CES 2015: The good, the bad and the ugly - from QuitBit's novelty lighter to Sony's Walkman reboot

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is in full swing and the gadgets on display are as wacky as ever. Here are a selection of our favourites so far...


Sony's tiny Action Cam FDR-X1000V

SONY FDR-X100V CAMCORDER

Usefulness: ★★★★☆
Novelty value: ★★★☆☆
Sony is pulling out all the stops to make up some of the ground lost to GoPro in 2014. The tiny Action Cam FDR-X1000V can capture video at a ridiculously high-quality 4K resolution and SteadyShock Electronic Image Stabilisation (which smooths out camera shakes) gives it the edge over the competitors.


“One Ring to rule them all”

LOGBAR RING

Usefulness: ★☆☆☆☆
Novelty value: ★★★★★
“One Ring to rule them all” should really have been the marketing message of Logbar’s Ring, the finger-worn device lets you control automatic home appliances like curtains, TVs and lights, all at the swish of a finger. Logbar, which raised over $880,000 last spring through crowdfunding website Kickstarter, says it will go on sale in March for around $269.


Now there’s a lighter that can help you quit fags

QUITBIT LIGHTER

Usefulness: ★☆☆☆☆
Novelty value: ★★★★☆
You’ve heard of e-cigarettes, now there’s a lighter that can help you quit fags. With a flameless lighting action and smart technology that tracks your smoking habits, it supposedly helps you kick the habit by monitoring time taken between cigarettes. But can a lighter really liberate you from nicotine addiction? We’re not convinced.


LG's Twin Wash is a washing machine inside a washing machine

LG TWIN WASH

£TBC lg.com/uk
Usefulness: ★★★★☆
Novelty value: ★★☆☆☆
Washing machines made a splash at CES this week with Samsung and Whirlpool both announcing internet-connected machines that can be monitored remotely from your smartphone. But LG trumped them both with its far simpler – and more appealing – Twin Wash machine, based around the crazy idea of putting a second washing machine inside a washing machine.


Belty: The weirdest gadget at CES

BELTY

Usefulness: ★★☆☆☆
Novelty value: ★★★★★
At CES in 2013 it was the smart fork, in 2014 it was the bluetooth toothbrush, this year the weirdest gadget on show is Emiota’s smart belt Belty that slims or expands to adjust to slight changes to your waistline. The device, created by two Paris-based designers who hope to put Belty on sale later this year, can also automatically loosen when you sit down, and tighten when you stand up.


An espresso machine for your dog

PETNET SMARTFEEDER

£TBC petnet.io
Usefulness: ★★★☆☆
Novelty value: ★★★☆☆
The closest thing you’ll find to an espresso machine for your dog, the Petnet SmartFeeder manages your pet’s dietary needs by keeping you in the know about feeding times, portion sizes and food dispensing speed. And you can control the SmartFeeder from your phone or laptop.


Do you need a tiny rechargeable anamatronic bird in your life?

BIONIC BIRD

Usefulness: ★★☆☆☆
Novelty value: ★★★★★
Ever found yourself contemplating how much better life would be if you had a tiny rechargeable anamatronic bird that you could fly around your house? The Bionic Bird is perfect for anyone who craves the companionship and fun of a real pet but can’t face regularly clearing up excrement.


Sony’s beloved music player gets a shiny reboot

SONY WALKMAN NW-ZX2

Usefulness: ★★★★☆
Novelty value: ★★★☆☆
Five years after production of the cassette Walkman finally ceased, Sony’s beloved music player gets a shiny reboot. There’s 60 hours of battery life, 128GB of memory and an Android operating system, but really the NW-ZX2 is all about great sound quality. According to Sony, it’s the “fruit of continuous refinement in high audio quality technologies.”


Improve your brushing technique via your smartphone

KOLIBREE CONNECTED TOOTHBRUSH

Usefulness: ★★☆☆☆
Novelty value: ★★☆☆☆
The vetting process for whether something should be shown at CES or not seems to have become: “can you cantrol it with your iPhone?” If the answer is yes, it’s in. So it goes with the Kolibree electric toothbrush, which transmits data about your brushing technique to your smartphone. It’s useful enough for training young children to brush their teeth but hardly “Taking brushing to an entirely new level” as the marketing spiel claims.


The Bravia X900C is so thin it’s practically invisible when viewed from the side

BRAVIA X900C

Usefulness: ★★★☆☆
Novelty value: ★★★★☆
Sony has just the thing for anyone who’s ever tried and failed to pick the dirt from their fingernails using a television. The Bravia X900C is so thin it’s practically invisible when viewed from the side. At just 4.9mm it’s the same thickness as the thinnest smartphones and it has 4K resolution to boot.

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