NEW YORK — Imagine staring deep into the foam of your espresso drink and seeing a face looking back at you. Or how about using the charge in your fingers to clean your teeth?
At the CE Week gadget show in New York last week, there were several standouts amid the sea of smartphone chargers and 3-D printers. Some are set to hit stores near you in the not-too-distant future. Here’s a look at some of the more fun items:
If you think a puppy is too much responsibility for your child, how about a mini robot Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Using location technology, the MiPosaur can chase after a matching ball, go for a walk with its owner and even dance and make happy sounds. The exceptionally cute robots will go on sale in August at major retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us. The combination of a MiPosaur and a ball will cost about $120.
WowWee, the MiPosaur’s parent company, also showed off its REV battle cars. For $100 you can get a pair of race cars controlled by a smartphone or tablet app. Players use the cars to chase and shoot at each other. Lights and sounds signal a hit. Those who can’t find a partner can choose a computerized bad guy to play against.
Ripples combines 3-D and ink-jet printer technologies to paint a picture on top of any foam-covered drink using coffee extract. Baristas can choose a preloaded design or upload their own over Wi-Fi, such as a picture of the person receiving the drink or corporate logos.
The Israeli company behind it, Stream CC, says it has a deal to introduce the machines in Lufthansa’s first- and business-class lounges this year.
The $999 machine will be available to commercial establishments that serve coffee.
For the beer aficionado who wants to experience the frothy head of a properly poured draft beer at home, there is Fizzics.
The personal beer dispenser takes beer from any store-bought can, bottle or growler and applies some magic to give it the bubbles and taste of something straight from the tap.
The invention was funded by an Indiegogo campaign that raised about $148,000, nearly triple its goal. Commercial sales are expected to start in September, with the machines retailing for nearly $200.
Given the job possibilities down the road, it’s never too early to start teaching your kids how to code.
Ozobot aims to do just that. By drawing lines in various colors, kids as young as 7 can tell the pingpong-ball-sized robot to do things like go forward, backward or spin around.
While the original Ozobot has been around for a while, an updated version is geared at older children. Rather than draw colored lines, kids program the Ozobot on a computer. The new Ozobots are $60 on Amazon.
The Ionic ProClean toothbrush, about $10, generates ions negative by creating a circuit involving the moistened toothbrush and a person’s palm or finger. The company says the completion of the circuit gets ions flowing. The ions then polarize plaque fluid, causing tooth enamel to repel it. This loosens and removes plaque.
A small light on the brush indicates when this is happening.