The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has come and gone. Presented by the Consumer Technology Association, CES is a place where all the brilliant minds in tech come together to try and one-up each other with new ideas. You would think this would lead to some incredible innovations that help change lives for the better. Unfortunately, it seems like it ends up being one developer after another saying, “Hold my beer” as they proceed to outdo one another with increasingly senseless products.
I’ll start by referencing Sony, who brought back Aibo, the robot dog. There are many animals desperately in need of a home, but Aibo presents us with a $1,770, less cuddly option that will track everything you do with its microphone, sensors and camera. As if the tech industry hasn’t found enough ways to track everything about us through smartphones, smart homes and voice assistant technology. While I do appreciate the push to improve robotics, I’d rather Sony try to make my life easier with something like a Roomba for my shower.
I’d also like to give a shout-out to Modobag, who came up with a solid product but then got off track by adding a motor and steering wheel. Can you just picture someone riding through the airport on a piece of luggage like they’re in the Indy 500? The unfortunate part is I really like the rest of the product. I know my current suitcase doesn’t have a USB port that I could use to charge my phone or tablet while I’m stuck on a long layover. But it would be great if they stopped trying to be the Segway of luggage and focus more on utility.
The real winner of CES 2018 is the Kohler Numi Smart Toilet. You thought full body haptic suits which can simulate touch while using VR was cool? With the Smart Toilet, you and your family can set up personalized profiles to ensure that each of you have the optimal bathroom experience. Heated seat? Check. Foot warmer? Check. Smart phone integration to allow you to flush from anywhere? Check. Bidet with adjustable water pressure and temperature, and both front and rear wash featuring oscillating and pulsating spray modes? Check. Just when I thought CES couldn’t possibly get any dumber, there’s this.
Let’s just hope consumer behavior doesn’t adapt accordingly. I’m not sure what CES 2019 has in store for us, but I’m willing to bet they won’t be changing people’s lives with their innovative ideas anytime soon.