It wouldn’t be CES if there weren’t companies on the show floor overcomplicating basic human needs or scaring us with freakish robots. Here’s what is weird at CES 2024.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show is filled with glimpses of the future in technology. That glimpse can signify bright things to come, but sometimes, it’s a look at the strangest humanity has to offer.
We rounded up some of our favorite weird stories of CES. For us, “weird” isn’t necessarily bad — just a few steps away from the norm.
WeHead AI Companion
If having a conversation with ChatGPT is your thing, WeHead wants to make it more personal. This chatbot head shows an expressionless human face that converses with you via ChatGPT.
The demo units have robotic voices similar to the original Siri and nothing like the generative voices used by some chatbots today. The entire device is unsettling, but that’s amplified by the odd assortment of displays attempting to show a composite face.
If none of this has scared you off, then WeHead is offering its ChatGPT-powered face robot for $5,000.
In 2023, companies wanted AI to be everywhere, but in 2024, it seems we’ve arrived at the limits of that desire with AI-powered grills. The Seergrills Perfecta intends to provide “chef level results in as little as 90 seconds.”
The touchscreen interface allows users to select their meat’s cut and preferred cooking style. AI calculates exactly what is needed to achieve your preferences and then cooks the meat in under 3 minutes.
A chef mode provides more manual options, but the product’s selling point is the ability to insert food, press start, and walk away. If you trust AI not to hallucinate when searching for facts, you can trust it to cook your food properly.
The Seergrills website doesn’t show a price, but you can apply for a $1,000 discount for this 76-pound meat machine.
Kohler Anthem Digital Showering System
Kohler hopes to simplify the shower routine by adding an entire computer to it. It has a touch screen and dial for controlling aspects like temperature, flow rate, and nozzle functions.
This $640 component is just one part of what’s needed to make your shower smart. The required thermostatic valve starts at $763 and can reach up to $2,000, depending on the number of ports needed.
This isn’t the first smart shower we’ve seen, but it begs the question of where the limits are for adding microchips to everyday products. Remember, this multi-thousand-dollar system replaces turning a handle to warm up the shower.
If you’d like a taste of luxury and a digital shower control with gold accents to match your gold-plated toilet, get the Kohler Anthem Digital Showering System controller on Kohler’s website.
Samsung Ballie is a tiny robot on wheels designed to look cute and observe your every move. It looks for patterns in user behavior to better provide services, control appliances, and patrol the home.
Modern smart homes are always adding more cameras, but one that can roam a user’s home might feel more intrusive than usual. The AI-powered robot is able to share video feeds or project images onto the floor.
Samsung Ballie isn’t quite ready for prime time despite being shown off in some iterations since 2020.
Swarovski AX Visio 10×32 birding binoculars
Maybe cooking with AI isn’t such a stretch once you’ve seen birdwatching binoculars with AI. The Swarovski AX Visio 10×32 birding binoculars can help birders identify birds and other animals with the press of a button.
The binoculars can also capture photos or videos that can sync with an iPhone app.
Kohler PureWash E930 bidet seat with voice control
It’s 2024, so of course, there’s a voice-activated bidet. Kohler’s PureWash E930 has it all — pulsating spray mode, heated seats, boost mode, and a night light.
Don’t worry, the Kohler Konnect app lets you set preferences or even connect your bidet to Alexa or Google. At least they didn’t claim it used AI.
LG’s Affectionate Intelligence
If you’re a fan of marketing speak, this last pick will send you spinning. This isn’t a “product” as much as it’s a feeling, an idea that LG wants to embrace as it develops future technology.
That idea is AI. No, not Artificial Intelligence, but “Affectionate Intelligence.”
LG believes that so-called “AI” can foster a customer experience that is more caring, empathetic, and attractive. Because if we know one thing, the best way to improve the human experience is by removing the human.