CES 2017 Brings Smart Hairbrush and Listening Fridge

John Lister's picture

It's the week of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and this year smart home gadgets seem to be attracting attention - rather than the latest TV technology. Everything from fridges to hairbrushes is getting some form of upgrade from gadget makers.

One big story is the attempts by firms such as Google and Amazon to get their voice-operated "virtual assistants" connected to home devices. While gadgets such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo already control of some more common smart tech such as automated lighting and thermostats, several manufacturers showed off new home appliances that hook up to the systems.

Simply Speak to Refill

LG has produced a fridge known as the Smart InstaView which includes the Alexa voice recognition system that powers Amazon's services. It means that if you open up the fridge and notice you have run out of something, you can simply speak to place an online order for a replacement.

The fridge comes with a host of other high-tech tools. Some are incredibly gimmicky, such as wishing you a happy birthday on the appropriate date. Others are potentially more useful such as an Internet-connected camera inside the fridge, with the idea being that if you're away at the grocery store, you can quickly check if you already have an ingredient in stock or need to buy one. (Source: slashgear.com)

Brush Listens for Breaking Hairs

Some other gadgets didn't rely on Internet connections, but instead use the type of technology that's often found in phones. That includes a hairbrush that uses a combination of a gyroscope and accelerometer to track the way the user brushes his or her hair, along with a microphone that's supposedly sensitive enough to detect when hairs are breaking. In the latter case, the brush vibrates as a warning against brushing too hard.

The brush even sends information to a smartphone app that's said to give the user an insight into the "quality" of their hair and recommend products that could improve it. While that's probably not a surprise given the brush has been developed by L'Oreal, it seems a bit of a stretch to charge customers $200 for something that's going to act as a promotional tool. (Source: bbc.co.uk)

What's Your Opinion?

Has the trend for smart home gadgets gone too far? Do you worry about the privacy and security implications of so many Internet-connected devices? Are there any home appliances you own that you think would genuinely benefit from smart technology?

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Dennis Faas's picture

That $200 hairbrush sounds like a complete waste of time. If you don't realize you're brushing too hard and breaking hairs, then you probably should not be handling a brush in the first place. Besides that, the price-point is completely ridiculous.

I think what the world really needs is a smart kitchen sink - one that can detect there are too many dishes in the sink and actually does something about it. Personally I rinse my dishes as soon as I use them - so that they're not impossible to clean if left standing, then they get put in the dish washer. I don't leave them in the sink "soaking" with sprinkles of water indefinitely until someone else decides to do something about it. If only my wife thought the same!

petershaw's picture

At last the human race is moving in the right direction. This wonderful hairbrush is an absolutely essential device because, as we all know, no-one has managed to brush their hair properly since time began. Ever.

I can't wait for LG or Samsung to announce the online nail clippers that will prompt me to trim my nails or the front door lock that announces "Wrong one" when I arrive home drunk as a lord and try to put the wrong key in.

And when can we expect the online condoms that keep score like a Fitbit and enable those fun competitions with our friends? Or the belt that reports on Facebook to all your friends that your waistline has grown a little larger?

But seriously all these gadgets are solutions looking for problems having only the simple purpose of making money for the supplier. And they will, because there are so many stupid people out there who think paying a lot for a new toy is a brilliant thing to do, like the clowns that pay Dyson £300 for a fan instead of paying £15 for one that will do the same job.

DarthSolo's picture

This makes me think of movies where the FBI, NSA etc. plant bugs and cameras all over someone’s house and they can watch them move about. But in this case these smart devices people install that have little to no security, people are paying for and installing themselves. Well you’re sure making someone’s life easier, or more entertaining!
Regarding whether it would even be worth someone to buy this stuff, I really don’t understand why anyone would associate “smart” with the people who might end up buying it.