The Dad Does “Because We Say So” Awards for CES 2011

Karotz Smart Rabbit by Mindscape

Dad Does Awards for CES

This was the first Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that Dad Does has attended.  This means two things.  First, none of the other Consumer Electronics Shows count, since we weren’t there.  You can now start counting CES using A.D. years… “after Dad Does”.

Secondly, since we have now attended one CES, we are completely qualified to start handing out awards.  So, without further ado I give you the 2011 Dad Does “Because We Say So” Consumer Electronics Show Awards

Least Useless 3D Device At CES

Sony 3D Bloggie HD

Sony Bloggie 3D

If you have been reading our coverage of CES you know that 3D was EVERYWHERE!  You also know that Dad Does is not a big fan of all these crazy 3D devices.  The one 3D demo we saw that was somewhat impressive was for the Sony 3D Bloggie HD.  This is a small video camera, similar to the popular Flip cameras, that can record in 3D.  If you have one of the new 3D TVs, you can watch it on that.  If you want to send a 3D movie to someone, you can output it so it works with the old red and blue 3D glasses.

There are two things that impressed us with the Sony Bloggie 3D.  First, the footage shot with it looked pretty good.  Bubbles blown at the camera looked like they were coming at you and the quality is strong since it is a HD camera.  Second, it will sell for a reasonable $229.  At this price, it is not much of a price premium to get a 3D camera.   One of our major problems with 3D TVs is the lack of content, but if you can create movies of the kids throwing things at the 3D Bloggie that could be fun… for at lest a little while.

More Information: Sony 3D Bloggie HD

Most Useful Parent Product That You Hope You Never Need

Dry Pro Waterproof Cast and Bandage ProtectorDryPro WaterProof Cast and Bandage Protector

Do not adjust your computer, you are still reading an article about the Consumer ELECTRONICS Show.  Yes, it may seem a little odd that we have picked a product with absolutely nothing electronic in it, but let us explain.

Dry Corp was at CES showing off their very cool Dry Case line for phones, cameras and iPads.  The Dry Case uses a vacuum to pump out any air and then seals your gadet in a case so well that it is waterproof to 100 feet and you can still use your camera or phone while in the case.  So, we were ready to pick this as a cool gadget for vacations when the rep said, “Let me show you a life saver for parents“.

He showed us the information on the Dry Pro protector for casts and bandages and we were impressed.  It uses the same vacuum seal so that you put it over your cast, pump out the air and you are good to swim, bath and have fun.  Once you are home from the beach or pool, you can take the Dry Pro off and get out any itchy sand that got in.

Clearly if you have rented a summer house on the beach and the day before you leave, little Jessie breaks his arm trying to fly from chair to chair, you can see what a lifesaver this can be for any Mom or Dad.  So, it may not be electronic, but we saw it at CES and figure it is just one of those things parents should know exist…just in case.

More information at DryPro.

The “You Put What??? In The Dishwasher” Award

Waterproof,  Washable Keyboard  by Seal Shield

You are a parent.  You own a computer.  Let me show you some magic, by just knowing these two facts I will make a prediction – you have all types of crap and germs on your keyboard!  Kids, love them as we do, seem to see keyboards as bumpy napkins.  Those sticky little hands run all over the keyboard and you don’t even want to know about the studies that show that keyboards have more germs than a toilet seat (sorry, I think you do know now).

All of this, makes this demonstration amazing to us –

That is just sick!  A keyboard, mouse and remote you can just throw in the dishwasher?  I must be dreaming, but I am not, since I just pinched myself and it really hurt.

Learn more at Seal Shield.

UPDATE: We Now Have A Review on the Seal Shield Keyboard Here.

Gadget Most Likely To Ruin Your Marriage

Rotor Concept ID1 SWAT RC Helicopter

SWAT RC Helicopter

If you go the Vegas you need to be careful.  There are things that will temp you, things that are clearly too big to be real.  Silicone is everywhere you turn.   The things will call to you, literally, tell you it is okay to live a little, break out of your routine.  These things are much younger than the things you have in your life and they can do tricks that the  things you have in your life never dreamed of.  In other words, these temptations in Vegas can ruin your marriage.

We are of course talking about gadgets and the dangerous world of gadget lust.  You could make the argument that everything at CES is more than you need and more about having the latest and greatest.  You could however try to justify a faster PC to your wife by telling her it will make you more productive.  On the other hand, trying to justify a super cool giant RC helicopter with all types of flashing lights and a wireless video camera that cost $500 – a little harder to explain.

My addiction to RC helicopters is well documented here, so trying to walk by the Rotor Concept ID1 -SWAT RC Helicopter without buying it, is one of the hardest things I have ever done…

That is so incredibly cool and yet so incredibly unnecessary.  It does have a video camera on it, that could be good for… no, it is just a really cool tool.  Did you see the sign in the back – they had a show special – only $299 (normally $500) – what a cruel thing to do.  Wait, a bargain, my wife would understand I couldn’t pass up a bargain right???

To Ruin Your Marriage For More Information visit Rotor Concepts

[Side Note: Since I have the greatest wife in the world, she actually bought me the super cool Parrot AR Drone Helicopter – how cool is that.  Jealous yet?  Expect a full review soon.]

Best “Thank Goodness It’s Not Another Tie” Father’s Day Gift

Road Mice by Four Door Media

Some things were just made to be Father’s Day gifts and Road Mice is one of those things.  The concept is very simple, a computer mouse in the shape of your favorite car.  What is cool about the Road Mice is that they are actually licensed products from the car manufacturers, so they are very accurate replicas of the cars. In addition, they have headlights that go on and they just look cool.

