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Toys Idle

The Worst Products of CES 2010 214

loose electron submitted a (sigh) slideshow page documenting 10 of the worst products from CES this year. Includes a baseball hat with a TV in the brim, vibrating earbuds, an Android powered microwave, and what appears to be the next generation of Teddy Ruxpin.
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The Worst Products of CES 2010

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  • Krave (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:48AM (#30750386)
    One look at that advertisement and I'm craving something other than an electronic cigarette.
    • I actually saw a kiosk for "electronic cigarettes" at a local mall last week. Definitely a WTF moment.

    • Re:Krave (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:53AM (#30750470)

      One look at that advertisement and I'm craving something other than an electronic cigarette.

      Hmm. Do you need to borrow my vibrating earbuds?

    • I'm not even positive that is a real advertisement or it's one of the "worst products" they're showcasing for their article.

      In any event, I must cry foul on calling the iType a "worst product". Maybe not for everyone, but I kinda want one of these for my iPod Touch. On personal trips now I don't even carry my laptop (as typically what I use it for is doing things like pulling up Mapquest directions or Yahoo Yellow Pages to find a nearby Chinese place, which the iPod does just fine). This would certainly

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        According to TFA, the keyboard only worked with the app provided by the manufacturer.

        Also, the keyboard is very large and cumbersome, so any gain in portability by carrying an iPhone/iPod touch is lost because you still need to lug around the keyboard attachment in your backpack..
  • Synthetic Snot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Diss Champ ( 934796 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:50AM (#30750418)

    That product, if done right (anti-bacterial stuff in the goo to get the keys actually clean, right consistency to not leave bits between keys) would actually be pretty useful in some environments.

    For those who didn't RTFA, it's a keyboard cleaner via goo like substance that you push on and pull off and it takes the ick with it.

    • I'd rather see dishwasher safe keyboards than yet another cleaning thing for computers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by snowraver1 ( 1052510 )
        I washed my mom's keyboard in the dishwasher. It was really gross, and was just a cheap MS one anyways. It worked like a charm. Next time I was at their house, it looked like a brand new keyboard. I don't know how wireless keyboards would fare... YMMV
        • Now try that with your laptop.
          • You can submerge any electronic device in water as long as it has no power and completely dries out before it receives power again. The problem with a laptop is the motherboard battery which you can't remove without taking the case apart. But if you are taking the case apart, might as well just remove the keyboard parts and wash those.

      • by Jaysyn ( 203771 )

        I thought you could wash just about any keyboard in the dishwasher as long as you let it dry out completely afterwards.

    • by SpeedyDX ( 1014595 ) <speedyphoenix&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:13AM (#30750780)

      Many of the choices just seem to be because the idea is new or somehow "weird" to the author (the parent's synthetic snot example, the bidet example by another poster) or something that the author doesn't personally have a use for (the e-cigarette) or just something that has a target audience which doesn't include himself as a member ($200 Blackberry Presenter that enables users, presumably mainly businessmen, to plug their BBs wirelessly into projectors but doesn't actually project itself - do you expect a good projector inside a tiny box like that for just $200?!).

      Anyway, there are more examples. Probably over half of the products in that article are actually quite viable and/or unique/innovative ideas. Some of them may not be implemented too well, but could still prove to be a launching pad for other good products (imagine an fold-up full-size keyboard for the iPhone that could work in any text field). This author is trying to be disparaging for the sake of being disparaging. Nothing wrong with many of the products he listed.

      • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:45AM (#30751250) Journal

        Hmm, you must be new to the Huffington Post. I don't even need to read the article to come to that conclusion, only the URL. :)

      • imagine an fold-up full-size keyboard for the iPhone that could work in any text field

        You mean, like the fold-up (almost) full-size keyboard [palminfocenter.com] for Palm OS devices that worked in any text field but sold almost nothing?

        If you want a device with a keyboard, you get a device with a keyboard. Any external keyboard will add so much weight (and size) in your pocket that it's useless, and you end up never using it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Syberz ( 1170343 )

        Although I mostly agree with you, there's one product that makes NO sense and simply exists to make money off of gullible parents: the Prenatal education system.

