Gadget show’s quirky new products are more about want than need
NEW YORK — From a 3-D pen that lets kids safely doodle with melted plastic to an electrically charged glass that makes beer taste bubblier, there was no shortage of fun and quirky gadgets at this year’s CE Week.
Here are five notable gadgets from the annual, three-day gadget show that is meant as a showcase for products coming out for the holidays.
‘Penning’ a sculpture: There’s now a kid-safe version of the 3Doodler 3-D printing pen, which melts sticks of colored plastic into goo that shoots out of the pen tip to create 3-D sculptures. With both versions, the plastic hardens quickly, so you can draw into the air without worrying about your creation collapsing. The kids’ version for ages 8 and up has no hot parts. The plastic coming out is cool enough to touch. The kid-friendly set costs $50, half the price of the regular version, and will be in stores in a few months.
Screenless gaming: ROXs, billed as a “real-life gaming console,” is designed to get gamer kids active and away from their screens. The kit from A-Champs comes with three ROXs, which look like flat stones about the size of a saucer. You strap them to kids, trees or just about anything else and choose one of 10 games. “Crazy Chicken,” for instance, challenges kids touch as many as they can, as fast as they can, as the gadgets beep and light up. The starter package is expected to sell for $130 through the company’s website.
Breaking the mold: Decibullz touts its earbuds as the first to be both custom and wireless. The $120 product are made of a plastic that softens in hot water. The putty conforms to the inside shapes of your ears and hardens in about two minutes for a comfortable fit, especially for people with uniquely shaped ears. If you don’t get it right the first time, just start over. And don’t worry about mixing electronics and water. The buds come off the wireless headset while you’re adjusting the fit.
Supercharged drink: Global Ionics has a glass that uses a small amount of electric current to boost the flavor and fizziness of drinks, be it flavored water, fruit juice or wine. The current is generated by one AAA battery housed in the base of the glass. The current flows from the glass through its beverage into the mouth. During a demo, the charge gave beer a pleasant extra fizziness when taking little sips. But it can make your face numb when you drink continually so don’t overdo it. It’s still in the idea stage.
HD in 3-D: GoPro cameras are great for action footage, but they don’t shoot in 3-D. Vitrima has a clip-on 3-D lens for it that costs $80 through Indiegogo. Vitrima plans to start shipping them next month and is in talks to get them on store shelves.