The Consumer Electronics Show rolls into Las Vegas next week, from January 6-9, with companies from around the world unveiling their latest eye-popping gadgets and tech solutions.
With wearable tech creating a lot of buzz these days, there will likely be no more quintessentially Canadian product on display than the Blu-Toque. Yes, it’s a bluetooth enabled toque, made by Toronto’s Caseco.
One of the problems with wearable tech is that while the devices offer cool features, for the most part they look (and there is no charitable way to say this) stupid.
The problem that wearable tech entrepreneurs are running up against is that people have two criteria for embedding devices on their bodies: 1) they should be comfortable and 2) people don’t want to look stupid.
Google Glass has managed to generate its own epithet (Glassholes), which you tend to associate with that form of pushy entitlement that repels the average person.
Glass creates the same gag reflex you felt the moment you saw a U2 record sitting on your phone. You didn’t ask for it, and now you have to figure out how to gracefully get rid of it.
It’s not as if the wearables industry isn’t trying. They’re making headbands and wristbands and watches that look really cool (if by “cool” you mean dressing like an extra in the film Xanadu).
Toques, on the other hand, are absolutely wearable. And no one will look twice at you for appearing to be some kind of cyborg-in-waiting.
Caseco even has a CFL licensing agreement, allowing them to emblazon the Saskatchewan Roughriders logo on their hats.
CES this year looks to be yet another smorgasbord of gadgets and automobiles and stealthy marketing techniques, with companies like Samsung hoping that this may finally be the year that 4K TV breaks through to mainstream consumer acceptance.
Where 3D TV failed to conquer the marketplace, and other wearables like Glass taking a steady holiday while they figure out how to make their product look not-stupid, 4K TV now sits on a hinge moment of either mass appeal or mass rejection.
The toque, though, has already arrived, as proven an all-weather Canadian standby as you’re going to find.
Caseco’s booth will be located in the Tech West section, 2nd level of the Sands Expo, booth 74718.
Canadians attending CES this year can hobnob at the Canadian Industry Night, at the Bellagio’s Bank Nightclub, on January 7.