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5 hideous gadgets from CES that prove tech designers still don’t get it

At CES we saw all sorts of new gadgets and technology that will soon arrive in our homes, on our wrists,  and in our hands. But as cool as many of these gadgets are, some of them don’t look as hot as the tech that’s inside. Whether it’s a bad color choice, poor design, or a ridiculous concept, it’s hard to imagine people owning some of these CES highlights.

Standoutz Bandstand

Sporting a 3D-printed model of an Apple Watch, rather than the real thing, the Standoutz Bandstand is one of the first accessories in the wild designed for upcoming Apple smartwear. While most Apple accessories try to borrow from the elegance and beauty that Apple puts in its electronics, this one goes for a more “unique” and bulky approach instead.

At the core of the Bandstand’s design is its “swiveling” stand for your new smartwatch, making it a lot taller and wider than most docking stations. The idea is you can turn your Apple Watch on any angle to glance at it while docked on your desk, though it gives the accessory a more “display case” look than “home docking station.”

Standoutz Bandstand

The designers also added a charging station for your other electronics, which means this behemoth must have its own AC charging port, and that means you’ll have a slew of cables coming out of it, giving it a rather complicated and messy look.

Tonino Lamborghini’s 88 Tauri smartphone

This year’s ugly duckling of a smartphone is Lamborghini’s own 88 Tauri smartphone, priced at a modest $6000. This year’s luxury smartphone from the Italian automaker comes up short in its attempt to blend the style of a sports car with the technology of a high-end smartphone.

For six big ones you’d expect some of the best minds at work designing your smartphone, but it doesn’t appear that’s what happened. While some may not love the leather-laced looks of a luxurious Vertu, even fewer will enjoy that same look dyed four hideous colors and given a metal-plated finish.

Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri

Just 1,947 Tauri 88s will be made in each of its 4 colors. This makes the chances of seeing such a phone in the wild rather rare, which is probably for the best.

IO Hawk

On its own the IO Hawk is far from the most ridiculous gadget, but when you’re wobbling on top of it, trying to commute to work or head down to the local coffee shop, the whole thing just looks silly.

The child of a Segway that married a skateboard, the IO Hawk drives itself by having its drive lean to tilt forward or backwards Segway style, but without anywhere to put your hands. That, as you can imagine, doesn’t make navigating any less awkward. While the IO Hawk is a bit more subtle than some similar devices it still makes its owner look like a dork.

IO Hawk

If your balance doesn’t throw you off the Hawk, the $1,800 suggested price might. For what you get you may be better off with a Onewheel, a Segway, or even just an old-fashioned skateboard.

Ring

As the name suggests, Ring is smartwear for your finger as opposed to your wrist or face, but while the concept is cool, the constraints of modern technology leave this gadget a bit underwhelming in looks – something that’s especially important for smartwear.

Ring

Ring’s idea of smartwear for your finger is great in theory, but once you put it on the Ring is just too bulky to be an effective everyday device.  It’s one of the smallest smart devices around, but on your hand it will stick out like a sore thumb.

Sony Smart B-Trainer

Sony unveiled a prototype headset at CES designed to deliver high quality audio and athletic training advice. It’s a cool idea, but its overall design is a bit bulky, and reminds us of what a certain Star Wars character had around their ears back in Empire Strikes Back.

The behind-the-head style isn’t new for fitness headphones, but the Smart B-Trainer’s attempt to stuff all that tech into the earbuds makes it look like you’re wearing heavy Bluetooth headsets in each ear. We haven’t given them a test run yet, but even if they are bearable compared to a lightweight pair of earbuds, it doesn’t help that they make you look like Lobot.

Sony Smart B-Trainer

That said, the tech behind the Smart B-Trainer is very cool, and the Smart B-Trainer is still a prototype. Hopefully the figure out a way to make it slimmer around the ears, while still sporting all those awesome athletic monitoring tools.