Worst product names spotted at CES 2014 (pictures)
This year at CES, you couldn't swing a CAT-5 cable without hitting an unusually named product. Here's a collection of some of the more memorable and/or puzzling names CNET editors saw at the show.
Naming products isn't as easy as it might seem at first glance. For one thing, a lot of the great names have been taken already. I mean, think about how many usernames you have to go through before you find one that isn't already in use. This year at CES, you couldn't swing a CAT-5 cable without hitting an unusually named product. With that in mind, here's a collection of some of the more memorable and/or puzzling names CNET editors caught at the show, in alphabetical order. Feel free to add any that stuck out to you in the comments.
Like many other product names in this roundup, this one doesn't sound bad out loud. But when in print, the mix of upper- and lowercase letters (the company styles the name as StriimLIGHT, but that seems a bit shouty) and the creative spelling just makes the AwoX StriimLight more of a chore to read than it should be, and it doesn't really make you think of a combo LED bulb and wireless speaker.
I suppose it's appropriate that this name is a bit of a mouthful (rimshot), but "Smart Meat Thermometer" kinda creeps me out a little. Plus, and this might just be me, but isn't putting an "i" in a product name a bit old-school? Like from when the iMac G3 came out and then everyone aped the design and you could suddenly buy toasters and irons to match? Maybe I'm just tired of seeing iAnything. Hopefully it'll be a while before I have to see it again.
Yes, "eye-to-eye" -- I get it. Given that it's essentially a periscope for making video calls on your iPad, it's not a horrible name, but now I've got Kajagoogoo's "Too Shy" stuck in my head, and really, what did I do to deserve that?
Here's a line of smart lock products from the fine folks at OpenWays called Okidokeys. Now I happen to like the name, but a) I didn't put every product on this list, and b) I have a peculiar affinity for puns. I will say that this was probably the first time I actually wished a company had gone with internal capitalization. Of course, then people might think it was supposed to be pronounced "Okido Keys," so never mind what I just said. I am already tired of "smart" electronic devices, though. Does that count?
I think a ball that takes 36 individual pictures and stitches them together to make a panoramic image is pretty neat. Having "no-no" in the same of something you're trying to get people to buy seems like, well, a different way of doing it. Also, and far less concerning, it sounds like "panini," which would just make me hungry. If there's a coffee-table book of the best panoramic pictures taken with this camera orb, I hope it's published by the Panono Press.
(When I said I had a peculiar affinity for puns, I didn't say they were actually funny.)
Screeneo, Screeneo, wherefore art thou Screeneo? This affordable ultrashort-throw projector seems like it would be handy to have for parties, but it just sounds like Philips couldn't think of an actual name. "And this is our projector screen-eo thingamajig."
This karaoke megamachine, demonstrated ably by CNET's Scott Stein back in November, looks pretty awesome, but the name made one of our editors think of not vocal tricks or fruit-flavored breakfast cereal, but of, um, the tricks that are not for kids. But keep in mind that CES is pretty exhausting, and everyone gets a little punchy after the first few days.
When multiple people think the name is a typographical error at first glance, maybe a different name would be better. Friends + family = framily. But really, "framily" just reminds me of "frenemy," and I really don't think that's what Sprint was going for. Stop trying to make "framily" happen, Sprint. It's not going to happen.
The StickR TrackR works sorta like the Bat-Tracer homing devices Batman would throw on an escaping villain's getaway vehicle to track him to the hideout. Except this sensor is a lot less conspicuous, and you can use it to track slightly more mundane things, like car keys, via a smartphone app. I think companies should buy a bunch of these and attach them to any letter E they come across, because man alive, it's like we ran out of E's back in the 1990s and whomever's in charge of minting more of them just never bothered. Is it marketing glitz, or a stealthy nod to a 1930s novel?
Tylt's Pillo line of one-piece shockproof iPhone 5 and 5S cases stands out with sharp, retro designs and cushioned (ooo, like pillows) backs. I actually kinda dig the one with the joystick design, but could we have at least one properly spelled word in the name? Lest you think I'm being too critical, keep in mind that I've been copy editing since (gasp) the 20th century, and have grown weary of having to remember all the wacky spellings companies have employed. Kool-Aid gets a pass, but that's about it.
And finally, we have the ZTE Iconic Phablet. Calling your own product Iconic is sort of like giving yourself a cool nickname; it puts some people against you from the start, and it hardly ever ends up catching on. Also, considering that some people aren't keen on the word "phablet" in the first place, is it wise to be an iconic one? That said, it does look pretty snazzy.