By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 16, 2013 12:43 PM EST
This year's International CES was filled with innovations, hopes, and dreams, but also with bizarre products that made one wonder "WHY?"
Some companies will go all out to escape mediocrity and create something never seen before, but some products may just be too much. Here are the top 10 weirdest gadgets that aim to make their way to the market this year:
CTA Digital's iPotty is reasonably low-tech, but its very purpose may sound ludicrous to many. Basically, this gadget aims to keep toddlers entertained while learning to go to the potty with an iPad. It comes complete with a toilet seat, toilet seat cover, removable bowl, and a pee-guard for young learners.
The iPotty, however, also sports a stand specifically designed to hold an iPad, so that the child doesn't get bored while sitting on the throne. Not to worry though, it does come with a removable screen guard that aims to protect the tablet should the child decide to drool, spit, or drop something on the precious iPad. The iPotty works with the iPad 2 and third- and fourth-generation iPads, and is set to go on sale in March for $40.
While an entire section oozing with health and fitness-related gadgets and apps aimed to encourage exercise, Hapilabs has adopted an entirely different approach. The company's digital fork, dubbed HAPIfork, aims to limit food intake and encourage slow eating.
The HAPIfork is based on the concept that slower eating cuts calories and is easier on the digestive system. When the user takes a bite with the HAPIfork, the gadget uses an electric loop capacitive sensor to register the motion. Trying to take a bite too soon, within five to ten seconds of the last one, will prompt the gadget to vibrate and warn the user to chow down slower. The HAPIfork uses an app to track progress in slowing down the user's eating and sends the data to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The digital dieting fork will cost roughly $99.
3. Brainwave Cat Ears
The Brainwave Cat Ears should theoretically be a worthwhile purchase thanks to some circuitry and a few sensors embedded in the gadget. These cat ears pack motors that allegedly move the ears based on the user's brain activity. Cute, but it remains unclear whether they actually serve any useful purpose. The Brainwave Cat ears come with a $99.98 price tag.
4. spnKiX Motorized Skate Shoes
The spnKiX motorized skate shoes are basically a weird combination between Heelys, Segways, and Skechers Shape-Ups. These gadget shoes are somewhat like roller skates that strap over the user's shoes, and can allegedly propel the wearer at up 10 mph. While they may sound cool, it is likely that not many consumers would choose to be seen with them in public. The spnKiX motorized skate shoes can be ordered for $699.
5. Mondo Spider
Nevermind arachnophobia, here's a gigantic robotic spider that you can ride. Instead of getting a car or using public transportation, consumers can now ride across town on an eight-legged 1,600 pounds metal beast. This itsy bitsy spider has actually been around since 2006, but it joined the CES tech fest for the first time this year. The rideable spider moves at about 5 mph and it lasts for roughly one hour on battery power.
While it may make one wonder which useful purpose could it actually serve, it does sound pretty cool to ride along on a huge spider and maybe scare the living daylights out of people.
The list doesn't end here, but these are five of the most unusual gadgets on display at this year's International CES. It's quite unlikely that any of these gadgets will sell out, but here they are, up for grabs and ready to add some swag for the loaded hipsters out there.