Once again, the New Year has kicked off with the Consumer Electronics Show, a physical event that was all about the newest, coolest, most exciting, and strangest technology being developed. Held in Las Vegas, the show has now wrapped up, and with this being the case, we've pulled together a list of the weirdest and most wonderful announcements from the annual trade show.
Health technology is becoming more impressive each year, but it's also becoming stranger. For those who are looking for a way to get health readings from going to the toilet, Withings has created a personal urine lab, which analyses your pee and then relays a bunch of information back to your smartphone. It can track a whole array of different things by taking readings from biomarkers found in urine, such as nutrition and hydration levels and even hormonal fluctuations, and the best part is that it sits inside your toilet bowl meaning you don't need to worry about making a mess trying to get a reading.
Razer's keynote show was headlined with a bunch of interesting developments, including a new array of Blade laptops, a new iteration of the Kiyo, and a fresh take on the Leviathan soundbar. But the technology company also unveiled what it is dubbing Project Carol here as well, which is essentially a way to make your gaming chair all the more immersive. This system is a cushion fitted with adjustable straps that offers surround sound speakers and haptics in an effort to make PC gaming feel more immersive. Needless to say, it's quite a bizarre and unusual concept, but one that could be the next step in gaming chair technology.
VW made its presence at CES by showing off the ID.7 fully electric sedan. In an era of Tesla and so many other electric cars, this hardly seems like something to drop your jaw at, but this car is a little bit different as it is clad with a smart camouflage paint job that adapts and changes to create all kinds of wacky light effects on the car's body. The system is designed to be interactive and you can change 22 unique areas of the vehicle, and even sync it up to your sound system so that your music is visualised on the car's exterior - if for some reason you want to do so! The car also has various improved features, such as a better air conditioning concept, a revamped display, and a tweaked aerodynamic design, although these aren't half as flashy as the paint work.
In my personal opinion, there are certain areas that really don't need to be overhauled with the 'smart' treatment. The kitchen and cooking space is one of those places. Sure, smart fridges are useful, and there are some interesting additions elsewhere, but none are quite as unusual as Blok's latest product. Known as the Smart Cutting Board, this is essentially a wooden cutting board with a smart digital display strapped onto it. Its purpose? The idea is that doting chefs will be able to take live and on-demand cooking classes and won't need to look away from their cutting board while doing so. The theory is definitely there.
Leaning more on the wonderful side of things, Sony announced its step into making gaming even more accessible during CES, by showing the first look at the Project Leonardo accessibility controller. Built to be highly customisable and adaptable, the device will allow users to tailor the device to their needs, and will even feature support to combine with a DualSense controller if necessary. Currently in its development phase, the controller is being created with input and feedback from various accessibility experts and organisations to ensure it suits a wide audience and does its job to the best of its abilities.
Picking up on the smart cutting board, Samsung has decided that ovens need to be 'smarter' as well and has unveiled the Bespoke AI Oven. The idea of this device isn't to improve your diet, but instead to assist in the cooking process and to elevate your kitchen experience. How you ask? Well it ticks the former box by offering an array of modes and features to help you prepare food, and then checks off the latter by using a collection of internal cameras to provide you with real-time notifications and updates on how your food is cooking - even going as far as letting you know if something is starting to burn, so you can then remotely lower the temperature/turn off the oven without needing to actually turn a physical knob.
If you're someone who treats their car with an enormous amount of respect and would like to be able to communicate with the automobile in some capacity, BMW has just the announcement for you. Known as the i Vision Dee, this car is tailored to driver's needs and will anticipate what they require from previous journeys by using its emotional intelligence technology to suggest destinations, showcase news or social posts, and will do all of this with a literal smile across its face. The i Vision Dee can change between one of nine facial expressions that are displayed across the car's grille, and will also communicate with the driver using its multimedia suite of lights, graphics, and sounds to convey emotion. Pretty amazing, right?
If you haven't already, you can find a bunch of other CES news at our dedicated subpage right here.