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Weird CES: The bizarre things we didn't expect to see
The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the biggest technology events of the year where brand new devices and products are shown off to the world, sometimes for the very first time. As such, you’ll see some of the coolest and most exciting things at CES.
However, at CES 2019 we saw some things that were a little…strange. Some of them were cool, some of them were useful, and some of them could even make the world a better, safer place. But they were all a little weird and inevitably caused many CES 2019 attendees pause and scratch their heads.
We know not everyone can attend CES, so we’ve rounded up some of the weirdest things we saw as we wandered the show floor. Check out our strange CES 2019 roundup below.
The Pigzbe electronic wallet (shown at the top of this article) is marketed as “A piggy wallet, not a piggy bank.” Traditionally, children are given piggy banks and allowances by their parents to help them learn about money and finances. Pigzbe hopes to take that to the next level.
Admittedly, the Pigzbe device itself is super cute. It’s about the size of a credit card, although much thicker, and has a cute light-up pig nose on the front.
However, Pigzbe isn’t all that practical. The idea is that parents load Wollo onto the Pigzbe, with Wollo being a proprietary digital currency from the company that created Pigzbe. Parents can gift children Wollo or send them a weekly allowance. When needed, Wollo can be converted back to “real” money which can then be spent as normal.
We here at Android Authority are all about using technology to make things better. But a digital piggy bank with digital currency conversions, the need to be recharged, extra cables, etc.? A traditional piggy bank seems to be all that’s really needed.
At any trade show, there’s always going to be at least one snake oil vendor trying to push a product onto you which makes a lot of lofty promises but seems to be mostly hot air. Although there were likely many of these at CES 2019, Doppel stood out the most to us.
The marketing material for Doppel sums up the wearable quite well: “Doppel works by creating a silent vibration on the inside of your wrist which feels just like the ‘lub-dub’ of a heartbeat.”
You might think Doppel has other functions, such as sleep tracking, step counting, etc. Nope. All Doppel does is make vibrations on your wrist. Doppel says these vibrations “reduce stress and increase focus” by creating “a natural, psychological effect.” The Doppel can be yours for the low price of $219.
It was impossible to escape sex at CES 2019. Between the numerous sex toys on the show floor to the AR and VR porn exhibited by Naughty America (not to mention the “booth babes” wearing very revealing outfits), sex and tech have always gone together.
In that vein, MysteryVibe brought its newest creation to CES 2019: Tenuto, the wearable vibrator for men. The $120 sex toy promises enhanced pleasure and performance for men in the bedroom.
The only problem is that the Tenuto device seems…well…uncomfortable. You can head to MysteryVibe’s website to see a semi-NSFW diagram of how you would wear Tenuto, but we’ll save you a click: it looks very constricting.
The first batch of Tenuto is already sold out, however, so maybe we’re missing out.
If you want some of the joys of pet ownership without any of the hassles of actually owning a real cat or dog, Qoobo might be the product for you.
The electronic pillow has a wagging tail which moves around in response to stimuli. You can pet Qoobo, give it pats, and hug it, and the device will respond as if it was a purring cat or a dog wagging its tail.
While Qoobo seems practical on paper (the comforts of a cat with no poop or hairballs), it looks positively creepy in person. The faceless, furry pillow with a wagging tail looks like a real animal, albeit one with no eyes, orifices, feet, etc.
There’s also the question of being seen with a Qoobo, which might make people question your sanity/priorities.
It’s happened to all of us: you go to the fridge to grab a tasty beverage and are mortified to find that your roommate/girlfriend/sibling/dog drank the last brew. Now you are stuck without a drink, staring into your fridge as if it were the black void.
DrinkShift wants to change that by helping you keep track of your brews. The hardware is the fridge itself, which holds over a dozen beer bottles. The software is the companion app, which keeps track of those bottles wirelessly. When you remove a bottle from the fridge, the app marks it, and when you get low enough it will automatically order more beer for you.
You can check the app to see your supply at any time and even manually place a new order. It’s all pretty neat!
As convenient and useful as this seems, there are two major issues with DrinkShift. The first is that you have to buy the mini-fridge, which is a big investment just to keep track of a 12-pack. The second is that the whole system essentially ensures you’ll never not have beer in your house, which sounds good on paper but could also lead to some serious alcoholism.
All cynicism aside, Solar Cow is easily one of the most genuinely incredible and important things we saw at CES 2019. It’s nice to see technology used to do fun things like fly selfie drones or play virtual pinball, but when tech is used to help those in need and further humanity, it’s truly awesome.
Solar Cow is essentially a giant portable battery pack charger. In areas of the world where poverty runs rampant, smartphones are actually surprisingly common (which is why Android Go exists). However, electricity isn’t, so those who rely on the usefulness of smartphones sometimes have to walk miles from home just to charge up. What’s worse, they usually have to pay someone to charge their devices, which is a huge burden on people who already have so little.
Enter Solar Cow, which uses solar power to charge tiny white battery packs which look like milk canisters. People can snap off a battery pack and use it to charge their device. When they’re done, they snap it back in and it charges up for someone else to use down the line.
The battery packs themselves are “locked” from being charged by anything but the specific Solar Cow with which they are linked. This prevents theft of the packs, because if you did steal one you’d never be able to charge it again without the Cow.
This is all so cool and beneficial, but we gotta admit: the stainless steel cow with little battery packs where its udders would be is kind of silly and weird. We love this and applaud its creators, but we did feel weird snapping a battery pack off a cow.
Chances are, you love bread. Who doesn’t like bread? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just snap your fingers and suddenly there was bread? What a wonderful world that would be.
Well, how about a machine that makes ten loaves of bread every hour and handles the entire process from processing the bread mix to cooking and cooling the loaves? Now we’re talking!
Of course, BreadBot isn’t meant for the general consumer. It’s more geared towards grocery stores where customers can grab a fresh loaf of bread straight from the
oven BreadBot and take it home. The BreadBot could help grocery stores cut costs when it comes to baking bread as well as give grocery shoppers a fun reason to eat more carbs.
And yes, if you’re wondering: CES 2019 attendees did get to take free bread from BreadBot. Nom nom nom.