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Business

January 13, 2013

Wacky gadgets exhibited at CES

LAS VEGAS (AP) — From the iPotty for toddlers to the 1,600-pound mechanical spider and the host of glitch-ridden “smart” TVs, the International CES show is a forum for gadget makers to take big — and bizarre — chances.

Many of the prototypes introduced at the annual gadget show over the years have failed in the marketplace. But the innovators who shop their wares here are fearless when it comes to pitching new gizmos, many of which are designed to solve problems you didn’t know you had.

A search for this year’s strangest (and perhaps least useful) electronic devices yielded an extra-loud pair of headphones from a metal band, an eye-sensing TV that didn’t work as intended and more. Take a look:

MOTORHEADPHONES

Bass-heavy headphones that borrow the names of hip-hop luminaries like Dr. Dre have become extremely popular. Rock fans have been left out of the party — until now. British metal band Motorhead, famous for playing gut-punchingly loud, is endorsing a line of headphones that “go to eleven” and are hitting U.S. stores now.

Says lead singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister, explaining his creative input: “I just said make them louder than everybody else’s. So that’s the only criteria, and that it should reflect every part of the sound, not just the bass.”

The Motorheadphone line consists of three over-the-ear headphones and six in-ear models. The initiative came from a Swedish music-industry veteran, and distribution and marketing is handled by a Swedish company, Krusell International AB.

WHO IT’S FOR: People who don’t care about their hearing. According to Kilmister, the headphones are ideal for Motorhead fans. “Their hearing is already damaged, they better buy these.”

PRICE: Prices range from $50 to $130.

EYE-SENSING TV

A prototype of an eye-sensing TV from Haier didn’t quite meet viewers eye-to-eye. An on-screen cursor is supposed to appear where the viewer looks to help, say, select a show to watch. Blinking while controlling the cursor is supposed to result in a click. In our brief time with the TV, we observed may quirks and comic difficulties.

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