There are innovations and then there are ‘innovations’. Here’re some of the more interesting items unveiled at the year’s biggest technology show in Las Vegas…

Showroom CES 2017

The (just finished) Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a hotbed of innovation, but it’s also a haven for the bizarre. From smart underwear to wearable air purifiers, join us as we take a look at some of the more… Interesting inventions at this year’s show. Though they may not be life-changing, they’re bound to bring a smile.

Hushme – the world’s first voice mask for mobile

Sick of pesky colleagues taking loud phone calls in open plan offices? Or maybe they’re tuning in to your super-secret convos? Hushme has you covered – literally. Simply snap the Hushme mask together in front of your mouth and, paired with the Hushme Bluetooth earphones, it keeps every conversation confidential. Still concerned your nosey neighbours might make sense of your muffled murmurs? Simply pump up the masking sounds and let the handy external speaker transform your chat into the dulcet tones of wind, rain, squirrels or even R2-D2. Hushme is expected to retail for a mere US $200 (around £160) later in the year. Office woes be gone!

Kerastase Hair Coach – the smart hair brush
Put bad hair days behind you and say hello to luscious locks. This connected hairbrush senses how you’re brushing your hair, detects your hair’s health and even lets you know if you need to wash it soon via its partner app. It has a weather sensor, too, so you’ll get a heads-up when humidity’s high. Its built-in accelerometer knows whether you’re brushing near your roots or ends, and haptic feedback in the handle alerts you when you’re brushing too hard. Bet you thought brushing your hair was just brushing your hair right? Retailing for under US $200 (around £160) the Hair Coach will be available from mid-2017.

Cerevo Taclim – the world’s first VR shoes

As expected, VR was a big focus at this year’s CES, but one product that really stood right out was the Cerevo Taclim shoes. Using haptic feedback, this sandal-like footwear provides its wearer with the feeling of stepping into a virtual world by simulating different surfaces such as sand, grassland or water. They even let you kick virtual butt, simulating the feeling of contact with your enemy’s body or shield. According to Cerevo, the Taclim system will arrive later this year for between US $1,000 and $1,500 (around £820–£1,230).

Aurai – the world’s first water-propelled eye massager
Suffering the after effects of too much screen time? You need the Aurai eye massager. With the option of warm compress or cool compress, this massager uses water and wave technology to gently relieve eye strain without potential harmful vibrations. Plus, it comes in three stylish colour options: metallic rose, silver or metallic jeans, so you can look good while you alleviate the after effects of all your VR gameplay – for just US $199 (around £160).

Jager and Lewis smart collar – the wearable for your dog

Chances are you’re tracking your fitness, but what about that of your best friend? The Jager and Lewis smart dog collar, designed by a veterinarian and dog behavourist, promises to help you better understand your canine companion. Its patented sensing technology detects pain, stress, barking and even your doggy’s sleep patterns, so you’re never in the dark when it comes to your pooch’s mood or health. Got a rough and tumble pup? Don’t worry, this collar’s waterproof. And it works for any size – from chihuahua to great dane. The collar goes on sale this month for US $200 (around £160).

Sensorwake Oria – enhance your sleep quality through smell
Want to drift off to the calming aroma of powdered rose, peach and pear or perhaps fresh linen with soap and sandalwood? Well, you may just be in luck. Oria by Sensorwake, the same people who brought you the Olfactory Alarm Clock, is gearing up to enhance your sleep quality with the restorative power of scent. Unlike its predecessor, Oria is more interested in enhancing your time in bed rather than helping you get up. Described by Sensorwake as “a smart, intuitive and non-intrusive device” Oria’s two patented scents are specifically designed to help you relax and fall asleep faster, and stay asleep better and longer. Sounds dreamy at US $149 (around £120).

Airdog Fitair – the air purifier for your face

If you’re concerned about air quality, this could be just the thing you’re after. Simply strap the Airdog Fitair to your arm, pop the mask over your face and breathe in a fresh stream of purified air. So crisp, so clean, it’s almost like you’re in the Canadian Rockies – except you’re not; you’re walking around with an air purifier on your arm. Still, could be a great weapon in the war against allergies and air pollution at just US $100 (around £80).

Spartan underwear – the pants that block radiation
It seems everything’s ‘smart’ at CES, right down to your underwear. This year Spartan unleashed their ‘smart’ boxer shorts designed to counter the potential effects of carrying a smartphone in your pocket. Silver woven throughout the material creates an electromagnetic shield, while its anti-bacterial properties are said to keep them fresh and odour free. They will set you back a bit more than your standard jocks however, at US $45 (around £37) a pop.

Foldimate – the automated clothes folder
Speaking of underwear, wouldn’t life be so much easier if you didn’t have to fold them? At about two-thirds the size of your washer or dryer, the Foldimate can fold a typical load of laundry in about three minutes. However, despite the slick results, it’s not a completely hands-off process – you do still need to clip every item of clothing onto two hooks one-by-one. While the price isn’t set in stone, it is expected to retail for somewhere between US $700 and $850 (around £575–£700), with working prototypes available later in the year.

Furrion’s Prosthesis – the first exo-bionic mech racing suit

Introducing an entirely new breed of human-powered machine. At nearly 14 feet tall and over 8,000 pounds, the Furrion Prosthesis is no shrinking violet. In fact, Furrion executives believe it’s the start of a brand new sport. This thing’s not a robot. Instead it amplifies its pilot’s movements, and by moving your arms and legs to activate its giant hydraulic limbs you could leap 10 foot in the air. Furrion say the next step is to finalise the digital interface dashboard and exo-bionic control frame for its racing debut this Spring. We say, watch this space.

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