Yoga robots and dog collars for fat pets: most bizarre tech products at CES 2016

The technology was showcased at the annual show in Las Vegas

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 January, 2016, 4:33pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 January, 2018, 11:57am

The annual CES came to a close last weekend, so here’s a round-up of some of the most bizarre technology showcased at the tech show in Las Vegas this year.

1) Samsung Welt

South Korean electronics juggernaut Samsung jumped onto the fitness bandwagon and showcased its brand new Samsung Welt wearable at CES this year.

The Welt, which is essentially a leather belt and activity tracker combined, collects data from its user such as number of steps, calories burned and even has a notification feature when it senses that a user has been sitting for too long. Like most activity trackers, the Welt transmits the data it collects to an accompanying smartphone app.

The wearable also automatically measures and tracks the user’s waistline and eating habits – the app will alert you to overeating if it senses an increase in belt tension.

But Samsung seems to have neglected one crucial question – who would wear a leather belt while going on a jog or a quick cycle around the park?

No price or availability has yet been announced for the Samsung Welt.

2) G2G Scarf

Taiwanese firm Moai unveiled its bizarre solution to keep you warm and toasty in winter – a US$150 electric scarf, which is unlike any scarf you’ve ever seen.

Simply called the G2G Scarf, the device resembles a clunky, plastic dog collar that is placed around the neck. The device can be set to heat up and to keep the user warm on bitter wintry nights, or to cool one down on sweltering summer days.

The G2G Scarf runs on an external battery pack that holds a charge of 10 hours, and is designed to fit in your coat pocket. (At this point, it is unclear where one should place the battery pack in the summer.)

Moai’s sales director Jeff Huang was quoted as saying that the next version of the G2G Scarf could come with a massage option to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.

The G2G scarf will be available in the later part of January.

3) Alpha 2 Robot

Have you always wanted to do yoga at home with a robot, but could never find that perfect robot yogi? Fret not, for the Alpha 2 robot by China-based company UBTECH has 20 joints that can replicate human motion, making the robot ‘as flexible as a yogi’, according to the company.

Yoga companion aside, the robot can double up as a “personal photographer and videographer” and a “DJ, dancer and singer”, just in case it’s always been your lifelong dream to have a robot dance for you while it plays you a list of today’s Top 10 pop hits.

Other features also include notifications on the weather, and the ability to make calls, send emails and provide reminders.

The Alpha 2 robot can be pre-ordered on UBTECH’s Indiegogo crowdfunding page from US$1,299.

4) I’mUp makeup compact with built-in portable charger

Ladies, are you frustrated that you have to carry separate items of a powder compact and a powerbank in your purse? Italy-based company Melyly has a solution to your problem.

Melyly’s I’mUp makeup compact has a portable charger built-in into the product, and is described as “innovative makeup” and a “Italian luxury accessory” by the company. With the I’mUp makeup compact, charging your smartphone while touching up your makeup can now be a reality.

In October last year, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for the I’mUp makeup compact, but later cancelled the campaign due to a “lack of backers”. At the time of cancellation, the company had only raised €1296, or 3 per cent of its expected €45,000 goal.

Despite the weak market demand, the Melyly wrote an update on the campaign page saying that the company will go ahead with production anyway because they can “ensure the mass production of I’mUp” and claimed that the I’mUp project is “doing great”.

The I’mUp can be purchased for €84 (US$92) on the Melyly website.

5) PitPat dog activity monitor

Activity trackers for humans may have been trendy over the last two years, but in 2016, the trendiest wearable devices are for your pets.

If you have an obese dog, perhaps it’s time to get it a PitPat activity monitor to motivate it to run outside more and shed those pounds. The device is a small piece of hardware on a collar, which is to be place around your pet’s neck.

The PitPat device offers a recommended amount of activity for your dog based on its breed, and records data such as steps and heart rate. The data is then transmitted to an accompanying app on your smartphone so you can track your pet’s progress and “find out what your dog has done while you have been apart”, according to PitPat.

If a PitPat activity tracker is something your heart (and dog) desires, it is available for purchase on PitPat’s website at £39.99 (US$58). The wearable is currently only available to customers in the UK, and international customers will have to sign up for a waitlist.