CES 2018 and Its Quirky Joys

the HushMe

The Consumer Electronics Show of 2018 is already in our rear view mirrors, and Las Vegas is still buzzing over all the glorious gadgetry goodness that inventors from around the globe presented there in hopes of making our lives so much better in the very near future. But just in case you haven’t been flocking eagerly to the tech pages lately, we thought we’d give you a little peek at what might soon be coming your way.

Sure, there were scores of new multiple-K TVs with pictures so blazingly clear and bright that you can watch your favorite shows in the next room with your eyes closed. There’s even a new king-sized, 146-inch modular TV that Samsung is calling The Wall. But TVs are old hat, right? What about some of that other forward-thinking stuff? You know, those gizmos that are so out there that they’re either worthy of a gasp or a guffaw.

For instance, a number of people have been raising an eyebrow over a device named the Keecker. This voice-enabled robot doubles as a handy-dandy video projector and … guard dog. It’ll follow you around the house and project a 78-inch image of whatever show or movie you may want to stay glued to while you’re doing housework or digging around in the fridge. And then when you run out to do other less necessary things like, oh, going to work, this little mech will send you security focused images as it continually tools its way around your home. And if you happen to have unexpected, uh, visitors while you’re away, Keecker can keep them busy binging a few Netflix shows until the police arrive. (But, given that it’ll set you back a cool $1,800, you might not have much to steal besides the Keecker itself.)

A couple other devices for those with way too much money to burn included a big box called a FoldiMate that relieves you of the incredibly difficult job of folding your laundry. (Yours for the low, low price of $980.) Just dump in your shirts, shorts and socks and let the bot do the heavy folding. And then there’s something called the Rocking Bed, a machine that will, well, give you the swaying sensation of falling to sleep on your very own yacht or cruise ship. (You’ll need to fork over about three grand, though, seasickness meds not included.)

Oh, and let’s not forget that “smart” AI-driven cat toy called the Mousr. Its makers ask you why you should bother getting out the flashlight or investing in a catnip mouse when this $150 gadget can fly here-and-there and drive your cat crazy while you’re busy elsewhere. There’s also an augmented reality dental device called the Magik toothbrush that takes the place of a controller for a fun little augmented reality phone app game. Thirty bucks may sound steep for a toothbrush, but who can expect the kids to do anything without a phone somewhere in the mix? C’mon!

There were a few electronic thingamajigs, however, that had me nodding my noggin in appreciation. Take this sci-fi looking facemask (pictured at the top of this blog) called the HushMe, for instance. This thingy snaps around and over your mouth, plugs into your ear, connects through Bluetooth to your phone and blocks the sound of your voice from carrying to any nosey nearby eavesdroppers. It looks like a must have for we office-bound cubicle dwellers. (And it might also be a great gift for a talkative significant other. Wink, wink.)

Speaking of cubicle-dwellers, I also spotted a very cool-looking little Bluetooth speaker called an S-Ray that lets you to listen to your devices without disturbing others by beaming sound straight into your ears. Talk about sci-fi! You can stick this little wonder on your desk, on your phone cover, hey, even wear it as a personal neckband if you’re so inclined. And for a bit more green, Beyerdynamic’s Amiron Bluetooth headphones are purported to deliver true audiophile sound with no connecting wires.

And that’s only the tip of the techy iceberg.

Hey, CES even offered up a few things for those of you like to shake a fist at all that technological stuff. If you’re the sort who would far rather get out of the house and romp untethered and unplugged in the sun and fresh air, L’Oréal introduced a tiny little sensor that can attach to your fingernail and keep track of your UV exposure levels. The UV Sense is so unobtrusive that it simply looks like a bit of nail art. That way you can rail against the oppressive chains of modern technology and still secretly stay electronically connected. Ain’t the future grand?

Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

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