Friday, April 19, 2024

Talking Toilets and Silver Skivvies

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s premiere launchpad for the latest and greatest in technology. With over 4,000 exhibiting companies, it’s not surprising that some of the debutantes on parade raise a few eyebrows. Here are six of the strangest health and wellness products that were showcased this year:

Kohler Numi Toilet

A voice-activated toilet may not be at the top of most people’s wish lists, but Kohler’s Numi seeks to fill the non-existent niche. Featuring mood lighting, a foot warmer, music playback and a deodorizer, it certainly promises to make your stay in the bathroom a more pleasant one. While the Numi may seem like a frivolous use of US$6,000, it does have some very tangible benefits. Its advanced bidet functionality provides convenient hygiene to people with limited range of movement.

Spartan Silver-Lined Underwear

We’ve become a cellphone culture, and that may have an impact on our health. Radio frequency signals from our phones may be harmful, which is not good news for those of us who carry our potential doom in our pockets. Thank heavens for silver-lined underwear, which promises to provide an impenetrable barrier against potentially harmful signals, blocking 99 percent of phone and wi-fi radiation. Unfortunately, silver does not come cheaply, so you may just want to house your cellphone elsewhere for now.

SKIIN Underwear

If silver-lined underwear is beyond your budget, you can buy an eight-pack of smart undergarments for US$499. The SKIIN line tracks heart rate, breathing, temperature and more through a network of tiny sensors and conductive yarn.

Philips Smart Sleep

Technology has saturated our waking lives to the point that sleep becomes the next natural frontier. CES 2018 witnessed a host of devices promising to improve our sleep and track every aspect of our night, but Phillips set themselves apart by showcasing a product that promised to improve sleep quality. Its wearable device contains sensors that trigger audio interventions to enhance the depth and duration of our sleep. It’s a fantastic idea, despite the fact that the device itself looks like a cross between an eye mask and a backwards baseball cap.

Reliefband 2.0

If this product works, it could be revolutionary, but for now we must wait and see. The Reliefband 2.0 claims to stop nausea and motion sickness by tapping into the median nerve in your wrist, sending a gentle pulse through the nervous system to the part of your brain that registers nausea.


We’ve already discussed the Somnox sleep robot, and while its intentions are good, they are a little alien. The Somnox is a kidney-shaped cushion that “breathes” through a gentle rise and fall, a pattern conducive to sleep. This is all fine, unless you begin to ponder the implications of spending a night hugging a breathing piece of upholstery.




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