Every month here at KnowTechie (or for as many months as the patience remains to write such a thing), we’re going to take a look at some of the most question-mark-inspiring, most this-could-be-innovative, most ridiculously inane, weird, and sometimes pointless whack tech that somehow made it through the approval process and into the marketplace.
If you regularly read this column (mom), then you may have noticed there was no whack tech selection for January. Pickings were slim, so the editorial decision (unilateral) was made to skip January and let things compile for February. That being said, this month’s list is comprehensive indeed, with products and services that will tickle your little tech-minded brain and entice you with a future of endless possibilities (and weirdness).
With well over a dozen items on the list this month, there is no shortage of something for everyone. Satisfaction is guaranteed, the future is here and all up in your face. 2021 has already proven itself to be a much more bright and hopeful year, not necessarily erasing the darkness of the last four, but at least giving us some sliver of positive energy. These tech products will only serve to enhance those feelings, as they exist solely to make our lives better.
Talk about value added. This year at virtual CES, toilet tech was on full virtual display. The Toto Wellness Toilet concept hopes to someday analyze your butt blasts and bladder spray to suggest ways you can improve your internal health.
It would work via a connected app so you could post your results to Facebook, kind of a fecal Crossfit. Kohler also displayed more of its touchless toilet and faucet line, though it seems at least one part of you has to touch the toilet, it’s inevitable if you don’t want a mess on the floor.
There is no shortage of countertop drink machines on the market, from coffee to smoothies to alcoholic beverages, there is a machine for everything. Well, the ColdSnap machine is another addition to that way of life, creating frozen treats in, well, a snap.
Everyone knows the dirtiest thing in the restaurant business is the shake machine, and now you want one on your counter? Sure, it’s cute to be able to make frozen coffee or yogurt on the go, but in order to not give yourself a reason to run to the touchless toilet, you’ve gotta keep the thing clean. It’s no Juicero, but the ColdSnap is just another thing to keep clean.
Nooka is a startup that is looking to disrupt the co-working world, by renting out backyard office sheds to create a home office without having to commute to a co-working space (that are likely shut down anyway). It’s adorable, stupid, and is aimed at a luxury audience that can probably afford to just buy a nice shed and keep it.
It appears to be a concept right now, with only one customer testimonial, as well as European-focused. The monthly fee starts from €299/month, which is a hell of a lot to pay for relative peace and quiet. Just go work in the garage like the rest of us.
Put a double-wide in your backyard and rent that out. Because that’s something we all can easily do. Modular offices, living spaces are the future. The future easily blown away by a hurricane.
Taiwanese animated news videos are something to behold. Now that style has been turned on the world of viruses to better educate the populace through delightfully weird animation. You won’t need LSD for this trip.
One of the most frustratingly enjoyable things about being a parent is tearing apart the living room to build a pillow fort for the kids. It’s fun, but it’s also a mess. It’s clean fun, but it’s also an annoying exercise in gravity and physics.
Well, now those problems are a thing of the past thanks to FORT, Magnetic Pillow Fort (strange title for a Kickstarter). It’s a magnetic pillow fort. As of this writing, it’s at $3,055,626 of its $25,000 goal with 50 hours to go. Oddly though, the first two pledges are for non-magnetic forts, but I have no idea why you’d want one of those. Forget the Nooka, set up your home office in a pillow fort.
No one wants to wear a watch-like thing that sprays hand sanitizer. While the SprayCare Band reached its fundraising goal, not enough people are going to want to replace their smartwatches or fancy Bulova with hand sanitizer.
It doesn’t have long-term potential and is another in a long line of products profiting off the pandemic (nothing wrong with that, just speaks to longevity). Just buy a bottle of hand sanitizer for a buck if you feel you need it.
Barely meeting its Kickstarter goal is this hairdryer for pets. I just don’t think people realize the full application of this thing. Sure, you could dry your dog with it, but you could also dry your genitals with it. That’s worth the price of admission. It’s not an Autoblow Josiah, settle down.
This Kickstarter comes from an 8-year-old kid tired of losing the Roku remote. It’s a massive case for Roku remotes that make it impossible to lose the damn things.
There was a point in my working-at-home life within the past couple years when I attempted to create a camera stand that stood in the center of my monitor so it appeared that I was actually making eye contact with co-workers. Then I realized that I spend most of the time talking to the sides of their faces through their irresponsibly placed laptops, so I gave up on that idea. Fuck it. Who cares?
Well, apparently enough people do to have fully backed this camera that hangs down the center of your monitor or laptop screen, so you can make eye contact with whomever you are talking to while porn runs on silent in the background.
Scientists have bio-engineered spinach plants to act as nanotechnology-enabled sensors to detect explosives, irregularities in the environment, and apparently, send emails. It’s the future you never asked for, here, today. Sure, robots might rise up and kill us all, but they’ll have help from spinach. Popeye is rolling over in his grave.
This seven-screen laptop from UK-based Expanscape is called the Aurora 7 (logically) and boasts an entire hour of battery life. It’s a beast of a thing that seeks to appeal to our desire to have as many screens in our faces as possible during waking hours. I feel emasculated with my mere four monitors.
It’s not for sale yet, is the size of a cinder block, and is packed with the latest hardware. It won’t be cheap. It should be noted that the Expanscape website is down, which means this thing is either sold out or doesn’t really exist. It’s ok, we don’t need it anyway.
You know those shitty hotel safes? The ones that make you think that maybe you should get a small safe for your house to contain your passport, birth certificates, Ruger pistol, and perhaps a baggie of emergency weed? Well, the Smart Safe is the technologically superior safe that can also charge devices while in storage. It’s got a 10-inch touch display, allows remote access, and multiple users (just in case, shit happens). It will notify you via app or SMS if the accelerometer sensors pick up any movement or if one of your damn kids is trying to steal your emergency weed.
Additionally, the Space Safe is built with 256 AES bit encryption. That’s 115,792,089,237,316,195,423,5 0,985,008,687,907,853,269,984 665,640,564,039,457,584,007,9 3,129,639,936 possible combinations. It’s not waterproof or fireproof though, and requires hard power. So, it’s not perfect but fairly close.
In my estimation, if the COVID-19 vaccine didn’t fully roll out this year (i.e., if that orange white nationalist was re-elected), then we’d have gotten to the point of full face masks as a necessity. As it stands, this MicroClimate full face mask with built-in fans can remain in the 1950s science fiction books from whence it came. It’s ridiculous. No one wants to live like that. Not until we move to Mars at least.
And according to Kevin, jack you off. So we’ve got that to look forward to as it concerns the future of robotics.
I’m not even sure where to start with this one. It’s a therapy robot that is responsive to touch and has a tail. It’s a round cat butt, but not. It’s a Furby without the face and attitude. It’s an animal skin but not. It’s a cushion with a tail that you can caress to make you feel better. I’d feel guilty if I made a joke about trying to fuck this thing, but I wouldn’t put it past some of you. It’s a purposeful piece of therapeutic tech, but it’s really weird to look at.
Whew. What a wild start to 2021. Who knows what tech marvels are in store for the rest of the year.