Every year, thousands flock to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show to catch a glimpse of some of the most exciting technology on the horizon. From cute robots to fridges that can read your email, innovation always abounds, but no matter how great the tech, a great name is never a guarantee. Join me as I guide you through some of the most notable names from CES 2016, from the terrible to the terrific.
Not only is having to spell your name every time you say it annoying, but naming your drone company a homonym of ‘unique’ is sort of like naming your drone company a homonym of ‘special.’ It says nothing, it’s confusing, fail.
7) FF Zero 1
BMW and other carmakers have popularized alphanumeric names, but they do one crucial thing differently – they stick to letters and digits, such as 780i. Like the guys over at Yuneec, I bet the guys representing the FF Zero 1 at CES this year got real tired of spelling out their name. Also like the guys over at Yuneec, I bet they got real tired of their name not meaning anything.
It seemed like half the products being showcased at CES this year were some sort of wearable technology. HealthBox was Under Armour’s contribution to the wearable fitness tracker craze. With a scale, bracelet, heart monitor, and app, the HealthBox is a complete smart exercise package. Does the name inspire you to lace up your shoes and run through the forest to upbeat electronic music? Yeah, me neither. Sounds more like what I should get when I buy a new insurance plan.
Marie Curie is a badass. The first to discover radioactivity, she was also the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only to win twice. So I was excited when I saw that Intel paid homage to Marie with their Curie module, a tiny chip that can be added to clothing, bikes, and all sorts of gadgets to measure stuff like speed and RPMs. And although a curie is now a unit of radiation, not such a great thing, I admire that Intel saw past this meaning and chose to honor Marie Curie’s passion for innovation with this bold name.
It’s not dead. French drone maker Parrot showed off their new Disco drone, which can take off, steer, and land all on its own. Unlike Yuneec, Disco suggests fun, movement, even a little groovy silliness. These are emotions that make me want to fly a drone! A truly unique name.
Don’t confuse Misfit with Fitbit. This soundalike activity tracker maker showed off its latest wearable at CES: Ray. I love all the meanings behind it. Ray suggests light, a straight path, even musical harmony, all feelings that get me excited to bike off that burrito.
This name really made me stop. It was so simple, and the product made so much sense. If you always wear a bra when you workout, why not bust out of convention and put the sensor in there? After all, you do wear it over your heart. ‘OM’ suggests peace and mindfulness, and OMbra gets at umbra, the shadow that forms during an eclipse. It might not be intentional, but I find the concept of an umbra to be a really interesting way to suggest cover and protection.
1) Oculus Rift
Sorry, CES, Oculus Rift is still the coolest name of the bunch. We’ve actually already written at length about how great this name is, but just to reiterate, with only two real words Oculus Rift conveys the experience of glimpsing into another world with edginess and confidence. While they won’t actually be available for shipping until June, the recently announced price of $600 was less wallet rifting than I thought and the name is just as visionary as ever.