The bike that rides on water!

Excitement: About 200,000 people went to Las Vegas to see the inventions.

Imagine pedalling down a river. If you got hot, you could just fall off! This is just one of the many great inventions on show, last week, at the world’s biggest exhibition of new gadgets.

What’s happening

One moment, a man is standing on a beach with his bicycle – the next, he’s pedalling across the water. Or you are at a restaurant with your family and your waiter is a robot, looking a bit like a cat. Or you are changing channels on your TV using just a headband that reads your eye movements.

Find out more

These were just some of the inventions on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which opened last week.

The biggest trade fair of its kind, it boasts exhibits from 4,500 companies. Some are brilliant, though as one marketing expert says, “We see ridiculous things every year, from AI toothbrushes to connected yoga mats.”

The Manta5 Hydrofoil e-bike, for example, has pedals that push a propeller and, instead of wheels, there are wings that make the bike float. With the help of an electric motor, it can reach a speed of 13mph.

Anyone can buy one – if they have £5,800!

When the BellaBot waiter gets to your table, it meows to attract attention. If you stroke its ears, it will purr: “The owner’s hand is so warm!”

Do we need more gadgets?

Some say…

Yes! Gadgets are a boon because they simplify laborious tasks and leave us with more time to do the things we enjoy. People used to spend hours washing clothes and sweeping floors by hand – now, thanks to inventions like washing machines and vacuum cleaners, daily life is much easier.

Others think…

No! What a terrible waste of time. Gadgets can make our lives so much worse. Smartphones have made communication easier, but have also led to a rise in bullying. And gadgets often cause stress by going wrong — for example, there are so many houses cluttered with broken things that are too expensive to fix.

You Decide

  1. Would you like to live in a house with every modern gadget?

Activities

  1. Invent your own idea for a best-selling product. Try to draw it and label some of its key parts and functions.

Some People Say...

“The secret of happiness is in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

Socrates (469-399 BC), Greek philosopher

What do you think?

Word Watch

Waiter
Person who works in a restaurant taking orders, clearing tables and bringing you your food.
Headband
This one is an elasticated band that goes around your head, with a small device attached to the back of it.
Las Vegas
A big city in America, famous for gambling.
AI
Artificial Intelligence, which is what computers do when they learn to think like humans.
Boon
A good thing.
Laborious
Slow, difficult and tiring.
Cluttered
Messy!

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