Cleaning your teeth could soon take a fraction of the time with French engineers claiming they have come up with a brush that can polish your porcelain in just 10 seconds.
The wacky Y-Brush has been unveiled at the huge CES electronics event being held in Las Vegas.
Other genius – or possibly just mad capped – inventions at CES have included “emotionally available” robots; exercise bikes that are also office desks, a $770 gadget the manufacturer wants you to urinate on and 3D printed individualised vitamin supplements.
CES is the annual gathering of the consumer electronics industry where many products we’ll all soon be swooning over are shown off for the first time.
Big names like LG, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Canon and Bosch jostle for attention. But it’s often smaller and non tech focused manufacturers which have some of the wildest products.
10 second toothbrush
One of those companies is Y-Brush which launched its very odd looking toothbrush in the United States this month.
If you’re used to a standard long flat brush, the Y-Brush is something of an eye opener. Y-shaped, hence the name, it is designed so you put an entire set of gnashers in the brush all at once.
“You can brush your teeth in 10 seconds because you’re not doing each tooth one-by-one like a classic toothbrush, you’re doing all of them at the same time,” a company spokeswoman told news.com.au in Las Vegas.
“The handle creates a sonic vibration and to use you put it in your mouth, move it side to side, turn it upside down and do the same to your lower teeth”.
At five seconds per set, that’s just 10 seconds for all your pearly whites.
It may save you time but it won’t save you money with the Y-Brush retailing for the equivalent of $124 and new brush heads coming in at $44 each. No launch date has yet been set for Australia.
$770 gadget designed to be urinated on
Another French company raising eyebrows at CES is Withings. Mostly known for selling bathroom scales it’s now come up with a “hands free home urine lab” called U-Scan.
It’s more like “U-Pee,” as that’s what you have to do get a snapshot of your health as your urine reveals all.
The U-Scan looks like a loo block if such things were designed by Apple. The sleek, white streamlined device hangs in the bowl just like a Toilet Duck bleach cleaner might.
Coming it at a pricey $770, the disc is placed at the front of the bowl – all the better to capture a sprinkle from anyone sitting down.
All that’s needed is for a few drops to drip down the side of the disc to a small hole which then funnels the wee onto a testing strip. When it’s analysed your tinkle, it sends the results to an app. Different testing strips can look for different health markers – so for instance menstrual health or maybe nutrition like vitamin C and ketone levels.
So sensitive is the U-Scan, it can detect what is your pee and what’s is someone else’s. If it senses another “urine stream signature”, it ignores it.
Withings told news.com.au that by being in the loo, the U-Scan is cleaned with every flush.
Aside from the $770 cost for the device itself, every 90 days you’ll need a new testing module, inside the disc, which will cost another $130.
The U-Scan has yet to reach the market with the company still looking for approval from authorities.
3D printed health supplements
What is on the market right now is 3D printed skin health supplements which are individually created based on each customer’s needs.
Health firm Neutrogena, part of US pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson, has teamed up with personalised supplement firm Nourished to create the sugar free and vegan printed gummies.
“We want to explore all avenues that can contribute to keeping your skin’s vitals at their best,” said Neutrogena’s Roberto Khoury.
The first step is to downland an app and take a snap of your face and then answer a series of questions.
The company will then suggest a so-called “SkinStack” which is the name given to the individual supplement based on your skin needs. The gummies will then be 3D printed and shipped.
The first Neutrogena printed vitamins were sent to US consumers last week. A month’s supply costs $73. There’s no word yet on an Australian launch.
‘Emotionally available’ robots
If any invention was a bit cold and heartless, it’s the robot. All metal and monotone and devoid of human emotion.
Well maybe no more because Japanese firm Yukai Engineering has created the “emotionally available” robot.
The Bocco Emo is a friendly looking bit of tech that can recite voice and text massages. The makers have said it can “express sympathy” which in reality means its cheeks glow and it nods and makes noises when it reads out a positive message.
Yukai has also created a pillow which it claims can de-stress you. The Fufuly doesn’t look like much but hug it and you’ll feel it “breathe”, rising and falling like a human chest. The makers claim that it encourages the hugger’s heartbeat to get into synch with the robot pillow, calming you down in the process.
News.com.au gave the Fufuly a test run and, to be honest, we didn’t want to let go, it was that furry and comforting.
Robot that ‘gently bites’ you
What about a soft toy whose sole role is to munch on your fingers? Yukai also showed off the Amagami Ham Ham “nibbling pet”. You simply put your finger in its mouth and it nibbles away as it closes its eyes contentedly.
The sensation is “reminiscent of the gentle bites of babies and puppies,” the firm said, and just like the Fufuly, it’s designed to chill you out – even if it does look quite odd.
Talking of pillows, at CES, company 10 Minds showed off a pillow which it reckons can reduce snoring. It’s not new this year but it’s still making waves and being nominated for awards.
The Motion Pillow first learns to recognise your individual snoring sounds. Then when it detects snoring it inflates which moves the head and opens the airways and, hopefully, stops all the bloody racket. The company claims 93.7 per cent of people that used the Motion Pillow saw a snoring reduction.
The pillow costs around $550.
Bike desk that charges your laptop
We’re now used to standing desks but what about riding desks?
Laptop maker Acer unveiled the eKinekt 3 bike at CES – and it’s as weird as it sounds. It’s an exercise bike with a small desk attached with room for your computer which can be charged by the power of your pedalling.
“One hour of constant cycling at 60 RPM on the bike desk can generate 75 watts of self-generated power,” Acer said.
You can also charge your phone and there’s space for your coffee too.
Acer plans to sell the bike desk later this year in the US for the equivalent of $1500.
The reporter travelled to Las Vegas with the assistance of LG.