YOU DECIDE: Are These Weirdly Specific Tech Gadgets Designed "For The Ladies" Insulting, or Awesome?

Since more of you were on board with the speaker purses than I imagined, I wondered how y'all would feel about some of the other female-centric products I came across at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
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Publish date:
February 3, 2014
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gadgets, smart bracelets, for the ladies

As you may have noticed from the Bluetooth speaker purses I wrote about earlier this month, the world of tech and gadgets made for women is rife with ridiculousness, though there is plenty of utility as well. Still, I find more stuff that makes me roll my eyes than not.

Since more of you were on board with the speaker purses than I imagined, I wondered how y'all would feel about some of the other female-centric products I came across at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Are these devices just awful or actually awesome?

Hampoo Smart Bracelet

Ever wish you could beam your emotional state to your significant other so that they, no matter how far away, will know what you're feeling at any given time? Then this bracelet is made for you.

Despite being called a "Smart Bracelet," it does nothing remotely smart. It doesn't even display text. Instead, the screen shows three icons: moon, underwear, and heart. That's all you have to express your whole range of emotions.

Underwear I assume means Horny. Heart means Love, maybe? Moon means Sleepy? PMS? Werewolf? Since these things only work if you have the smartphone app, wouldn't it just be easier to text, "I am feeling sad today. And I might change into a werewolf," instead of relying on vague flashing icons?

My Verdict: Awful

Elektra Nails

I have long fingernails and I love them. However, when smartphones moved to capacitive screens (i.e. when the iPhone came out) my nails actually got in the way of me using touchscreens properly. It's a frustrating problem that still hasn't really been solved.

So, I do have some appreciation behind the idea for Elektra Nails. They're press-ons that also work as a stylus for any smartphone screen. When on, you can tap, swipe, draw, and type with the tip of your nails instead of the tip of your finger. If you're used to long nails they may make you more accurate when typing, at least.

As much as Elektra Nails make sense to me, I'm still on the fence about them. Biggest reason for me is that I don't want to wear fake nails. If only the company made a nail polish that worked the same way (this does exist somewhere, but I have only heard bad things about it).

Plus, the company behind these nails also make a product called Tech Tips that is more universal. You slip the tip on your finger to use as a stylus, which isn't as convenient or semi-permanent as fake nails and also isn’t as gendered.

My Verdict: Undecided

June by Netatmo

Exposure to sun and harmful UV rays is an issue that affects everyone with skin, though not always to the same degree. Still, a device that measures your sun exposure over time and helps you to avoid the damage that comes from overexposure should have a potentially universal appeal, right?

So why is this product aimed at women? The June is a leather strap with a tacky-looking jewel on it available in three colors. The folks at Netatmo specifically point out how chic it is and how versatile, too, since it can be worn as a bracelet or brooch.

Don't men care about their skin, too? Maybe avoiding wrinkles isn't a big worry, but skin cancer should be. Guess the guys will either need to get more fashionable or do something horribly un-technical like wear sunscreen.

My Verdict: Awful

Navigate Jacket by Billie Whitehouse

Tell me, xoJane readers, have you ever felt overly encumbered by your smartphone when using navigation to get from one place to another? Have you ever wanted to put the phone away and allow your clothing to give you turn-by-turn directions, perhaps by flashing words on your sleeve or using vibrating shoulder pads to indicate left, right, and You Are Here?

Then start saving up now for the Navigate Jacket. This daring piece of fashion is brought to you by Billie Whitehouse, designer of electronic underwear (called Fundawear) that lets couples feel each other up from afar using a smartphone app.

Look, I am all for advancements in wearables and clothing that can eliminate the need for me to walk down the street with my phone in my hand where it's vulnerable. A smartwatch seems like a much more useful solution than a vibrating jacket, especially since it can show me other notifications and let me read my email. I wouldn't say no to trying out clothing that vibrated my texts in Morse code, though.

My Verdict: Awful

MEMI

Fashion and jewelry people must firmly believe that vibration is all any of us need to interpret what's happening on our phones. Otherwise why would the MEMI smart bracelet only do that one thing? It's a nice-looking bangle and all, but it doesn't have a screen or a speaker or even a moon icon to give a hint about the nature of the notification you've received. It just vibrates.

This can be useful if you keep your smartphone in a purse and need to turn the ringtone off or keep it low, meaning you miss calls. Again, a smartwatch would be much more useful here, and they even make a few fashionable ones these days.

My Verdict: Awful

You're up, xoJaners: What verdict would you give these lady gadgets?