Right after the American Thanksgiving holiday, and often even before, the flood of CES-related pitch e-mails start pouring in. As any member of the media knows, these will infiltrate your inbox, with headings like "can we set up a meeting?" and "don't miss the amazing XYZ at CES!"
It seems like every year, the pitches get wackier and wackier. This could be related to the fact that, over the past few years, the number of these pitches that relate to start-up companies currently (or soon-to-be) seeking crowdfunding help, has increased exponentially.
Sure, there have always been those why-didn't-I-think-of-that items along with the no one-will-ever-need-that products. But this year, some of them take the cake.
From health and wellness devices, to those trying to capitalize on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the smart home, here are a few of the most, er, unique ones.
For a tech device to catch hold of customers, it needs to either solve a major problem, or provide a useful service. Inirv hopes its React IoT device can do both. How many times have you left the house in a rush and thought "Shoot! Did I turn the stove off?" Sure, the latest smart home gadgets make turning off lights, activating a security system, or setting your robot vacuum to do a clean from virtually anywhere simple. But what about your appliances? Attach the Inirx React to the knob on any gas or electric stove and it will detect and react to hazardous situations, helping to prevent things like house fires caused by burners that were left on. The sensor and knob unit connect via Bluetooth - the sensor detects high levels of smoke, natural gas, or lack of motion and reacts by activating the knob to shut off the burner. If you're preparing a slow-cooked chilli or making a fresh batch of pasta sauce that will be simmering for hours, you can alter the timer setting so that the stove doesn't shut off mistakenly and ruin your delicious meal. With Wi-Fi capability, you can also control the stove remotely from your smartphone, and receive real-time updates on your kitchen environment. It's an interesting concept with really good intentions. But I wonder if stoves being left on are a big enough problem for families to invest in the product and mess with their stove's aesthetics. It'll be interesting to see this gadget, which was co-founded by a neurosurgeon and biotechnology company founder, in person, nonetheless. The company will be exhibiting in the Eureka Park area at CES.
2.Handl Butt Case
Yes, you read that correctly, and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it - this is a smartphone case shaped like a derrier. We've written about Handl cases before, even naming the company's first case in our 2016 holiday gift guide. But we're not sure this design takes the company on the same track. It boasts the same useful design of the previous case, which comes in a sophisticated leather option with a stretchy handle on the back through which you can slide your fingers and keep a secure grip on the device, and that doubles as a stand. But this one takes ergonomic handling to a new level. Designer artist Allen Hirsch believes that the human buttocks offer "the most ergonomic and comfortable form to hold for the hand." Thus, he has adapted the back of his latest model to emulate this design. He assures that the design is not meant to be sexual or, we might add, kitschy. But rather, Hirsch wants to focus on our "awareness of touch." Expected to ship by March 2017, pricing is TBD, but other Handl cases range in price from US$40 up to US$60. Handl will be exhibiting at the Sands.