Best 8 Offbeat Gadgets from CES 2013

From driverless cars to smart kitchens, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is heralding some great new tech toys, but it’s the offbeat inventions that are the most fun. Here are some of the more unusual (and occasionally bazaar) gadgets from the show:

1. HAPIfork. This handy little device tracks how fast you eat and how many times you shovel food into your mouth. The Bluetooth connected fork—which will retail for $99 later this year—has sensors that monitor your eating habits. When you eat too fast its buzzer goes off to remind you to slow down.

The HapiFork is dishwasher friendly and comes with rechargeable batteries. A companion app will track how fast you’ve been eating over time and allows you to compare your eating habits with friends and family members.

2. iPotty for tech-savvy toddlers. Having trouble keeping little Jimmy on the pot? Your troubles are over. This $40 potty is designed to have an iPad attached to it to keep your child occupied until business is completed. It comes with a splash guard in case you were wondering.

3. The Force Trainer. This cool device helps young Jedis develop their powers. Using “Advanced Brain Control Interface Technology” three neurosensors attached to a headset read and interpret brain waves so you can lift a ball in a tube using only the Force.

4. Extraterrestrial technology. The QuantumMan app for the SmartPhone diagnoses and heals your ailments with one simple touch, according to the mysterious Dr. X. This technology is based on “epiphanies” that Dr. X claims to have received from superior alien intelligence. In the same vein, the QuantumVet app is able to cure pets by using “a portal access key and quantum teleportation.”

5. Electronic filing cabinet. Because paperless is just so yesterday. This filing cabinet allows you to keep that old paper habit yet easily retrieve files. An app—which can be used on any computer device including a desktop, laptop, or tablet—maps the location of a selected folder and the corresponding cabinet drawer will unlock automatically as the drawer LED blinks. A red flashing LED on top of the requested folder will indicate the folder to be retrieved.

Users can search up to 100,000 folders for missing or checked-out folders, something that would take about 10 seconds. The archive can track up to four billion physical folders.

6. iMusic BodyRhythm massage vest. This vest sits over your shoulders and upper back. You can plug it into your iPhone and it will give you a rubdown to the beat of your favorite songs.

7. Vert. We have devices to measure activity and calories burned, so why not measure how high we can jump? This little matchbox sized device measures your altitude in inches and then sends the info to your mobile device so you can compare your jumps with friends.

8. Feedback from the flowers. Paris-based Parrot has designed a way for your leafy friends to communicate their feelings. A y-shaped sensor sticks into your plant’s soil and gives you lots of feedback about the plant and its environment via your mobile device. The Bluetooth smart low-energy sensor measures sunlight, temperature, moisture and fertilizer levels. You can use it either indoors or outdoors.

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