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CES is a time for manufacturers to trot out their new inventions and to whet the consumer's appetite for the future. (And maybe convince a few of them to set aside some cash to buy that future tech, when it's released.) But there is a dark side to CES, too. Along with all the wondrous new gadgets and gizmos, we're also treated to some ponderous items. These here are the devices that make the consumer scratch their head and ask, "Why?!"
Isn't taking your pet to the vet a pain? The struggling with car-carriers! The meowing / barking! The bills! Well, QuantumMAN is about to change all of that. They have invented a way to open a portal directly into your pet's brain and "download" a cure to whatever is wrong with Fido! No car trips, no hassle, and it only costs $30 for a 6-pack of "fixes." I wish I were joking, but these guys are serious. Of course, it's 100% hokum and your pet will not get any better, no matter how many "portals" you open in his brain.
This invention is a cream-of-the-crop flop. It's a training toilet for toddlers that features a place to put an iPad. It's possibly the worst iPad dock of all time. The idea is that your child will be happier sitting on a toilet if he has an iPad to play with. Since, this is true for most adults these days, why not extend the same courtesy to the little ones?
WheeMe Robot Massager
It's a small, spike-wheeled robot with whippy-arms that vibrates as it rolls across your back. It's been built to replicate an assortment of massage techniques, but it really only perfectly replicates being a small, spike-wheeled robot with whippy-arms.
Panasonic 20" 4K Tablet
This piece of tech isn't bad per se, as its cutting-edge 4K resolution looks stunning. But, come on! It's 20" wide! And at 5.3-lbs, it's too big to be a portable tablet but too small to be a TV. It has limited applications in the real world, and very few of those are for the general consumer.
iMusic Body Rhythm
This massage collar connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and vibrates in time to your music. Who really wants to be massaged by One Direction?
Did you know that the key to losing weight is eating more slowly? Though only marginally true, that's the rationale behind this fork which vibrates to tell you when you are eating too fast. (It also has other meal-tracking functions and an iPhone app, so don't go thinking it's completely silly.) Though real experts say that eating better (not slower) and exercising is the real way to lose weight, a vibrating fork surely couldn't do any harm, right?
iMD Smart Filing System
Think print is dead? Think again! Many people still use paper filing cabinets, and no new technologies are catering to them ... until now. iMD has developed a wireless cabinet that works together with database software to index and catalog paper files. Want to know where a specific file is? Check the software. The cabinet you're looking for will start to blink an LED light. Open the drawer and the folder you want will have a blinking LED light as well. It's the easiest way to file paper since the invention of the alphabet.
Carly Rae Jespen Earbuds
I just saw these, and this is crazy, but.... No. Not doing it. Sorry. Look, we're not going to begrudge any celebrity from endorsing whatever they want — especially a flash-in-the-pan celebrity who has a very limited time to cash in on her "hit" song — so buy them if you're a fan. Ignore them if you're not. No harm, no foul. Maybe.
If you're underwhelmed by this collection of questionable tech, be sure to check out our roundup of some of the highlights at CES this year, as well as when you can expect to find deals them. And for those of you who just can't help but want one of the ridiculous items above, the least you can do is get a deal on it. Set up an email alert now so you'll know when we post a discount.