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What is a smart ‘Potato’ doing at CES 2020?

Making a point about weird so-called smart gadgets

New ways of doing things are devised only when there is a demand or strong need for it. These days most small innovations are revolved around the idea of putting a chip into an analog product. How does it solve any problems? We now have an additional app on our phone which may or may not be patched at all after the initial release during the product launch. Additionally, we have another product to charge. It is not ‘smart’ way of doing things like an AI based device should deliver a task at hand. It is ‘smart’ as in it has a chip now. It is frustrating to see new gadgets being introduced that do not solve any issues at hand. What do we practically achieve by making things like this? Do we really wish to connect everything to our digital life? How sane is it?

A French entrepreneur, Nicholas Baldeck from BDZ Labs, which does weather forecasting for paragliders spent about 5000 USD on travelling, marketing, reserving his space in order to make his point at CES 2020. That is a lot of money but the point is fair. But, it raises a few doubts regarding the regulation of the show itself. How did Baldeck manager to reserve a booth in the show with his vegetable product?

This product has way more chance of success than 60% of the startups here, Baldeck says. I am skeptical of this idea of ‘connected everything.’ Now it looks like innovation is about putting a chip into any object. I’m not sure the word ‘smart’ makes more sense before the word toothbrush than the word potato.

Let us talk the World’s first Smart Potato now. So, basically there is an antenna called ‘NeuraSpud’ with a sharp blade on the one end to that pierces the skin of any Potato you choose. ‘NeuraSpud’ is advertised as ultra-high bandwidth potato-machine interface. It has a SiLabs Bluetooth chip on the other end. You put this ‘NeuraSpud’ into a potato and then it harvests power from potato to power the bluetooth chip.

 

‘NeuraSpud’ picks up the potato brainwaves and then the Potato’s language is translated to Bluetooth device through an AI-powered Tensorflow neural network using a smartphone app. All this turns your ordinary potato into a self-powering smart personal assistant.

It is time to say, ‘Hey Potato!’ now. Isn’t it innovative? It beats Alexa in a way, because it is living organism, has electrolytes, goals and feelings.

Although, the project itself warns us regarding the accuracy of the potato language’s translation to human language. Who knows what Potato’s brainwaves can help us decide in near future. The decisive power or wisdom of potato has just unveiled. It is literally the future. Pun intended.

For all the enthusiasts who are willing to see real innovative products at CES got to make this a big hit. There is a good point that Mr Nicholas Baldeck is trying to make here. The World’s first smart Potato has its own indiegogo page for public funding.

Go reserve your own Potato ‘NeuraSpud’ for 26 EUR now while it lasts. Sadly, the potato isn’t included. I have to order french fries by myself now. Just joking. For those who just wish to support the pain-staking effort of Baldeck can order t-shirts and stickers too.

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Manish Gehlot

I am a privacy, security, encryption and software freedom enthusiast. I am into VPNs, TLS security. Recently I also got into technical writings including guides.

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