It's the easy joke to make: how exactly can Gillette innovate in shaving, beside adding even more blades? Well, add heating. The first product from GilletteLabs, its new innovation team, is the Heated Razor. It has a metal, gold-colored bar that heats up in less than a second to offer an experience approximating a hot towel shave. The bar itself reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit, heating your shaving foam / gel / bar-of-soap lather, and then your skin in the process. According to the company's testing, it will heat up your skin far more substantially than just passing your razor under hot water.
So why do that? At least hinting at the luxury of getting a hot towel wet shave is meant to make the whole experience more enjoyable. There's two different heat settings (113 and 122 Fahrenheit), while the razor will come with its own inductive charging stand to showcase your very expensive man toy.
Yes, the experience of a hot-towel(ish) shave is steeper than your garden variety razor -- $160 will get you the five-blade heated razor when it eventually gets to stores. The company plans to sell it online as well as in other stores, although a spokesperson said there was "nothing to announce" yet.
Fortunately for Gillette, it knows there's stubbly customers interested in the product. It already ran a sell-out Indiegogo campaign, raising 492% of its goal in October 2018. The team behind it took roughly 24 months to build the device, with the backers likely to receive their razor in February. For the non early adopters like you and I, release date is still TBA.
The biggest question is: how close to a hot towel wet shave does this actually feel?
I.. don't know. I didn't shave myself at this CES press event. Sorry. I'll get back to you when I do.