CES is full of serious solutions to real-world problems. Probably. I didn’t look for those. I haunted the virtual aisles of the Consumer Electronics Show looking for weird. And why not? It’s been a strange year. As a culture, our taste for strange has grown exponentially since the last CES. And you know what? I found it.
Amid the folding laptops, bending phone screens, driverless cars, flying cars, and drones that will — sooner than anyone expected — deliver our packages right to our doors, I found the products that made me say, “Seriously?” And then, “Okay, I want that.”
From a bandaid that will make men first shave, down there, and then be better in bed to a pair of glasses that let me see the world through augmented reality, I’m all-in for our weird and wonderful future.
Come with me?
How many relationships have met with friction and disappointment because the sex felt like a race to the finish? A lot of past sex tech products — which were finally allowed into last year’s less prudish CES — focused on helping those of us with women parts find pleasure without the help of humans with male parts. Now this year, the Taint Band Aid, from Morari Medical, takes another angle. It uses a phone-connected patch to help men and their partners enjoy sex with each other, for longer, by helping men slow down and stay in the game.
He puts this patch on the area between the anus and scrotum — and uses a phone app to tell the patch how much stimulation to deliver there. Stimulating that area slows his orgasm, giving his partner a bit more time. The company offers some compelling evidence to support that this could change the dynamic between men and women since, it claims, men average seven minutes to orgasm and women average 13. According to the company’s own data, that disconnect has resulted to 23% of the people surveyed saying men being too fast led to a breakup. (The less scientific personal anecdotes of every woman I’ve ever known would suggest this number is much higher.)
Trova privacy box
The tech world is ready to admit that we all have big secrets. And Trova is giving us a place to keep them that’s secure and can only be opened by the one person who put their secrets in the box. The Trova Home box looks nice enough to keep on display in the living room and it’s big enough for anything you have at home you want to keep away from the kids, parents, the babysitter, or — even — thieves.
Last year, the company launched a smaller security box (TROVA GO). This year, the HOME is 60 percent larger. It’s big enough to hold your vape, cannabis, sex toys, love letters, or whatever you want to lock up in it.
You can bolt it down, it only opens when you unlock it with your fingerprint from your Bluetooth connected phone, and the interior dimensions are about 14 inches by six inches.
Mode custom-dose cannabis vape
A little bit of cannabis helps with the nausea associated with chemo, dials down anxiety, or helps you sleep. Too much, though? You find yourself contemplating end-of-world scenarios and staring stupidly at a spot on the wall that you think might be an entire civilization. The Mode cannabis dosing device takes the accidentally induced Cheech and Chong out of your cannabis adventure. There are 510 cartridges you can choose from to blend the weed dose that suits your needs. But the best part is that you can precisely deliver exactly the dose that your sleeplessness, pain, or creativity need and check the app to repeat it and manage your overall consumption. You can lock it with the app, too, so that the kids can’t use your Mode to get baked when you aren’t looking.
Anker magnetic power banks
When your iPhone 12 is hankering to power down while you are still doom scrolling, throw one of these adorable magnetic power banks from Anker at it. It will stick and stay there while it does its thing. Anker announced an entire range of magnetic products — including cases, stands, and wired chargers — but I love these battery chargers because they cling, almost unnoticed, to your phone while you carry on and you don’t even have to drag a charging cable. I’d love to see more of these for other phones. Be glad you sprung for that iPhone 12!
Free IKEA-style furniture with every TV from Samsung
There were many fascinating announcements from Samsung, including some very handy robots that will do everything from clean the house to pour the wine and load the dishwasher. But one of its most interesting announcements was about packaging. Samsung announced that it would extend it’s eco-packaging, a program that won an innovation award at last year’s CES, to OLED, UHD, TV, monitor, and audio products this year. And that means, when you buy a TV (or any of these Samsum products), you’ll also get a side table, coffee table, cat house, and a craft project. Instead of finding somewhere to recycle that big box you gear came in, follow the directions and build yourself something fun with it.
Vuzix Smart Glasses
Welcome to the future you’ve been watching in the Expanse. The next generation Vuzix augmented reality glasses are a bit clunky and you’ll look like a nerd in them but you will not care because that slight fashion hitch is delivering — through a microLED screen — everything you want to know or see right to your eyeballs. From who’s calling on your phone to an augmented view of the night sky you’re gazing at — or whatever other info you want to look at through the tiny LED projectors that display into the thin see-through lenses — it’s all right in front of you as long as you are wearing glasses. Tiny speakers are built into acoustic chambers in the frame so you can hear the sound coming into your phone while microphones pick up your voice. These are in development and, honestly, I can’t wait.
In the space a big house plant might take in your kitchen, you can have an entire garden growing food that will feed your whole family. You don’t have to know — or do — anything, to make this miracle happen. Just insert the pods you ordered through the Gardyn app into the trunk of the Gardyn tree and your herbs, greens, and vegetables will sprout, right where you can eat on them anytime you want. The Gardyn monitors the water, light, and nutrition of your plants — based on what you are growing — and tells you if it needs anything. You just add water when it prompts you and eat the eight to ten pounds of produce it creates. If you go on vacation, tell the app and the Gardyn will slow down the growth so everything is fine — and ready to eat — when you get back.
Install the Themis Mirror from Care OS in your bathroom and forever more wake up to a personalized wellness treatment each morning. It monitors your vitals, connects to your bathroom scale, offers makeup and hair tutorials, suggests wellness routines based on your needs, and more. All you do is look in the mirror, gesture, or touch the mirror.
Now, go read Jenn’s version of the weirdest gadgets (if you haven’t already). We have a friendly little bet going on as to who has found the most unforgettable — be sure to let us know via our social feeds!