CES 2020: These wild gadgets will make you laugh

CES 2020 has more than 4,500 exhibitors showing off thousands of products. But we’ve waded through them to find the oddball products that made us laugh — or at least raise our eyebrows and do a double take.

Some of these products at the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week might actually work. But regardless of whether they do or not, they all gave me a good chuckle. If they work as advertised, they solve some very serious problems. But there’s no doubt there is creativity here.

4moms Mamaroo Sleep Bassinet

Above: 4moms CEO Gary Waters

Parents of a newborn lose about six weeks of sleep in the first year alone. That doesn’t make for happy parents, and 4moms recognizes that parents aren’t invincible. So the company has followed up on its Mamaroo infant seat and created a 4moms Mamaroo Bassinet, which can shake and soothe a baby (see video) using motions that mimic what parents do, said CEO Gary Waters, in an interview with VentureBeat.

This made me think of a father watching a football game or playing a video game, trying to soothe a baby at the same time. Waters said that we all have these moments where we need a break, and it’s OK to use something like a soothing bassinet to keep a baby happy.

Reliefband gets rid of anxiety with electric-pulse bands

Reliefband Trave Series offers short-term relief from nausea while traveling.

Above: Reliefband Travel Series offers short-term relief from nausea while traveling.

Image Credit: Reliefband

Reliefband’s wearables look like watches, but you can toss out the Travel Series bands after a few days of travel. Not only do they treat motion sickness, they also treat hangovers, migraines, chemotherapy nausea, and morning sickness, and serve as an adjunct to antiemetics for postoperative surgery. So yes, you can get drunk, then put on a wearable to make your hangover bearable.

Alpha-Stim treats your anxiety with electrical pulses

Electrical pulses can do more than shock a mugger. Alpha-Stim is an FDA-cleared, non-drug, prescription medical device that safely and effectively treats anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain, with no lasting side effects or risk of addiction. It’s not the prettiest of devices, but the company says it outputs a safe and painless micro current that normalizes and balances the user’s body and brain via cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES).

There are more than 100 clinical studies proving the safety and effectiveness of the device, including a recent study by the MD Anderson Cancer Research Center and the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. The part that made me laugh was attaching electrodes to your ears.

Luple’s digital caffeine makes you more alert with LED lights

Above: Luple’s digital caffeine lights.

Image Credit: Luple

Luple is a South Korean company that has created “digital caffeine.” If you are studying and want to be able to concentrate, Luple will show you one kind of light. If you are sleepy and want to take a nap, it will shine a different light. The company is studying what kind of wavelength is healthy for the human body, and it says this “human-centric lighting” keeps you more alert than a cup of coffee.

Bzigo uses AI and a laser pointer to detect mosquitoes

Bzigo spots a mosquito using computer vision.

Above: Bzigo spots a mosquito using computer vision.

Image Credit: Bzigo

Bzigo spent a few years researching how to spot buzzing mosquitoes. It came up with a combination of AI and a laser pointer. Its camera scans for flying or stationary mosquitoes. When it spots one, it shines a laser pointer on it when it lands on a wall, so you can go and smash it. Or maybe you can get your cat to do the deed for you, if they like chasing the red dot.

Charmin’s SmellSense bathroom smell detector


Above: Charmin’s SmelllSense

Image Credit: Charmin

Charmin has come up with a prototype that sniffs your bathroom for bad No. 2 smells. If it detects them, it will tell you “no go” if you query whether it is safe to go into the bathroom. It also demoed a Rollbot to bring you a roll of toilet paper while you are on the pot, as well as a porta potty with a VR headset.

Laser hair growth

Above: HairMax will give you a baseball cap to boost hair growth.

Image Credit: HairMax

I’ve heard of laser hair removal. But HairMax from Boca Raton, Florida is showing off the first device to treat hair loss and stimulate hair growth with Lexington lasers, which have been the subject of seven clinical studies. The company says the cap can help you grow 129 new hairs per square inch.

Opte Precision Skincare

For about a decade, Thomas Rabe has been trying to figure out how to apply serum and makeup to just the parts of our faces that need it. The result, incubated by P&G Ventures, is the Opte Precision Skincare blemish remover. It uses inkjet technology to spray micro dots of serum on your blemishes to make them go away. I tried it last year, and now the device is smaller and more affordable. It will launch by this summer at a yet-to-be-determined price. As you can see from the video I took this year, it really works.