        The makers of the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System claim that their device, which emits a sounds similar to the mom's heartbeat [...]

        So here we have a device that emits a sound similar to the mom's heartbeat for a baby which is in the womb... in the mom... close to her actual heart.

        That's like listening to a song on a radio while wearing headphones which belt out the same song but not synched to the one on the radio.

        The only way this makes sense is if the mom is dead or a zombie.

    • Most of the products seemed like decent products. The iPhone Guitar did look kinda crappy though, something that you would get kicked out of a nerd convention for being to nerdy. But the rest of them he didn't seem to like them just because they were silly or dealt with taboo topics.

      1. I am not a smoker but if I was and it was part of my identity I would want something that at least makes me look like I am smoking. It isn't a bad idea and can probably help stop smoking as it gives more of the visuals th

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by shadowrat ( 1069614 )
        I can't believe the article didn't spend more time ripping the BabyPlus. Of all the products that seemed the lamest.

        Maybe the description didn't cover all it's features, but what i read said it played womblike sounds like a mother's heartbeat.

        WTF? why does someone in the womb need a womb simulator? There's already a heartbeat in there.

        Maybe it's for undead mothers or something.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by BigDXLT ( 1218924 )

        8. Android Microwave... Why not... They have computer in them anyways just something with a little more juice. Heck you can program how long you need to cook your dishes vs. risking the preprogrammed ones.

        Want to cook spaghetti? There's an app for that!

    • Except that they tested it, and it did nothing at all. (Damn, where is the video, when you need it!)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For those of you who missed the Fabulous Fifties, this goo is reminiscient of a product we had back then called wallpaper cleaner. It was essentially a big handful of dark green goop that was supposed to smell fresh and piney but actually smelled more like sawdust. The idea was to smush it against a stain on your wallpaper then refold the ball so as to mix the stain into the rest of the goop; removing the green stain that replaced the original was up to your ingenuity. AFAIK, the only good it did was to h

    • I have some of this (or an identical competitor), and it works just fine.

    • A long time ago I was working on a program that used a large fixed telescope, and when the primary would collect dust rather than try and blow it off or wipe it off, both of which might damage the coating, we went with a product called collodian (it's sold as a special effect makeup). It would pour on, something like runny snot, and quickly harden (it was alcohol based). As it hardened it shrank, and it would pull off of the mirror in a sheet, taking any surface impurities with it.
  • by tacarat ( 696339 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @10:50AM (#30750420) Journal
    Interestingly enough, they weren't meant to go in your ears >.>
  • Advertising? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by badevlad ( 929181 )
    Many companies do something absolutely unusable just to be famous because of such lists. What other can be the purpose of so stupid things?
  • I have one. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    the HuffingtonPost fucking slide show that had that stupid fucking login on every goddamn page!

    Oh. When I saw the microwave with Android it reminded me of something. Why is it that kitchen appliances have to have a fucking chip in them?!? Toasters to coffee makers! WTF! I was staying at a friends house and they had this incredibly expensive electronic coffee maker. It has all these lights, LEDs, LCD displays, an incredible assortment of UI crap. I looked at it and was horribly confused. My friend just said,

    • While I mostly concur I have been wanting a little more programming functionality lately. I'd like to be able to set up the coffee maker at work on Friday to brew a pot Monday morning.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 )

        It would, of course, have to have a built in grinder, a way to keep the unground beans reasonably fresh, and a way of drawing and possibly filtering the water (so you don't get stale, flat water). Most importantly, it would have to be easy to keep clean. And, of course, the coffee should finish brewing as you walk in the door, regardless of whether your commute was expeditious, or unreasonably delayed.

        • You mock but this is all in the realm of possibility. There is just a need for the same number of people that demand that exact device and are willing to pay for its development. Which is what the OP is missing. This product is there because people want it not because the company wanted to make it. He is basically complaining that society enjoys technical advances.

