The year’s biggest technology carnival – CES is off to a busy start as we arrive at the end of its first day. Hundreds of startups, conglomerates have already introduced a shedload of new gadgets they plan to release in the coming months. Some of these, however, don’t seem all that well thought out and other than costing you a hefty sum, won’t do much good for your digital life. Hence, in this article, we discuss, *what we think*, a bunch of ridiculously pointless gadgets introduced at CES 2018 so far.
A $840 Lamp for people who are too Lazy to connect an Ethernet cable
A company named Oledcomm has built a lamp which wirelessly beams internet to your laptop. Titled “MyLifi”, it employs a technology known as Li-Fi for delivering internet to a dongle attached to your computer through infrared. The process itself sounds whizzy and cool until you get to know about the finer details.
For starters, the lamp itself needs to be remained connected to an ethernet cable. In addition to that, it comes with a massive dongle that plugs into your laptop. The lamp then radiates the signals through a tiny hole present at the center. For Li-Fi to work, your notebook has to stay in the light of sight of this aperture which begs two more questions.
The first being why wouldn’t just use WiFi instead which, unlike MyLife, is not constrained to a bandwidth of 23Mbps. Second, there’s an ethernet cable sitting a few inches from your laptop, why can’t you just attach that to your computer instead of the dongle. Inserting an ethernet cable will also let you move a little compared to MyLifi which requires you to remain in one fixed position. Another significant flaw in Oledcomm’s pitch is its price — $840 which only includes one dongle.
A 12-Sided Massive Dice for Changing the Ambience of Your Smart Home
Imagine you have a HomeKit-enabled smart home. Now, consider a scenario where you’d like to switch to a more warm ambiance. What would you do? Open a particular app and just tap the configured preset or take the Silicon Valley road and use a $50 dice?
Unless you’re really crazy, I’m expecting the normal answer to that question is the former. A startup called “Nanoleaf” thinks otherwise and has come up with a 12-sided connected dice-like smart home product which lets you switch to a predefined mood by placing any one of the sides face-up. If it sounds silly, let me tell you where it fetches the data for all this — your phone. For the Nanoleaf Remote to function, you need to, first of all, define all the scenes on an application!
Mind you; we love the Nanoleaf and their products in general. But a $50 dice just to change scenes is, well, insane (in a bad way).
A Smoke Detector You Can Talk to
It shouldn’t come as a surprise when I tell you that in the next few years, voice assistants will take over every device in your home. But until now, I didn’t realize that included smoke alarms as well. First Alert’s new Onelink Safe and Sound doubles as a smoke detector and a smart speaker you can talk to. It supports both Alexa and Google Assistant which is nice. However, I don’t know about you, but I’m not at all comfortable asking about the weather and getting replies from my ceiling.
An Old-School Clamshell Android with a Full-Sized Physical Keyboard
Nostalgia is one thing but is it enough of a reason for a relatively unknown company to be their primary product launch. Probably not but Planet Computers went ahead and launched an old-school clamshell Android device anyway. The new Gemini comes with a full-sized physical keyboard affixed to an Android-powered handset. It’s, however, not meant to be a smartphone replacement. Rather, Planet Computers is projecting it as a portable workstation. You can even boot to a Linux desktop, but honestly, it’s way too small to become someone’s mobile PC. A Chromebook or even an iPad would be a more reliable candidate for this job.
Photo Filters for High-End Desktop Games
We’ve all grown accustomed to slapping a gazillion filters on a picture before publishing it on some social network. Nvidia, the company, known for its graphics cards, thinks you need these filters for your games as well. It introduced a software tool called “Nvidia Freestyle” at CES which essentially allows players to apply various hues and effects over their games. This includes options such as black and white, sepia, vignette and more. Nvidia Freestyle is currently in beta and supports over a hundred games. Apart from the color blind mode, I’m not sure how exactly this will in any way improve users’ gaming experience. It’s a good thing that, unlike other products in this list, Nvidia’s future doesn’t entirely rely on this.
Those were some of the more baffling announcements of this year’s CES so far. Let us know in the comments section if we missed a good one and what do you think about these products.