The worst gadgets of CES 2017, this week on The CultCast

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Bluetooth hair brushes, smart refrigerators, dancing robots—welcome to CES 2017.
Bluetooth hair brushes, smart refrigerators, dancing robots—welcome to CES 2017.
Photo: Engadget

CES2017 This week on The CultCast: We run you through the most ridiculous gizmos at CES 2017 — stuff that nobody on earth actually needs. Then we spice things up with our most hotly anticipated tech of 2017.

And finally, we’re gonna be real with you guys…. Apple had a rough 2016. But that’s all behind us now. It’s a new year. It’s a fresh start. We discuss what Apple needs to get right in 2017.

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Best HomeKit-compatible smart home devices from CES 2017

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ces_homekit
HomeKit devices are spawning fast.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

CES2017 The jury’s still out on whether HomeKit will really take over our homes and all the smart devices in them, but new HomeKit-compatible devices continue to pop up all the time. At CES 2017 in Las Vegas this week, vendors showed off a bunch of them, from light switches to security cameras.

Here’s our roundup of the best.

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While Apple goes thin, Windows PCs go fat at CES 2017

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Need extra ports? Have fun lugging this beast around.
Need extra ports? Have fun lugging this beast around.
Photo: Acer

CES2017 Apple got some serious flak from fans when it unveiled its new MacBook Pro at the end of 2016, but if CES 2017 is any indicator, Apple’s not in danger of being out innovated by PCs anytime soon.

The MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar may not be a phenomenal innovation. And its four USB-C ports mean you’ll need some dongles. But when looking at the competition, the MacBook Pro is hands-down the sleekest, most useful and most beautiful laptop you can get in the world right now.

Look at these embarrassing Windows laptops:

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Track how drunk you are with this Apple Watch accessory

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The BACtrack Skyn puts a blood-alcohol sensor on your wrist.
The BACtrack Skyn puts a blood-alcohol sensor on your wrist.
Photo: BACtrack

Getting a reading of your blood-alcohol content levels is about to become as easy as glancing at your Apple Watch.

The first-ever wearable alcohol monitor made its debut at CES in Las Vegas this week, giving drinkers a new option for keeping track of whether or not they’re fit to get behind the wheel.

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At 80, Polaroid’s new gear embraces the past while eyeing the future

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The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
The Polaroid booth at CES 2017 in Las Vegas shows the company's embrace of the past as it moves forward.
Photo: Polaroid

CES2017 The iPhone and Instagram get credit for being the first shoot-and-share social network, but even Steve Jobs would say that’s wrong. The Polaroid camera introduced a social component to taking pictures in the late 1940s, the first instant photography with three steps — shoot, shake and share.

Polaroid brought disruptive innovation to the market and also became a casualty of it when it failed to change course in time to be part of the digital photography revolution.

But a new version of Polaroid is thriving and even stirring up some buzz this week at CES in Las Vegas with new products covering iPhone photography, consumer 3D printing, camera drones and fun cameras that produce an on-the-spot print.

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Sennheiser’s new earbuds let you record 3D audio on your iPhone

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These headphones record audio in 3D.
These headphones record audio in 3D.
Photo: Sennheiser

CES2017 At a time when most headphone manufacturers are embracing the wireless earbuds, Sennheiser has decided to unveil one of the smartest pairs of wired earbuds ever created.

Yes, you can listen to your tunes on the new AMBEO Smart Surround earphones and the music will sound great. But what sets the new buds apart from every other pair debuting at CES is these ones come with the ability to record 3D audio using only your iPhone.

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These smart wireless earbuds make AirPods look dumb

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Nuheara IQbuds work like regular wireless earbuds, but add
Nuheara IQbuds work like regular wireless earbuds, but add "augmented hearing" to the mix so you can focus on a conversation.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

CES2017 SAN FRANCISCO — Apple packed some amazing tech into its weird-looking AirPods. But to Nuheara co-founder David Cannington, Apple’s white-hot wireless earphones are just “dumb wireless.”

Sure, AirPods let you listen to music, take phone calls and tap into Siri, but they represent a missed opportunity because they don’t solve a crucial problem faced by many people in the modern world: hearing what’s going on around them.

As you might have guessed, Cannington’s company tackled this problem with a new product that launched at CES this week. Nuheara’s IQbuds are smart, truly wireless earbuds that do more than just make calls and deliver high-fidelity audio to your ears. They make it possible to carry on conversations in noisy environments like restaurants, bars and even massive Las Vegas trade shows.

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Razer built an insane gaming laptop with 3 screens

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projvalerie
Project Valerie is the coolest laptop... ever.
Photo: Razer

CES2017 Razer’s gaming laptops are some of the finest you can get your greasy mitts on, but none of them compare to the insane prototype the company teased today at CES in Las Vegas.

Dubbed “Project Valerie,” it’s the world’s first laptop with three screens — two of which gracefully slide away when you don’t need them.

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Twelve South makes the world’s first armband for Apple Watch

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ActionSleeve puts your Apple Watch on your arm.
ActionSleeve puts your Apple Watch on your arm.
Photo: Twelve South

CES2017 The Apple Watch is an ideal workout partner, but it’s not a good idea to have things around your wrist during certain activities.

Now you can wear your Apple Watch on your arm with ActionSleeve from Twelve South. It’s the world’s first armband for Apple Watch, and it made its debut today at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.

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