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More Internet of Silly Things to drool over

As featured in DisruptiveViews

You can always rely on the annual CES spectacle in Las Vegas to bring out the best, and worst, ideas for our digital future. But just when you thought you had seen all the possible Internet of Silly Things (IoST) ideas CES managed to pull some from the depths.

Take, for example, the perfect device for all those people that wonder what goes in their refrigerator after the door is closed. Now seriously, you have all wondered if the light stays on haven’t you. As a child you probably opened and closed the door a hundred times to try and work that out. Now you can simply insert a ‘Fridge Cam’ that not only answers that question but also keeps an eye on everything else that goes on ‘behind closed doors!’

The device, created by UK-based Smarter, mounts to the inside of your fridge with a suction mount. Using the Smarter app, you can take a quick snapshot of what’s inside your fridge and see what you might need to stock up on. And if there are blind spots in there you can add a Smarter Mat, a tiny pad that sits underneath your beverages in the fridge and notifies you via the app if a particular container is empty or full.

Brilliant, it won’t be long before they come up with something that eats and drinks the stuff in the fridge and tells by way of the app how good it tasted and analyzed the nutritional value of it. Oh, sorry, there is another IoST that does exactly that. A new gadget promises to reveal the nutritional value of your meal by scanning its chemical makeup.

Mashable reports that French startup DietSensor launched at CES a pocket-sized, Bluetooth-connected molecular sensor called SCiO. It uses near-infrared spectroscopy (the analysis of how molecules interact with light) to determine the chemical makeup of food and drink. SCiO can analyze substances based on how their molecules interact with light.

By the time you’re done with analysing and checking the nutritional worth of what you are about to eat with the help of a smartphone, app and the internet the food has either gone cold or been eaten by someone else that doesn’t care about nutrition.

Even more ‘essential’ is Procter & Gamble’s Wi-Fi connected scent dispenser that lets you make any room smell however you like right from your phone or tablet. Just think, you could be on your way home and decide that you want to freshen up the house before you get there. Probably a more functional use, but one that P&G marketeers may be reticent to promote is the ability to cover up any windy ‘indiscretions’ before other members of the household pick them up. Anyway, it beats blaming the dog.

The next IoST that replaces something works just fine and falls into the category of ‘why would you buy it?’ It’s the first and only Bluetooth Smart-enabled pregnancy test on the market. “First Response Pregnancy PRO connects to a woman’s smartphone through a mobile application. Once synced, the app provides her with pregnancy-related content only available with Pregnancy PRO, and delivers a personalized user experience throughout her entire pregnancy journey.”

OK, if you can’t understand the marketing gumpf let me just tell you this wonder of modern science looks and acts like the usual pregnancy tester, you know, the one that changes colour after contact with a urine sample. But this one has bells and whistles, it sends the results to your smartphone so you can see them via an app. Umm, didn’t the old one save a lot of trouble just by looking at it?

If that wonder of modern technology (and a little help from a friend) works, then the expectant mother can utilize what must be the most ridiculous IoST device ever thought up – the vaginal speaker – to play music to an unborn child at ‘very’ close range.

The website for Babypod states that is “recommended by a gynecologist and is the only device that has demonstrated to stimulate vocalization of babies before birth with music. Music activates language and communication stimulation centres, inducing a response of vocal movements. Babies learn to talk sticking out their tongues.” OK, enough of the scientific justification, but why not just play music externally or strap a speaker to a tummy? And how does a woman respond when someone asks “where is that music coming from?’

There is little doubt we have not seen the end of IoST action. I will keep you posted.

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