CES 2013 this week. In case you were wondering, such a monster is about 8 feet wide and 4.5 feet tall (but amazingly thin). At that size, people in modest dwellings – the majority of Americans – would need to put their sofas in their front yard to view the darn thing properly. Still, don't be surprised to see 130- or 140-inch screens at CES 2014.
- Don't Fear the Water: Show of hands: How many have ruined a smartphone by accidentally leaving it out in the rain or dropping it in a sink, toilet, tub or swimming pool? Perhaps the most compelling advance at CES 2013 is the waterproof smartphone. Utah-based startup HzO showed off a waterproofing technology it hoped to sell to other manufacturers, including market leaders Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (PINK: SSNLF). Meanwhile, Chinese handset maker Huawei showed off two phone models that are waterproof, dustproof and resistant to drops. Now that's outrageous technology worth getting excited about.
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