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All the wonderfully whack tech we found in May

My mask brings all the nosy USB cables to the yard.

face masks you can eat with
Image: Reuters

Every month here at KnowTechie (or for as many months as the patience remains to write such a thing), we’re going to take a look at some of the most question-mark-inspiring, most this-could-be-innovative, most ridiculously inane, weird and sometimes pointless tech that somehow made it through the approval process and into the marketplace.

Yes, it’s June, but my brain calendar wasn’t working and I thought that May had 32 days for some reason. Perhaps because of the turmoil spiraling throughout the country. Between the pandemic and the righteous protests (and the disassociated riots), May was one hell of a month. So take a breath (through your mask if you are in public) and get ready for a historical year. Things will get better, things will change if we keep fighting for it. It’s not the best segue, but that applies to technology as well.

Each month we truly try to find the silliest tech out there, but often we find both unusual and deftly interesting items that straddle the line between niche pointlessness and innovative weirdness. That’s a good thing when it comes to technology. We always need innovation and forward-thinking, even if version 1.0 is often a bit strange and misunderstood. The trick is to look at something that seems useless and imagine the future iteration of it that might be less than strange. Naturally, that can’t be applied to everything as some things on this list are just a big pile of ugh.

Remote cheering app

empty stadium

Image: Unsplash

In the world of sports, well, there hasn’t been much of one lately. But when sports fully start up again, it’s doubtful that stadiums will be allowed to fill up with fans, so this app from Yamaha allows fans to cheer remotely for their team. The cheers (or jeers) are pumped into stadium speakers from the app. So, a new reason to scream into your phone.


Or, sex dolls

sex dolls in a stadium

Image: Ryu Young-Suk/Yonhap, via Associated Press

But if you root for a certain South Korean soccer team, then perhaps you had a sex doll proxy in the stands. The team had to apologize, but only because the dolls were most likely used as athletes have been on strict lock-downs.


A mask for your nose

nosy air filter

Image: Nosy

This Kickstarter for a product called Nosy is a bit strange and reminds me of the guy in that Miike Snow video. It’s a face mask, for your nose. It goes on your nose. It covers your nose and filters out air pollution, because apparently, you don’t breathe through your mouth at all. That’s a trade-off Nosy is willing to accept. It does make it hard to pick and flick though.


Speaking of face masks…

creepy face masks

Image: KnowTechie

How about these creepy fucking face masks from Japan-based Malicious.X? Want some crazy fangs on your mask or a weird eyeball that might be a prop in The Ring? Then these masks are for you. Most of the site is in Japanese, but you can figure it out.


A mask you can eat with

face masks you can eat with

Image: Reuters

If you want to move from a graphic of teeth to your actual teeth, a group of Israeli inventors have created a face mask with a remote control mouth so you can leave your mask on while shoving breakfast foods in your face. It’s a strange progression of the new normal, but it beats sitting in a Plexiglas capsule.


PastaDrop

Do you have the urge to send your friends and family random pasta noodles using a web-based app? Then PastaDrop is the app you are looking for. Sure, you can order some pasta off Amazon and ship it to their house, but this is apparently much more fun because the button to send pasta says “send noods”. Get it? Noodles? Sigh. Someone still has to cook the pasta however. Unless there’s an app for sending them boiling water as well.


PumPiX

While PumPiX is a device intended to spray hand sanitizer on your hands via a wrist delivery system, let’s be honest here; PumPiX is the closest you are going to get to being Spider-Man. While the spray range only appears to be wrist-to-hand, it beats some cheap plastic toy from Target. You know that Josiah is going to fill his with lube and never leave the Walmart bathroom.


VirBELA Open Campus

The VirBELA Open Campus is a virtual world where you can host online events, meetings, classes, and so-on. It’s focused on the future of work and reflects our collective move to working remotely as the country deals with the social fallout from COVID-19. Though, is a virtual meeting room better than sitting around a virtual campfire? It’s a change of pace for sure and beats actual conference rooms. At least in a virtual conference room, you don’t have to shower or wear shoes.


Lick this thing to taste a thing

Researchers in Japan (of course) have created what they are calling a “taste display” that can recreate any flavor by triggering the five taste centers on a user’s tongue. That would be sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Umami is the bit that contributes to our enjoyment of food. So if you enjoy tasting food without eating food, then you might enjoy licking this thing that will deliver the taste without the touch. Seems like a good way to adhere to that diet that excludes things like food.


Anti-5G USB sticks

5g blocker

Image: KnowTechie

If you see a company selling anti-5G USB sticks, it is a bullshit scam. Don’t be so naive. If you really want to keep yourself protected from 5G, then you’ll need an EMF shielded clothing.


$100 24K Gold-Plated USB-C to Lightning cable

anker gold-plated cables

Image: KnowTechie

Finally this month, we have this gold plated USB-C to Lightning cable from Anker. Anker is a fairly reliable brand when it comes to cables, chargers, and other devices for plugging things into other things. While the functionality of this cable isn’t being questioned, it’s practicality is. At $100, it’s probably the first real instance of a luxury USB cable. Considering how often we lose these things or our cats chew them in half, spending $100 on a Lightning cable is akin to burning $100.


What do you think? Surprised to see so many face masks on the list? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

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Writing about consumer technology, social media and the deep layers of psychological torture endured by all of it. The world is changing, but that doesn't mean we can't be cynical about it. It's not all sunshine and roses in Silicon Valley. It's self loathing, pretentiousness and machines that squeeze juice for you. Also, a strong affinity for toasters.Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral. Pitches to cebsilver@gmail.com

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