I missed the 2018 Computer Electronics Show this year (it overlapped with JP Morgan’s Healthcare Conference) so I had to rely on the kindness of friends and media to send me alerts on the weirdest digital stuff on earth. CES is chockablock with things no one needs and no one should have even thought to invent but did. While there are always some great advances there, the show is particularly notable for what should not have been. And thus I have collected my favorite three so far to share with you, who may also have missed CES and the opportunity to stick a sensor in or on every possible inch of your being.
According to their website, here’s what you get when you buy this essential product:
- Comfortable, machine washable, stylish & durable premium-quality clothing – Made in Canada.
- Track your health progress through sleep quality, heart rate, respiratory rate, activity, steps, calories, and more.
- Our starter packs include enough underwear to wear all week so you can get data 24/7 without doing laundry every day.
According to the company, their “BodyOS” serves this essential purpose “Unlocking your body’s true potential requires interpreting and decoding its signals. We apply a layer of deep learning and AI in our BodyOS operating system so you can understand yourself in a new way.” AI in your shorts. I am not sure I want quite that much intelligence. And the haptic notifications when you are under stress could be very…distracting…in a business meeting. Just sayin’.
The company says that the Skiin starter kit fulfills your entire weekly underwear needs, but I’m perplexed. My mom told me I should change my undies every day but one of their starter packs includes only 4 pairs. Maybe this is why the battery lasts 48 hours. Maybe those who sell supercharged skivvies have disrupted the concept of what’s in a week? I do note, however, that at $279 for a package of 4, I could have bought some Fruit of the Looms and a Fitbit and had cash left over. Damn that addition! By the way, if underwear were really super smart, they would make your butt look smaller. Now that’s something you could monetize.
Just imagine the panic at CES 2018 when they had the 2 hour power outage – no one could re-charge their underwear! However will we survive?
My favorite part of the Skiin smart underwear website is the FAQ:
Number 3: “What are some safeguards that can be implemented to protect the user’s data and privacy?” My answer: get the sensors out of your underwear for god’s sake. This is the very definition of no privacy.
Number 6: “Do you have an API?” Now I am very worried. What are you trying to link to in my underwear and do I need to be above the age of consent? In the context of nether regions, what do the A, P and I actually stand for? Yikes! I can only imagine that this is a perfect platform to host the second favorite product I heard about from my soul sister, Jane Sarasohn Kahn, texting to me live from CES:
Artgasm! Artgasm purports to provide “a new, avant garde art experience produced by Lioness, a women’s sexual health company.” The product, a connected vibrator, allows you to “tag your favorite sessions” and “See your experience as your own unique work of art!” Wow. I can only imagine that art tour in my home. Friend: “Where did you get that lovely piece of art.” Me: “Um…rather not say in front of the kids.”
I’m all for art and for…happiness…but this is a combo that takes Spirograph to a whole new level. At least the website doesn’t purport to rely on AI or Machine Learning to take your experience to the next level, although that might be a use case for which people would actually pay.
And speaking of things that make you speechless, my third favorite entry of this year’s CES weird stuff sweepstakes, courtesy of CNBC is the HushMe, a “voice mask” for mobile phones that “is a personal acoustic device that protects speech privacy in open space environments.” Basically it’s a high tech gag to cover your mouth so no one can hear you when you’re yakking into your phone in public places. While looking like Bane from Batman, you too can ensure that your super-secret conversations are translated to eavesdroppers as the sound of a squirrel or Darth Vader. Because that will draw attention away from you.
HushMe’s special features are advanced insulation materials, active voice suppression, and adjustable voice masking. Nice alliteration, but I think they left out And I could have just walked out of the room.
I can only imagine our next generation of kids walking around with headphones, mouth covering, cell phone, and riding a Roomba to the drone factory. Add in an Oculus headset and you can drown out almost all the senses! Except those you need for feeling haptic sensations in your underwear.
I’m beginning to think this technology thing is getting a little…out of hand. I wonder if somehow, somewhere there is a contest being held by someone (Jeff Bezos?) to determine the silliest thing we will buy. Some solid entrants here. Get your bitcoin ready.