6 months ago
While there are undeniable benefits to having appliances and other conventional products connected to the Internet, there’s a deluge of average things being tweaked simply for the sake of being connected to the Internet. All that’s added to the growing phenomenon of Internet of Things (IoT).
One example is Juicero, which was forced to offer a full refund to customers last week. The cold press juicer automatically ships fresh packs of produce when a customer’s supply run low or go bad. It sounded like a pretty convenient solution for juicing fans—until it turned out the packs could be hand-squeezed to the same effect without the $400 juicer.
Tackiness aside, there’s issues of privacy and security to consider. Most of these devices aren’t as secure as smartphones and computers, but can still be hacked. On top of that, it’s another device that can be used to collect data about individual consumers’ behavior. Besides, is it really necessary to have every single kitchen connected to the Internet?
Despite all that, Juicero is still part of a growing trend of appliances and other consumer goods going online. RealClearLife has rounded up the seven most absurd ones.
Marketed as the “Keurig for wine,” the Kuvée is an Internet-connected wine bottle that only works with a few select “cartridges”—so the options for pretty limited. A touchscreen on the bottle provides info on the wine that’s being served and use it to order more wine when that “cartridge” runs out. If an $180-wine-holder might sound ridiculous, investors didn’t think so. Business Insider reports the startup raised $6 million last year.
For forgetful or infrequent egg eaters, this “smart” tray, made through a partnership with GE, syncs up with an app that provides an update on which eggs are nearing their expiration date and how many are left. At $12, the Egg Minder seems like an over-the-top solution for just buying a dozen more eggs—which definitely costs less.
Hate getting out of bed in the morning to let in sunlight? That’s what ShutterEaze is banking on. It’s a switch that’s installed behind the doors of plantation shutters that’s either set on a timer or remote-controlled via the ShutterEaze app. No word yet on price or release date, so for now, shutters have to be opened the old-fashioned way.
A collaboration between Kérastase and L’Oréal, Withings’ Hair Coach is the world’s first smart brush and comes loaded with a microphone, gyroscope, and accelerometer that pairs with a smartphone app to provide feedback on hair health and hair care techniques—that includes product recommendations (obviously). It’s basically giving those luscious locks a physical with each brushing session. The Hair Coach will cost less than $200 and should hit shelves later this year.
Among the deluge of other “smart” appliances unveiled at CES this year, Griffin’s Connected Toaster stood out because it’s flat out absurd. The Bluetooth-enabled toaster is controlled by a smartphone app for personalized setting to ensure the ideal slice of toast every time, adjusting for darkness and bread type—yes, even gluten free bread. The Connected Toaster hits stores later this year at $99.
Adding to the list of “intelligent” home goods, this trashcan pairs with an app that gives an alert when it’s trash day to avoid stinking up the house. With Bruno, people never have to fight with their significant other over who forgot to take out the trash—unless they set a reminder on their phone or use a post-it note. Bruno’s one cool feature is the vacuum at the bottom that replaces the need for a dustpan. Even that’s a bit superfluous because it involves the need for special trash bags for the $200 trashcan.
When a mirror won’t do the trick, Onvi’s smart toothbrush offers a GoPro-like view to ensure proper oral hygiene. The Prophix works in a tandem with a smartphone app to beam a live-feed of each tooth brushing session like it’s a special forces raid. The app lets users take a picture of any crack, cavities or other flaws and send them to their dentist for an update. The $299 toothbrush ships this fall.