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Stupid or Genius: Ten Craziest New Gadgets

Upgrade Your Life

The Consumer Electronics Show – full of technological innovation, thousands of vendors vying to be the next big thing – and some of the craziest gadgets I’ve ever seen. Now there’s a fine line between crazy and brilliant, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. So here are my top ten picks for craziest gadget at CES. Stupid or genius? You decide.

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1. Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears – $99
In case you can’t tell for yourself if you’re being attentive or relaxed, put on these brainwave-sensing cat ears. Then think relaxing thoughts, and the ears will droop. Focus your attention, and the ears perk up. A fine therapeutic tool for those with attention deficit disorder - or a slightly pricey party trick. Also available as devil’s horns.

2. Hapifork – $99 in Beta on Kickstarter
Continuing the trend in products for people who are completely unaware of their own behaviors… The Hapifork is a Bluetooth-connected utensil that collects data on how fast you’re eating – and it vibrates in your mouth if you eat too fast. True, most of us probably don’t take enough time to appreciate what we’re stuffing in. So big points for wanting to make people more self-aware around eating. Developed by Hapilabs in France, where they really know how to enjoy a good meal.

3. Health Mate Half Sauna
I’m really not sure why someone would want to bake just their lower half, but if you hate it when your arms get hot but love it when your butt does, have I got a product for you. Sit in this cedar box, and slide the top closed, just above your belly (the top would make a fine surface for a laptop if you weren’t worried about the heat). And the heat? The one I tried was set to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Yow.

4. iPotty – $39.99
Trouble toilet training your toddler? Well, there’s a technological fix for everything these days. The iPotty from CTA Digital is a plastic potty with a swiveling mount for your wee one’s iPad. Of course, it doesn’t actually come with an iPad, but it does come with a splash guard, which might come in handy.

5. Game Skunk – price not yet available
It’s finally here – Smellovision! The Game Skunk from Sensory Acumen adds odors to your gaming experience. Playing a shoot-em-up set in the desert? How would that be complete without diesel fumes and odors of exploding IEDs and burning tires? Ah, I love the smell of napalm in the morning…

6. WheeMe Massage Robot - $99
Sadly, your personal Fembot has not yet arrived, but you can lie down and place this 4-wheeled device from DreamBots on your back. This 5-inch long robot automatically steers itself over your body without falling off, caressing you as it goes. Maybe they’ll hook up with Game Skunk and add the smell of the beach and suntan oil.

7. Sharky the Beaver – Free App (plus $129.99 for the Sphero Robotic Ball)
Sharky the Beaver almost makes this list just on the basis of its name. But before I get into Sharky the Beaver, a little history: Sphero has been selling robotic balls since way back in 2011. You can remotely control these tennis-sized balls with an iOS or Android device. You can drive them around your living room, play tag with other Sphero users, or make the ball chase after your little brother. Sharky the Beaver is Sphero’s first venture into Augmented Reality gaming. The big, exciting augmentation? Now, when you look at the tablet or phone device running the Sharky the Beaver app, instead of seeing the remote-controlled Sphero ball, in its place you see an animated beaver. Wow.

Celebrity Headphones
We’ve seen celebrity-endorsed headphones for years (think “Beats by Dre”), but now you don’t even have to be a musician to have your own line. Ferrari has a pair; Usain Bolt has a pair – what are these, the world’s fastest headphones? But my favorites for outside-the-box marketing:

8. House of Marley Headphones - $59-$69
Partially made with hemp. Yah, mon. Now extra legal in Washington and Colorado.

9. Tim Tebow Signature Series Headphones - $299.95
I don’t know quite what being an evangelical football star has to do with music, but it may be no mere coincidence that these headphones are from Soul Electronics. Tim says he’s thinking of renaming one of the headphone models in his line – the one formerly called the “Jet.”

10. Motorheadphones - $99-$129
Remember the mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” about “the world’s loudest band?” Well, not to be outdone, the hard-rocking metal band Motorhead has come out with their own line of headphones. According to Motorhead’s lead vocalist Lemmy Kilmister, “We designed these headphones to deliver everything louder than anything else.”

Please vote in the comments section below for the gadget you love/hate the most, and if we missed one, let us know on our Facebook Page.

More coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show:

More coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show:

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