          There are advances in technology that make your demands feasible if not completely possible given the money. A gas detector could be used to
          • I'm mostly mocking the prospect of having ground coffee sit in a basket all weekend.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by el_gordo101 ( 643167 )
            I had one from Cuisinart almost exactly as you describe. Built in grinder with a tight-fitting lid to keep the beans fresh, water reservoir with an activated charcoal filter, and a programmable timer to start the grind/brew process. It had several design flaws, though. You had to dis-assemble the thing completely after each pot to clean it, otherwise the grounds would plug it up and secondly, the electronics were located at the bottom of the unit, beneath the hotplate. It worked for a while, but the ele
            • I stick to a french press with hand grinder. Easy to clean--dishwasher for the maker and uncooked rice for the grinder, hard to break-- except for the carafe, and that could be made from a different glass. It's very time consuming though, and not at all automatic.

  • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:03AM (#30750620) Journal

    I think the reviewer compiler just has issues with bidets. The Japanese have had robotic bidets for some time now. Chalk it up to "weird Japan" if you must. The android powered microwave is flawed because it's in a microwave, not in a stove. I love to cook, but there are occasions when I want, or need to consult my computer-- email, recipes, perhaps a podcast. But I don't want to get spattering spaghetti sauce on my electronics. A computer, built for the kitchen environment would be valuable.

    • by name_already_taken ( 540581 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:32AM (#30751034)

      A computer, built for the kitchen environment would be valuable.

      ...and here it is [wikipedia.org]!

      I think the terminal can also be used as an island. It looks like it's got room for use as a cutting board or for rolling out pastry too! What more could you ask for?

    • A computer, built for the kitchen environment would be valuable.

      Just do what I do, use an old laptop. It doesn't matter if the battery is shot since it will likely be plugged in all the time and you don't worry as much about getting it dirty because at least it's being used instead of rotting in a landfill.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:05AM (#30750660)

    The cigarette isn't for tobacco. "Vaporizer". hint. hint.

    • Also, this isn't really a new product. In fact, it looks identical to the E-Cig products. I know quite a few people who use them and they love them. If you just want to smoke, they offer that option virtually anywhere. No one can really complain about second-hand smoke; there is no smoke. One of my friends even fires his up in restaurants after a meal.

      If you want to quit smoking, they offer a pack with diminishing levels of nicotine. You can overcome the physical dependence on the drug while still kee

  • just because it broke doesn't mean it's not rugged or useful.

    the best part of TFA:

    a BBC reporter was caught live, on tape, accidentally breaking the 'unbreakable' phone

    live, on tape?

    • You've never heard of broadcasting something live AND recording it to tape at the same time? (Thus providing proof to what would otherwise be a one-time broadcast)

      • It is a given that all professional live broadcasts are recorded by some means.

        How often do you hear a news anchor saying "We are live, and on tape, down here at scene of an accident..."?

        • It is a given that all professional live broadcasts are recorded by some means.

          How often do you hear a news anchor saying "We are live, and on tape, down here at scene of an accident..."?

          I don't recall ever hearing a news anchor say that...

    • Actually, my objection is to the term "caught", as if he was doing something wrong. The only thing he did wrong was to apologize for breaking it. I would have pointed to the phone and done my best Nelson impression: "Ha-Ha!"

      I do agree, however, that the phone isn't useless just because multiple direct hits of a pointy metal object to the LCD protection barrier eventually made it break. I'd still choose one of these over my Blackberry Curve and a protective zip-loc baggie to accompany me on my next kayak

    • by Xugumad ( 39311 )

      Yeah, I saw that video earlier. That phone looks easily rugged enough to withstand anything that might happen to it in a day to day environment except actually dropping into heavy machinery. Repeated hard impacts to the weakest surface from a single point managed to damage the screen - good grief, most phones I've gone near would have snapped like a twig on the first impact!

  • Electronic cigarettes: Not that bad. I personally don't smoke, but a coworker who is a heavy smoker got adjusted to the electronic version quite well. It also makes the air around the office better (even though he smokes outside, he used to reek of cigarette smoke before he switched).

