Jan 9, 2016 2:13 AM

The latest gadgets: Smartphone, smartwatch, smart ... tail?

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) The latest developments surrounding the consumer-electronics show in Las Vegas known as CES (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

Perhaps the most whimsical thing being pitched at the massive CES gadget show is a mechanical fuzzy tail that you can clip on like a seatbelt and control from your smartphone.

It's a prototype from Santa Cruz-based In-Tail, which CEO Bryan Kaufman expects to begin selling for $499 by April. He says the smart tail will come with an audio sensor so it can dance along to music while attached to one's backside; it'll be able to mimic either a cat or dog. Use your phone or tablet as a joystick and the tail will move up, down, left and right and do "do a twitchy tail" as well.

For now he's selling and wearing the company's non-mechanical tails, which cost $200.

Don't be surprised if Kaufman returns to CES with a tail turned video game controller eventually. He says the company is working on a way to make the tail interact in games that might involve dinosaurs or baseball; of course, you'd use the tail being to thwack baddies or balls.

Kimberly Pierceall, AP Writer, Las Vegas


4:30 p.m.

John McAfee certainly has one thing going for him in his campaign for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination: name recognition. The man who created the eponymous McAfee brand of antivirus software may no longer be associated with it, but he's still quick to note that "it's on 50 million computers."

McAfee signed a laptop, posed for selfies and heard pitches for other products as a small crowd surrounded him at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas. And maybe not solely for his security chops, as evidenced by one photo-seeker asking his friend, "Didn't he kill somebody?"

McAfee's involvement in a bizarre series of events in Belize a few years ago added "fugitive" to his resume, after he fled the country when authorities there sought to question him in the killing of his neighbor. McAfee was never named a suspect, and he says the Belize government was shaking him down for a political donation.

He made headlines again last year when he spent 48-hours in jail for driving under the influence in this case, of what he says was prescription Xanax.

But politics isn't McAfee's only campaign. He says the greatest threat facing the U.S. is cyberattack, by comparison to which the Islamic State group is just "a bunch of people with bombs and guns." Cyberwarfare, he says, "is a button that's in China that's waiting to be pushed," one that he says could send the country back to the Stone Age.

Kimberly Pierceall, AP Writer, Las Vegas


12:15 p.m.

Still using a controller's left, right, up and down buttons to play Pac-Man? That's so 1980. The startup Moff wants kids to wildly flail their arms instead to make the hungry little yellow character move.

Moff's $54.99 brightly-colored motion sensor bracelet was among toys aimed at getting kids moving while they're playing. Its bracelet doesn't need a camera or television set, just a connection to a smartphone or tablet.

Skechers also debuted the next generation of its Game Kicks shoes, which contain a controller kids can use to try and beat the color combinations lighting up on their toes. The $65 shoe includes a speaker and will go on sale in June for kids ages 4 to 10. Skechers marketing rep Jon Long says the shoes are water-resistant but it's probably not a good idea to dunk them in water.

For future or would-be programmers, products like Hackaball, which ships in March for $85, encourages kids to program their own light-up hand-held ball. They can make it vibrate and emit sounds via a smartphone app so they can invent their own games to play.

Kimberly Pierceall, AP Writer, Las Vegas


11:45 a.m.

Now that the holidays have passed, some people might be on for some belt-tightening. Samsung's so-called wellness belt, "Welt," could help. It keeps track of where you're notching your belt over time, counting your steps and tracking how long you remain seated. It's all motivation to move around, complete with guilt-inducing data analysis.

Another wearable from Samsung for women is a tablet-sized handbag called Solbag that charges with solar power to a micro-USB slot you could use to power up your phone on the go. It doesn't have a battery, though, so you'd need a rechargeable pack unless you plan to sit in the sun for the four hours it takes to recharge a smartphone fully.

Samsung plans to release both products in South Korea later this year, but didn't have pricing information.

Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer, Las Vegas


10:00 a.m.

YouTube's chief business officer is banking on virtual reality video, original programming and music videos to keep the world of digital video growing.

"Video is more important to music than ever before," Robert Kyncl told a crowd at his Thursday keynote Thursday evening at the annual CES gadget event in Las Vegas. Joining him on stage was music manager Scooter Braun, who discovered Justin Bieber from his YouTube videos and recognized a hit in "Gangnam Style" long before it became the first video to garner a billion views on the site.

Kyncl said he still expects exponential growth in digital video, particularly now that virtual reality can make the experience more immersive.

Kimberly Pierceall, AP Writer, Las Vegas


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