retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Among the Eye-Opening devices on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week:

• DnaNudge, which the Associated Press describes as collecting "your DNA through a cheek swab and sends data related to nutrition to a wristband. Have a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure? Maybe the wristband will tell you to stay away from salty snacks. You scan the barcode on a product, and the wristband turns red or green to indicate whether it may be good for you."

• Coffee maker Keurig is out with a new machine - that mixes drinks. Drinkworks by Keurig, the AP writes, "sells for $299 and can make cosmopolitans and fizzy drinks, such as vodka sodas. Each pod makes one cocktail and costs about $4." (You have to provide your own alcohol - the pods are just the mixers.)

• Samsung unveiled "Ballie," said to be a concept for a "robot friend." According to the AP, "In its keynote at CES, Samsung showed the bright yellow ball — about the size of a baseball — rolling behind H.S. Kim, CEO of the company’s consumer electronics division. It kept its distance from Kim when asked to, and a video showed Ballie as a companion to pets at home alone … The technology within Ballie is anything but simple. The artificial intelligence companion has a camera that can record and send video. Ballie can communicate with other smart devices around the house."

In other words, three items that replace actual people - the nagging parent, the bartender, and the friend.

I'll leave it to you to decide whether this is progress or not.
KC's View: