Inherent Vice: CES Offered a Trip to the Wrong Side of the Tech Tracks

By Jeff Yang

But if truth be told, there’s always been a big overlap between consumer electronics and the seven deadly sins. What would CES be without sloth (the remote control!), gluttony (smart refrigerators!), wrath (every first-person-shooter ever!) and lust (booth babes!)? As for avarice, envy and pride, they’re pretty much the unholy trinity of traits for the technology “early adopter”: I want that iPhone / Because I saw that guy has that iPhone / And I want people to see ME with that iPhone.

Tech couldn’t exist without sin — which explains why the consumer tech world’s biggest event is held every year in Sin City. This year’s event was just…a little more obvious about it, based on some of the products on display:

  • Bluetooth Sex Toys: In what company founder Suki Dunham calls a “first for the pleasure industry,” OhMyBod introduced a line of vibrators that put the blue in Bluetooth — syncing with a smartphone app that lets you (or a partner) control the nature of the device’s, er, massage stroke by stroke. You don’t even have to be in the same room: The app works via Wi-Fi, meaning you can now give your lover good vibrations long-distance. FaceTime? Meet BedTime.
  • The Internet of Smokes: French company Smokio invited attendees to “step out of their comfort zones” as they introduced a line of digital-enhanced vaping sticks, delivering a “best in class” vaping experience. The companion app lets you track just how much you’re blowing (from puff duration to nicotine intake) — and even share it socially. Hey Coloradans: Watch for Bongio

    any day now.

  • Home-Brew 2.0: PicoBrew Zymatic is the world’s first-ever automatic home beer-making system — a “commercial brewery scaled down to your desktop,” boasts its developers. The system comes with a companion app (everything does these days) that lets you download new recipes as soon as PicoBrew’s in-house brewmaster Annie Johnson can conceive of them. The beer is delicious, as multiple repeated “demos” of the output confirmed.
  • Connected Barbecues: Hot, smoky burnt meat — the most primitive of culinary pleasures has now leapt into the modern era, with smart, connected gas grill accessories. Both Gaswatch and eccentric crowdsourced peripheral producer Quirky introduced new Wi-Fi linked grill tank attachments that claim to ensure you’ll never be short on sweet, sweet propane to fire up your delicious, cancer-and-heart-attack causing flesh fix.
  • Self-Adjusting Belt: If you’ve overdone the brew and ‘cue, you’ll need Belty . a new and basically absurd innovation from Emotia — which not only tracks how much your waistline has expanded but also automatically adjusts itself to accommodate your new bulked-up belly. Handy!
  • Smart Sniper Rifle: No look at tech-torqued vice would be complete without a look at devices that deliver death on demand. Tracking Point’s Mile Maker is a long-range sensor-packed sniper rifle that guarantees that “every shot you take is going to land exactly where you send it,” say its manufacturers. Literally: The weapon is point and shoot and boom — every time. Humans may be flocking to theaters see one of their own in “American Sniper,” but somewhere out there SkyNet is rubbing its virtual hands together and getting ready for the robot revolution.

Source: stream.wsj.com

Category: How to computer

Similar articles: