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Five of the strangest products at CES 2017

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While CES has no shortage of things that will make you say “wow”, there are also a number of “innovations” that will make you say “WTF?”.

At the show this year there was the usual slew of visually stunning routers, and TVs with computers packed inside but there were also some rather strange products that had us asking aloud, “why?”.

L’Oreal Hair Coach

Developed by L’Oreal Kérastase and Withings the Hair Coach is a connected hair brush that will give you insight into the health of your hair via an app.

The brush can detect the dryness, tangling and level of damage of hair cuticles and report it’s findings back to the user. Hair Coach will also help users understand their brushing habits. The brush is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems.

Hair Coach is expected to be available toward the end of this year and we’d be quite interested to give it the ol’ tire kicking. (You’ll have to do it, Brendyn, you have the longest hair – ed.)

Kolibree Ara

Should the machines eventually rise up and force us to be their slaves you might find the Kolibree Ara toothbrush leading the charge.

Our fears are somewhat substantiated by the fact that the Ara uses artificial intelligence to monitor how badly (or well) you brush your chompers.

The toothbrush will analyse a user’s brushing patterns and give them tips on how to improve their dental hygiene using deep learning algorithms. These tips will be sent to a user’s phone or emailed once a week according to The Verge.

Unlike the Hair Coach the Ara is available for pre-order and is expected to ship in March when it will cost a cool $130 (~R1 759) though you can pre-order on for $79 (~R1 077).

LG SJ9 Soundbar

The LG SJ9 Soundbar is not weird in and of itself but the “feature” the firm has tacked on to the audio peripheral, is.

The SJ9 is being marketed as having “4K Sound”. Those of you that are confused shouldn’t feel too bad because LG’s marketing team has taken a few liberties to get to that “feature”.

4K sound, for your 4K TV, get it? Yeah neither do we.

In reality the SJ9 is capable of a achieving a 4 000kbps audio stream thanks to it’s ability to play two channels of 24bit/96KHz audio. Put those numbers in the hands of a marketing exec and voila! You have a feature that nobody knew existed until this week.

Project Ariana

We’re quite excited about Project Valerie, the tri-display notebook concept Razer is showing off at CES 2017 but Project Ariana is a bit confusing.

Ariana will, if the concept ever comes to fruition, scan the room you’re in and then project a larger image of the game you’re playing onto the walls surrounding your gaming command center.

According to Razer chief executive officer Min-Liang Tan, the technology inside Ariana is modelled after how the human eye perceives its surroundings.

Personally it all just seems rather distracting and we would really love to know meet the person that sits as far from their display as the folks in the video above.

Cool idea Razer but it’s just too strange.

Sleep Number 360

Are you tired of wearing a fitness tracker to bed to monitor your sleeping patterns? Well we have some good news for you.

The folks at Sleep Number have created the 360 Smart Bed.

The bed has a number of sensors and two air chambers inside the mattress, which are able to adjust the shape of the bed to the sleeper.

For those that snore the 360 will adjust the user’s head by 7-degrees if they happen to be resting on their back to temporarily alleviate the cacophony the other person might be experiencing.

Sleep Number has also included a feature called Rapid Sleep Onset which gently warms your feet. This is, according to the firm, meant to help folks fall asleep faster and when it’s time to wake up the 360 will wake a user up at the best possible moment given your historical sleeping patterns.

Did you see anything coming out of CES 2017 that had you scratching your head? Let us know in the comments below or give us a holler on Twitter.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.