Cognitive Times

Your source for news and thought on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, big data, and other technology-related fields.


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8 Most Ridiculous Connected Devices

The world of smart home tech is full of wonderful new devices. But when you’re on the edge of innovation, sometimes things get strange. Here’s a look at eight smart devices that toe the line between genius and ridiculous.

1. Amazon Echo Look

The Amazon Echo Look is a gadget allowing users to take photos of themselves and compare outfits through voice-activated technology entitled “Style Check.” Full-length mirrors from Target do the same thing for a fraction of the price.

2. Sleepace Smart Bedroom

Sleepace integrates with home appliances to turn off connected devices, watches you while you sleep, and is definitely not the premise of a Black Mirror episode. It can also close your curtains, assuming you have a smart curtain rod (and who doesn’t?).

3. Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected Toothbrush

This Bluetooth-enabled gadget leaves electric toothbrushes in the dust by timing brushing, making a 3D map of teeth, and giving feedback on how you brushed. Now users won’t require a trip to the dentist to be scolded on needing to floss.

4. Kerastase Hair Coach Smart Hairbrush

This brush uses sensor technologies and a microphone to “listen for split ends” and let users know if they brush too vigorously — but with a price point over $200, this brush should also do your taxes.

5. Juicero

This ill-fated juicer is perhaps the pièce de résistance of nonsensical devices. Juicero’s demise came about when people learned that juice pouches for the $400, wi-fi connected machine could be squeezed by hand to the same effect.

6. Kuvée Bottle

Essentially a $179 touchscreen sleeve for proprietary wine bottles, Kuvée tells you what kind of wine you’re drinking and how much is left — information you could never get from a normal wine bottle. The problem is, the sleeve must be charged to work, and a full charge only lasts 5-6 hours. Unsurprisingly, the company shut down earlier this year.

7. Toasteroid

Why look at your phone for the weather forecast when you can look at toast? Toasteroid, a Kickstarter project to produce the first totally necessary smart toaster, creates custom designs in toast: pictures, messages, and yes, even the weather. After raising more than $380K in funding, Toasteroid ultimately went dark in 2017.

8. Hapifork

This smart fork monitors how fast you are bringing food from your plate to your mouth and will prevent you from eating too quickly — or at least make you feel guilty about it — through vibrations and lights. Plus, it provides the added challenge of a moving fork while you eat.