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What were the most interesting gadgets at CES?

And, more importantly, why was there a “smart hairbrush” there?


Too Embarrassed to Ask’s Lauren Goode has been in Las Vegas all week covering CES for The Verge while her co-host, Recode’s Kara Swisher, happily stayed home. So, what did Kara miss?

“There hasn’t been one defining moment,” Goode said on the latest episode of Too Embarrassed. But she argued that the show still matters, even though it may have waned in relevance in recent years.

From walking the CES floor and covering all the festivities surrounding the week-long event, Goode concluded that self-driving car prototypes, unwieldy virtual reality headsets and the Amazon Echo were some of the biggest trends of the year. In Amazon’s case, that’s literal: The company pulled off a social media coup by constructing a 14-foot-tall “working” Amazon Echo at CES:

“It does work as an Echo,” Goode said. “If you were to shout at it, it would probably respond. But, when you open the door to it and you peek inside, it’s because they have this tiny little Echo Dot, sitting on a table.”

“You’re kidding me. They tricked you?” Swisher retorted. “How incredible that was. Wow.”

On the new podcast, the duo also debated the merits of some of the show's weirder products, like a pair of smartphone-controlled high heels made by French company Zhor Tech and a "smart hairbrush” made by Withings and L’Oreal.

“It has sensors,” Goode said of the hairbrush. “It has a microphone in the middle of it, so it can hear the sounds of you brushing your hair and infer how you’re brushing your hair from that. And there’s a gyroscope and an accelerometer —”

Why?!” Swisher asked.

“They need to know your brushing patterns, Kara!”

“Literally, the dumbest person on the planet knows how to brush their hair.”

“No, here’s the thing, Kara: We’re women and we’re doing it wrong. We’re doing it wrong, and if we only had smart things to tell us what we’re doing wrong, we could fix ourselves.”

Have questions about the good, bad and weird products of CES? Or have another tech topic on your mind? You can tweet any questions, comments and complaints to @Recode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed. You can also email your questions to, in case Twitter isn’t your thing.

Be sure to follow @LaurenGoode, @KaraSwisher and @Recode to be alerted when we're looking for questions about a specific topic.

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If you like this show, you should also check out our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, such as the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara and Lauren. Tune in next Friday for another episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask!

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