The dumbest products of CES 2013

Maybe these companies should've thought twice about showing off their wares

The dumbest products at CES 2013

While the annual CES extravaganza can be a place for companies to show off their great, ahead-of-the-curve technology, it can also be a place where companies flop big-time with their announcements. This is a look at the CES 2013 blooper reel.

See also:
CES 2013: The technology you'll actually want

Panasonic 4K tablet

This tablet's biggest selling point is its massive 20-inch, 4K (aka the new hi-def) screen, which would make it perfect for architects, designers, and other folks who could really benefit from the extra detail and screen space. One small problem, though: It doesn't have enough processing power to handle all that detail and real estate, so it lags like crazy even when doing basic touch manipulation. Panasonic might have wanted to address that before showing off the tablet.

HapiLabs Hapifork electronic fork

No, this isn't a gag from "The Jetsons" or "Futurama." This is an actual electronic fork. But it doesn't do fork-related activities for you; quite the contrary, in fact, as its purpose is to rein in your eating. The built-in motion sensor tracks how frequently you raise the fork from plate to mouth and beeps if you're eating too much or too fast. Of course, "too much" and "too fast" are relative terms, and it has no idea if you're shoveling in pounds of bacon-wrapped bacon or just savoring your peas one at a time, so the whole thing an exercise in pointlessness -- as one would expect of an electronic fork.

Acer's 'Retina-class' tablet

One of the big themes for this year's CES is 4K/high-def. Acer joined in this theme in showing off a tablet with what the company claimed is a "Retina-class display." But Acer didn't quite seem to understand how Retina displays work: Apple increased definition by increasing pixel density (each pixel is essentially broken into four pieces). Acer, meanwhile, just threw more pixels on the screen, which means it shrinks screen images in order to make them high-def. It's not quite the same thing, Acer, and not exactly a breakthrough.

Haier eye-controlled TV

In an apparent attempt to make laziness an art form, Haier has come up with a TV that users control with their eyes -- because holding a remote in your hand and pressing buttons with your thumb is just too taxing. The idea is that the TV comes with a sensor apparatus that tracks users' eye movements to move an on-screen cursor around (blinking is like clicking). The problem? It doesn't work all that well -- and it hardly works at all if the user is wearing glasses. Also: Do we need eye-controlled TVs?

CTA Digital iPotty

No, this is not a joke. It's a real thing, and it's exactly what it looks like: a toilet-training potty with an iPad holder attached to it. Really, CTA Digital?

Sony's 4K TV blue-screens during demo

This is not necessarily dumb technology, but it is a reminder that it's best to demo technology that won't fail during your presentation.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.