They also had a guy doing the demo at CES who I think could have sold a used car to a used car salesmen…

For More Information: Road Mice

Best Keep It Simple Device

Big Stream – Wirelessly Stream Video to Your TV

Big Stream

As a single guy I loved cutting edge.  As a busy Dad I love simple and effective.  There must have been 50 devices at CES that could stream your video to various places, but they all looked complicated and probably had more features than most parents need.

I would love a device that could plug into my iPad or iPhone and wirelessly send videos, photos or music from my device to a TV.  If we were on vacation and the kids wanted to watch some movies from the iPad on the TV in the hotel – this would be great.  Ideally, this device would be very portable and cost under $100.

Big Stream promises to be exactly what I want!  Big Stream has a small transmitter that goes on your iDevice and then a receiver that plugs into the standard RCA jacks on your TV.  You turn on your iPhone and transmit to your TV.  No fancy streaming software to configure and best of all it will sell for under $100 (due out in February).

Big Stream is not for people looking for the best quality streaming of the most cutting edge features, but for parents who just want a simple way to get the media on their iPhones and iPads onto the TV, it looks like a winner.

More Information:  Big Stream

Strangest Use For a Robot

Dream Bots – A Massage Robot

Look I love robots.   I assume one day robots will take over the world, so I always try to be nice to robots, you know, just to stay on their good side.  Like when I saw this demo at CES…

I was right in front cheering and demanding that the robot enter win the next Dancing With The Stars.  However, there are some robots which are just a little too creepy to kiss up to.  Enter the Dream Bots by WheeMe

Sorry, but that is just a strange use of robots.  DreamBots just crawl all over your back and this is relaxing???  Clearly that DreamBot has other ideas, I think if you watch the video backwards, while holding it up to a mirror, you will see the DreamBot implants a mind controlling robot chip in her head.

If you dare to learn more:  Dream Bots WheeMe

Forget 3D, Smell Vision Is Back or The Idea That Will Not Die


Scent Sciences

I think it is now illegal to hold an electronics trade show and not have at least one company that is swearing that smell enhanced videos are the wave of the future.  At CES 2011 it was Scent Sciences who was showing off the ScentScape.  As stated on their website, “ScentScape® is an innovative digital scent delivery system which provides the extra dimension of scent to gaming, entertainment and other consumer markets. Scent Sciences’ technologies enriches the user experience by layering scents to enhance immersion and presence with unique delivery hardware, software and services.”

The idea is that you take your home videos and cue up smells that match up with your video.  Then, when you play back your video, the smells are released at the proper time and your audience is immediately transported to the sights, sounds and smells of your family vacation.  Combine this with 3D and people may never need to leave their homes again.   I can’t wait to use this on my cult favorite videos of the NYC Subway Public Bathrooms.

Learn More:  Scent Sciences

The Coolest Thing We Saw At CES

Drumroll please…

Karotz Smart Rabbit by Mindscape

The Karotz Smart Rabbit by Mindscape

How do we pick a freaky looking rabbit as the best product at CES?  With great hope and great fear – that’s how.  The Karotz may look like a silly toy but it is a full computer with a webcam, speaker, microphone, voice recognition, RFID reader and a ton of other stuff.   The Karotz can read your email to you, let you see how your kids are doing when you are 1,000 miles away.  It can talk to you, read to your kids and even let you know when your kids get home from school.  You can yell at the Karotz and it will respond.  Hell, your Karotz can even get married to other Karotz in the online community.

There is the big rabbit, then there are little rabbit key chains (which contain coded RFID tags).  The Rabbit can move its ears, and glow.  Creepy isn’t it…

Why We Have Great Hope for the Karotz

Before we left for CES we wrote a post on what parents look for in a gadget or electronics.    One of our key points was that Moms and Dads need gadgets that magically disappear into our hectic lives. We want incredible technology that will help make our lives easier and/or better, we just don’t want to see all that technology.  The Karotz has the potential to be exactly that.  It can be the Trojan Horse Rabbit that puts useful technology in our lives with a super simple interface.

Why We Have Great Fear Over the Karotz

The fear comes from the very real possibility that the Karotz is too good to be true.  We saw a prototype and heard more about the many applications then seeing them in action.  The technology behind Karotz was owned by another company that went bankrupt.  Perhaps this is all smoke and mirrors and the Karotz will never materialize or work in the way it is promised.  Still, we are in the mood to dream, so we hold out hope that the Karotz will come to life and make Moms and Dads lives a little better.  We will do all we can to get a unit to review and provide much more details in the future.

Of course there were many more products at CES that had more impressive technology, but we are suckers for user interface and devices that hide their power, rather than showing it off and this is why we pick the Karotz as our top product of CES 2011.

More Information:  Karotz Rabbits

These Are Not Reviews, Repeat These Are Not Reviews

As regular readers to Dad Does know – we hate reviews that are based on a press release or a quick demo at a trade show. If you want to read more on our philosophy on product reviews, take a look at our Real, Relevant and Riveting Product Review Pledge and How Dad Does Reviews are Different.

For now, we are reporting on cool things we saw at CES, but many are prototypes and how they work in the real world still needs to be tested. We hope to do full reviews of the units mentioned above in the coming weeks.

More CES Coverage On The Way:

Sure CES is over, but we are just getting started with our parent related coverage of CES. Over the next few days we will look at other great gadgets for Moms and Dads. Click Here To Read All Of Our CES Coverage.

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