CES 2014: The Bogus Brief

A list of new tech that made us shake our heads.


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At CES Unveiled, tech companies showed us overcompensatingly big television sets, all kinds of wearable tech, and boundless colored plastic junk for the landfills.

But a handful of items stood out as the most ridiculous. We'll let you judge whether any top last year's Happy Fork....

Prong Pocket Plug

Prong is yet another smartphone case, and it's apparently missed the trend toward wireless charging. (See the Google Nexus 7 Gen 2, for example) Prong adds just that—two prongs—to your smartphone, allowing it to be plugged directly into the wall. Now, not only is your phone a bulky mess, but you can't use it while charging. Don't worry, traditional corded charging is supported even with the Prong in place... for that moment you realize your smartphone just became a really expensive nightlight.

Brookstone iTOi

If video chatting with loved ones isn't cutting it because you can't make direct eye contact, never fear! Brookstone has a solution for you: the iTOi. This product is an amazingly inconvenient "hood" for your iOS device that mirrors your screen, so that when you're looking at the mirrored image of your video chat, your eyes are aimed at your device's camera. It's the U-571 periscope for your iOS device.

Xcrool: The only remote in the world with "smart scrollers"...

...whatever those are. "Feather glide thumb roll" and "fast with razor sharp precision" the company advertises. We've never had much trouble channel surfing, but hey. So far as we can tell this is your traditional, run-of-the-mill, rubberized volume and channel rockers. Makes sense. Xcrool's press material even cited Time magazine's 2013 Global Survey that placed the remote control—not Xcrool's, the remote control—as the fourth most useful invention of all time. No brownie points for a remake.

There's also a question of pronunciation. Ex crool? Scroll? Schkrool? Who knows?

June by Netatmo

In case you're not aware when you're outdoors, June by Netatmo has got you covered. A shining beacon—literally, with it's giant faux diamond—in a sea of wearable tech, June syncs with your smart device to measure your sun exposure and notify you when it's time to squirt on some more Coppertone.

StarTrek Pinball

Why are you here? The origin of pinball precedes the reign of Louis the XIV. What could possibly be innovative?. Throwing some lights and TNG schwag on a box doesn't mean you belong at CES. Beat it.

Trew Grip mobile QWERTY

Prong wasn't the only company that didn't understand bulk is bad when it comes to mobile. The Trew Grip keyboard is an gigantic accessory allowing the user to grip the device like a steering wheel and type on keys laid out on the back of the device. It's huge, ugly, puts a learning curve where there previously was none, and you can't even see the keys. Fail.

Parrot Jumping Sumo

This two wheeled radio controlled car literally jumps through hoops. It also can shoot video while flying Mayday-style through the air. Conceptual artists get in line.

Holi iPhone Controlled Lamp

It's a square technicolor LED light that's controlled via iPhone, 'nuf said.

Dexim Cell Phone Radiation Protection Case

We're not sure where the science is on radiation emitted from cell phones. But it's no where near a level requiring protection offered by Dexim. But they've got brain scans to prove the need.

The only problem is the protection occurs on the hand side of the device, not the brain. In other news Dexim also makes yet-another-Bluetooth-speaker.

Kolibree Connected Toothbrush

The connected smart toothbrush for parents who need to know that Pamela, Bobby, and Lucy are brushing their teeth and how well. Or maybe for the adults whose parents were so unfortunate not to have this amazing contraption. Not sure why this product is necessary, just brush your teeth people, it's easy.

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