I'm Ty, and here I am at the Luxury Technology Show in New York City.
This is one event that just gets stranger every year. In previous years it's seen $65,000 LED tanning beds, jet skis and even RJ Mitte of "Breaking Bad" make appearances. This year's event got even crazier with Kanye West's producer playing a Moog synthesizer while others sheltered under a massive, sun-tracking umbrella that doubled as a Bluetooth speaker. Now excuse me while I join the indoor pool party with my sports jacket on!
Here's no. 1 craziest thing I saw at the show. This is a compact, three-wheeled sports car for one that runs on electricity. But this ain't no Jeremy Clarkson joke, and no, it's not photoshopped. The Electra Meccanica Solo really does look like that.
The Electra Meccanica Solo is available for $15,000 and will drive up to 100 miles on its removable batteries. The representatives I spoke to were hopeful about a new glass-based battery that could boost the mileage up to 300.
The Solo was surprisingly roomy for a single-seat vehicle. It would be perfect for parking between the fire hydrant space and that massive RV.
A close second to the one-person car in the "that's nuts!" stakes is the Shadecraft Sunflower. This as-yet-unpriced umbrella does everything a rich person needs, including following the path of the sun so that you're always in the shade. Plus, it will blast your tunes over Bluetooth and act as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Powered by a series of solar panels, the Sunflower is billed as environmentally friendly.
Interested in the Shadecraft Sunflower for your deck? The company will unveil the price for the "smart umbrella" at next year's CES in Las Vegas.
Rear-projection TVs have been dead for years, but short-throw projector televisions are here to take their place. The Hisense 100-inch Smart Laser TV runs a cool $10,000 and comes with a projector screen in the box. The "TV" will also play HDR content via its HDMI connection.
It may have been showing off high-end headphones -- something designed to be very quiet -- but the Helm stand was the loudest at the show by far. Kanye West producer Mike Dean played me part of his Moog synthesizer collection while I tuned in on a pair of $399 Helm Wave 5 planar magnetic headphones.
Previously known as Tidalforce, the newly renamed Helm Audio headphones were unveiled at the show. The star is the $299 Wave 5. It offers attractive design for a planar magnetic 'phone, but they could really pick out those deep Moog notes!
The $499 Wave 10 features a 100mm planar magnetic driver, rotating ear cups and a 3.5mm connection on either side.
In-ear planar magnetic headphones have been done before, but these $199 Wave 2s are the smallest I've seen. It will be available in either wired or Bluetooth (with a dongle) options.
Big in Japan but still relatively unknown in the US, Toto toilets aim for the well-heeled poop-taker. For example, the $10,000-plus Neorest on the right is wall-mounted, comes with a remote control and features a self-cleaning superhydrophobic photocatalytic coating. It's wall-mountable and rated at 800 pounds.
Toto's high-end toilets also feature a built-in bidet that "pokes out" into the bowl after you've finished your business. The toilet then dries you off with warm air.
Virtual-reality flight simulator at the Gama Aviation booth. Nice suit not required, but highly recommended.
3DExcite was inviting show goers to become "Bust'd" with a virtual 3D portrait of themselves.
The Thiel Audio Home ($899) and the Aurora Tour ($599) feature Play-Fi multi-room capability, and removable top plates.
No, that's not a gold-plated die (although now I want one). No, it's the Norton Core, an 802.11ac router with onboard antennas and a built-in firewall. The router comes with an app that can alert you to non-secure devices on your network as well as potential hacking attempts.
The Core comes with four Gigabit connections as well as USB 3.0 ports.
Here I am learning how to use a $6,000 outdoor DIY sauna from the folks at Almost Heaven.
Thermostats and control panels in the shower are now a thing, thanks to Moen's $350 U.
Who needs Airpods when you can have iQ Buds?
Say it with a rose gold watch.
Kano is a Lego-like computer that kids can build for themselves and then learn to program.
The system is based on Raspberry Pi and, unlike most things at the show, is actually affordable. The motion sensor kit is $30, while a full build-your-own laptop is $249.
Chromecast speakers up until now have been kind of utilitarian and not all that attractive, though Californian company Domigo hopes to change this. The A9 smart speaker ($1,200) and the smaller A7 ($600) will be available some time in the new year and will feature svelte looking cabinets.
If Como radios look hauntingly familiar, it's because the designer behind Tivoli is now working with Como.
CDs will make a "comeback" -- you heard it here first. And the $300 Como Audio Solo wants to help you with that transition. Chromecast built-in and CD streaming around your house, this is the future made to look like the past.
Poor Mark Audio. Stuck right next to the synth noodlings blasting from the Helm stand, the company was unable to properly demonstrate this cute little desktop system.
Mark Audio-SOTA's $495 Tozzi One speakers were shown alongside PS Audio's $499 Sprout amplifier and VPI Industries' $900 Cliffwood turntable. The Tozzis are full-range speakers but are capable of a frequency response of 90Hz-22KHz.
The 2018 Lexus LC Hybrid starts at $96,000 and comes in an attractive, never-need-to-clean sparkle finish.
The interior of the LC Hybrid is fittingly high-end.
Don't know CPR? The Mobilize Rescue System is an interactive first-response system that can guide you through what to do in an emergency.
Shows like these can really make you thirsty. But sadly, the Echobox Explorer isn't the hip flask it appears to be. Instead, this is a $600 hi-res audio player. You can even buy headphones to go with it.
The Echobox comes with an attractive wooden charging stand.
Finally, here I am looking as awkward as anyone could: while fully clothed on a music-focussed pool chair in the middle of a trade show. The $279 Soundfloat Chair includes a "triple-sealed, touch-sensitive waterproof pouch for your phone or tablet" and 20W speakers. And of course a beverage holder for your luxury beer of choice.
See ya next year, rich people!