    Vibrating earbuds: I didn't try the insertable version, but I used to have a Panasonic walkman with large headphones that did just that. I quickly got addicted to them; without them even the same music sounded somewhat "fl

  • A lot of these are pretty good ideas. I would love if my appliances were net enabled. Android on a microwave? Thats perfect. Maybe I can see how much power its used that month or, heaven forbid, it friggin talk to NTP so it can set its own time. Sorry naysayers but this is great.

    The buzzing earbuds? I tried a demo of these about three or four years ago. Its an old idea. I actually like them. Its a gimmick, but the suggested retail price was only a few dollars more than Apple's bottom of the barrel qualit

    • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:29AM (#30750996)

      Why does a microwave need to know the time in the first place?

      Not to say they don't exist, but I have yet to meet anyone on the planet who has ever used the "Start cooking at 18:00" feature of any cooking appliance more than once.

      • by aclarke ( 307017 ) <spam&clarke,ca> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:40AM (#30751156) Homepage
        I use the clock on my microwave several times a day. It's the most convenient place to look to what time it is when I'm in the kitchen area.

        My confusion is around why LG couldn't spare a tiny capacitor to let the microwave remember its time throughout a half second power outage. This is in one of their supposedly high-end microwaves. They did apparently think it was worth spending extra on the the me-too blue interior.
      • People who use microwaves to raise bread dough at a controlled temperature (well, the temp hold/probe thing).
      • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
        My mom and grandmother use the "start cooking at 18:00" feature quite often when there's a big family gathering. It's easy to prep something early, put it in the oven, set the auto on/off feature and then move on to something else. That way you can plan for everything to finish up around the same time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MBGMorden ( 803437 )

        My microwave is my main clock that I check in my kitchen. Why bother with a wall clock when the microwave is sitting right here?

        And while I don't look atit as often as the microwave for just general time checking (because the display is much, much smaller), my coffee maker has a clock and I certainly use it for automatic turn on (typically I am in a hurry in the morning so it's nice to get up, take a shower, and have the coffee already ready).

        The stove also has a clock on it - which is new for me as I just

      • It already has a clock and its the main clock of my kitchen and pretty much my place. Dont put a clock in if you dont offer some kind of autoset option. Id rather them not put one in if they cant give me NTP.

      • Not to say they don't exist, but I have yet to meet anyone on the planet who has ever used the "Start cooking at 18:00" feature of any cooking appliance more than once.

        I use it for bread. You can stick the loaf in the oven for its final rise and it will start baking automatically.

    • by jimicus ( 737525 )

      Teddy Ruxbin? Kids love technology like this. A net enabled doll that could tell stories downloaded from the interent or created from parents sounds like the next xmas hot toy.

      Already been done - though the item in the article was just an iPod dock built into a cuddly toy, something more akin to what you describe was on the UK version of Dragon's Den a couple of years back. ISTR it was backed by Peter Jones.

  • OT: Worst website (Score:3, Insightful)

    by British ( 51765 ) <british1500@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:38AM (#30751120) Homepage Journal

    I like how huffingtonpost.com's article consists of 99% widgets & advertising and 1% actual content. I actually had to scrounge around the page to find the content. If your content is buried in non-content, it's time to redesign your site.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:42AM (#30751190) Journal

    I don't think those vibrating "earplugs" are really meant to go in your ears.

    Seriously, try putting an inexpensive pair of earbuds up your rectum (use a lubricant). Then, if you play the second Pavement album at full volume, while watching The Wizard of Oz, you will achieve states of Tantric ecstasy. You have to start them at exactly the same time. Then, just as Dorothy is about to meet the Tin Man, yank out the earbuds as fast as you can.

    Warning: Be sure to lock the door to your office before doing this. Having a co-worker walk in could cause some uncomfortable feelings in the workplace.

    • Warning: Be sure to lock the door to your office before doing this. Having a co-worker walk in could cause some uncomfortable feelings in the workplace.

      What if you have a cubicle?

