From virtual reality scents to self-driving strollers, Document compiled a list of the most aggravating, unnecessary, and obscene products in attendance at CES this year
Every winter, tens of thousands of nerds flock to Las Vegas to pore over thousands of inventions on the floor of the world’s biggest tech show. This year’s CES convention—according to Carolina Milanesi, president and principal analyst at Creative Strategies—was less “flamboyant” than those of the past, likely due to mass layoffs in the industry, which encourages the staying power of practicality over the short-term glory of pizzaz. But given the sheer scale of the event, the obscene, the nonsensical, and the upsetting are certain to remain at least a notable feature—and this year did not disappoint. While much of the entertaining tech that emerged was practical (like the world’s fastest toothbrush, which fully and effectively cleaning teeth in just 10 seconds) or increased accessibility (like L’Oréal’s ultra-precise lipstick applicator), for non-nerds, the most ridiculous gadgets were the most engaging. Following this year’s CES, Document compiled a list of the most aggravating, unnecessary, and absurd tech in attendance.
OVR Technology launched a device that produces scents for VR technology. It claims to produce thousands of different smell combinations—which, given its small size and terrifying promotional imagery—can’t be any good. The company has already fought off potential protests that the smells are inaccurate, affirming that they aren’t supposed to match those you might find in the real world. Rather, they introduce “a whole new world of possibilities.” I predict it’ll be the fragrance world’s equivalent of Bertie Bott’s Beans: a silly and probably one-time experience that need not be replicated.
Electric in-line skates
While electric bikes have won public favor, electric skateboards and scooters are generally still considered to be really fucking annoying. French startup AtmosGear has imagined the in-line skate iteration—something that seems both annoying and dangerous. I hope they have a good legal team.
If effective, this idea is actually genius, and maybe the sexiest anti-snoring device on the market. 10Minds’s product deploys tiny airbags when it detects noise, which shift the sleeper’s head until they are positioned in a more nasal-friendly manner. I imagine it’s very entertaining to watch in real time.
The escape-room adventure cube
The golden cube, called Ohm’s Quest, claims to be the solution to excess screen-time. While I’m sure it has some addictive qualities, the odds that a person will carry this fairly garish product wherever they go, or keep it by their bedside, are pretty low. If you’re looking to decrease the hours you spend on your phone in a non-bulky way, try a paperback book. It fits more comfortably in your bag, and it isn’t embarrassing to whip out while dining alone.
Have you ever played host and thought to yourself, You know what would get this party started? If my fridge lit up in multi-color. I have not. Apparently, LG thinks otherwise. Their MoodUp fridge is designed with the intent to initiate a good time, with its LED-loaded doors and built-in bluetooth speaker. It’s equipped with 23 color options for the top door, and 19 for the bottom, controlled via your smartphone.
Glüxkind’s high-tech pram is the Tesla of strollers. But do we need a Tesla of strollers? In what situation does a parent want or need this? Unless your baby is a highly-independent creature that needs to get around without you, a regular stroller will probably do just fine.