LA's Luxury Tech Show: How to Add Robotics and/or Gold Plating to Everything

This past Wednesday I attended my second Luxury Technology Show in Los Angeles and it was, as the year before it, a study in making the ordinary opulent, and the expensive ridiculously expensive. The LED-message-displaying-booze was flowing and I put on my cocktail attire to see what’s new just for you. Here’s some highlights from what I learned:

First of all, everything is now a robot. See this thing?It’s called the Neato Botvac Connected. It’s basically a Roomba on steroids. It does the whole laser-guided-room-scanning, floor-cleaning thing, but now you can control it from an app. When you’re not home. Because, I dunno, maybe you’re out and want to invite someone back to your place and you haven’t tidied up. So before you hit the road, you can start this lil guy vacuuming via an app on your phone. That way, pet hair, crumbs, and dust will be history before you and your guest arrive at your doorstep. Cool, huh? Is it $700 cool? That’s for you and your accountant to decide.

Know what else can be a robot? Your baby’s stroller. Oh yes. Check it out:

This beauty is the 4Moms Origami, and as a new mom, I admit, I want one. Badly. Not only does it do the open/collapse magic trick in the video above, it has daytime running lights for visibility, forward-facing LED lights to illuminate a path in the dusk, a control panel that tracks your distance, speed, and current temperature. Oh, and it charges your phone. The Origami does all of this by harnessing the energy created by you pushing your kid around: it’s self-charging. The tech nerd in me wants one ever so badly. However, for $850, my meager writer/voice actor wages may be better spent on a college fund. Sorry, kiddo, your stroller will be sans-robotics for the foreseeable future.

What’s next? Oh! How about a Bluetooth, portable electrostatic speaker?

It’s called treVolo. And at $300, it’s not nearly the most pricey BT speaker I’ve seen. To be honest, with all the noise on the show floor, there is no way I could evaluate the sound. But it’s novel.

However, being electrostatic comes with some drawbacks. The BenQ folks recommend that “Since there is always potential for damage to high-quality audio components during a thunderstorm, it is safest to not use your speaker outdoors in the rain. Excess humidity will also interfere with receiving the highest quality sound. And on a bright sunny day, be aware that the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun could possibly damage the electrostatic membrane. Too much smoke or dust could certainly interfere with the performance of the electrostatic membrane. When not in use you should fold in the wings to protect the membrane.” Do not taunt Happy Fun Ba… I mean, treVolo. The rain thing just makes good sense. I mean, who are these people having dance parties in the rain? Seriously, who are they, and can I come next time?

Okay, what else? Ah. Yes. Gold plate stuff. Like your wearable activity tracker. Wisewear does all the things a Fitbit Charge a can do (minus a screen), but are way shinier. They come in three styles, in both gold-plated and rhodium-plated. In addition, the Wisewear has a distress signal function that can alert chosen contacts in the event of an emergency. Also, they’re shiny.

Pre-order pricing is $300-$400, and I have no idea what they’ll cost once that offer passes, so if that sounds like a steal to you, pull out your American Express Centurion Card and get one of each.

Robots again! (Kinda) Look. Everyone knows that walking is so 2010. Since the Back to the Future hoverboards aren’t quite ready for retail, the next best thing we can do is to roll around on a sideways skateboard looking thing.

For a mere $1800, you too can teeter and roll at 6 miles an hour for about 8-12 miles. Because secretly, you always knew Segways were bulky and lame.

The one thing that I could possibly see coming home with me from the show was the RIVA Turbo S: the little sister of the RIVA Turbo X, my current favorite portable Bluetooth speaker. They’re more compact, but still have a lot of the same features of the X, including the phono mode for folks who love their vinyl.  

Like the other audio I saw, there was no good way to evaluate the S on the show floor, but I expect I’ll be able to check out an S at home soon enough.

However, if you can’t wait to hit “buy” before I do, be sure to pick up a few, since the S have a syncing feature so you can have a L and R channel stereo pair.

There you have it. You’re now ready to hobnob with the A listers. All you have to do is rack up some credit card debt.