    • I have this terrible feeling that you weren't trying to be funny.
  • I don't think this is necessarily a bad idea. It's not like it would be the first phone/pda/whatever that had a separate keyboard. The fact it only works in one app is idiotic though.

    Also, I had assumed when I first saw the picture of the iMini pet things that the problem was they looked a little... excited.

    Is that an iPod in your dock or are you just happy to see me?
  • by joshamania ( 32599 ) <jggramlich&yahoo,com> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:47AM (#30751276) Homepage

    A guy I work with bought one of these...not the same brand, but pretty much same deal. I've tried the e-cigarette and if they were more easily available, I probably would have bought one by now. It actually tastes pretty much like a cigarette, and once one gets accustomed to it, I see it as a direct replacement.

    The guy I know who has one...smokes in wal-mart, restaurants, in public, etc. Granted, he's going to catch flak for it from the countless busybody-douchebags in this world that just cannot stand seeing someone else enjoying themselves, but its not banned anywhere. It doesn't burn anything and produces no smell.

    This product deserves an A +.

  • Phubby (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bakkster ( 1529253 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nam.retskkaB.> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:47AM (#30751286)

    The Phubby isn't that bad. There are times where you don't want your phone in your pocket, such as when exercising. I mean, iPods already have armband holders, this just looks like a generic one for your phone. I could see wanting something like this for my phone, moreso than a hat that can hold my phone in the brim. And it certainly relates to consumer electronics, so I think CES is as good a place as any to debut it.

    The name, though, is certainly unfortunate...

    • by toQDuj ( 806112 )

      It should have been spring-loaded, though.. That's the first thing that came into my mind when I saw that. I'd love one of those ;).

  • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 ) <snarks@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:49AM (#30751318) Homepage Journal

    That hat's great, but it really needs a Visorganizer [theonion.com] stuck on it.

  • by ufpdom ( 556704 ) <ncc1701p@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @11:55AM (#30751404)
    1) Insert popcorn 2) Push popcorn button 3) wait 4) When popcorn is ready instead of a chime you'll get: DROID!!! DROID!!! DROID!!! DROID!!! DROID!!! DROID!!! DROID!!! DROID!!! Only if you can program the replacement chime :)
    • 1) Insert popcorn
      2) Push popcorn button
      3) wait
      4) When popcorn is ready instead of a chime you'll get:

      Only if you can program the replacement chime :)

      But then you'd have to pay royalties to Lucasfilm...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The makers of the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System claim that their device, which emits a sounds similar to the mom's heartbeat..." Really? Wouldnt the mother's heartbeat imitate their heartbeat much better than this pointless instrument? Maybe they are marketing this towards the pregnant zombie demographic who would clearly have no heartbeat and thus need this product..

  • I completely disagree with the Android microwave being on this list. I wish ANY of my appliances had a usable/customizable interface. Putting Android on my appliances would be a progressive first step into improving my appliances!

    This is seriously one of my largest pet-peeves in life. Why do we give washer/dryers/ovens etc. a pass when it comes to usability? Why are most microwaves and ranges counter-intuitive?

    Finally, wouldn't this sort of open design decrease production costs? Without the need for an emb

  • Cyber Clean (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mmmmbeer ( 107215 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @01:10PM (#30752568)

    I bought some Cyber Clean from Thinkgeek a while back and it's awesome. Works just as described on my phone, keyboard, etc. These retards picking it as one of the worst products have obviously never tried it.

    • I was about to say something similar, albeit, perhaps less derisively. I haven't tried Cyber Clean, but it seems like a great product. If it's at ThinkGeek, I'll have to throw it in with my next order of energy drinks.

  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @01:57PM (#30753356) Homepage
    We had Teddy Ruxbin when I was a little kid, some of the first models. Unfortunately, they kept breaking. Sometimes Teddy would slowly die with his speech getting slower and slower. One time his lower jaw fell of and he kept talking apparently oblivious. That was slightly traumatizing. The technology really didn't exist to make that sort of robot that was both cheap and dependable. This newer toy sounds much more promising. The other gadgets not so much.

There's no future in time travel.