Ah CES 2020. While the main headliners of the worlds largest Technology Expo are the smartphones, latest TVs and other consumer tech, CES simply wouldn’t be CES without it’s menagerie of weird and wonderful gadgets.
Most of these gadgets will never grace the public with their weirdness but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good laugh at them now.
Here are a few of the weirdest gadgets coming out of CES 2020 that are definitely worth your time, but not your money.
- RollBot – Toilet Roll Delivery
- Ava-Car – The Living, Breathing Car inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar
- Bellabot and Holabot – Robots with Catitude
- Kohler/Alexa Showerhead – Alexa Integration in the Shower
- Oral B iO – AI powered Oral Hygiene
- Muse S – Wearable Tech to Help You Sleep
- Caremito – Pet Carrier That Monitors Your Pet’s Health
- Ovis Suitcase – The Suitcase that Follows You
- Panasonic Full HDR VR Goggles – Landmark Hardware for VR?
- Keep Labs KEEP – Discreet Storage for Illicit Goods
Unfortunately, we’ve all been there. After just finishing our business we reach for the toilet roll only to find the dry brown shell of a now depleted roll. It’s hell, utter brown hell.
Most of us would have to do a quick shuffle to the cupboard to find a fresh roll, that’s embarrassing and fraught with potential dangers.
Some lucky, tech savvy individuals, however, now have the chance to own their very own loo roll delivery drone thanks to toilet paper company Charmin’.
RollBot, a Bluetooth-controlled robot bear that brings you a spare when you need it.
Charmin revealed RollBot at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, where the manufacturer showed off its two-wheeled, self-balancing robot friend.
But there are still questions left unanswered.
Charmin hasn’t explained how the robot will collect a toilet roll (seemingly you will need to have it loaded up already) or how it’ll actually get into the bathroom.
Will it knock? Will it go full Terminator and kick the door down? Or will you just get a push notification to your phone tell you your delivery and you’ll have to do that awkward poop shuffle from the toilet to the door to pick it up.
Remember back, if you will, to time when cinema wasn’t dominated by Disney, Kevin Feige and his band of merry Avengers.
To a time when James Cameron was the master of top grossing Cinema and his film Avatar (using latest 3D tech) smashed the box office with the vibrant world of Pandora.
Three sequels are now in the works from director James Cameron, and at tech trade show CES 2020, we got our first look at our return to Pandora.
Cameron was at CES in Vegas to announce an Avatar-themed partnership with Mercedes-Benz, revealing the futuristic Vision AVTR concept car.
Taking inspiration from the Na’vi’s symbiotic relationship with the Planet Pandora, Mercedes announced a particularly advanced set of systems, with the steering wheel leading the way in terms of innovation.
The steering wheel promises to ‘merge’ man and machine, with the vehicle recognizing the driver based on their heartbeat and breathing patterns. The look of the car is based on creatures from Avatar’s fictional universe. The seats and floor are made from sustainable materials, and the battery is recyclable, too.
Sick of cleaning up after your feline companion? PuduTech are changing the record and flipping the dynamics with their new robots: BellaBot and HolaBot.
The former is designed to deliver up to four trays to a table, while the latter is meant to be deployed for clean-up scenarios. But you don’t care about that: BellaBot has been designed to look like a cat.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the ‘cat appearance’ is simply a novelty. Interactions with the unit will prompt different expressions. BellaBot will act pleasantly if you touch its ears, but if you do it too many times, it’ll get ‘mad’ and leave in disgust.
Sound familiar? Being snubbed has never been this appealing.
For many, the shower is a sacred place. A place of privacy, comfort and silent introspection. Oh, and cleaning, of course.
Well, that isn’t going to change any time soon, but what may change is the company you keep in there. Have your tinfoil hats at the ready, Kohler have put an Alexa in their showerhead.
While the water streams through the showerhead, Alexa will stream through your Wi-Fi, and be able to hear, respond to, and act on voice commands as you have your morning shower.
Get traffic, weather and news updates while you scrub your particulars. Bring karaoke to life with a bit of backing vocal.
The conical Alexa speaker sits in the centre of the head, which contains the mic array and drivers need to hear commands and play audio in response. That cone is then held within a circular showerhead that disperses water around the speaker. The speaker will need to be removed after 10 hours of use to be charged.
With the waterproof speaker market already well and truly saturated, it’ll be interesting to see how the Alexa Showerhead makes a splash.
Price: you can buy both segments separately, with the speaker costing £75 without Alexa and £120 with Alexa, and the showerhead costing £55 by itself.
Basic hygiene can be hard. Luckily for us, technology is here to save the day.
6 years of product research and with input from 1,800 consumers and over 250 patents from around the world gets you this baby.
The iO comes with an accompanying app that uses AI to provide users with real-time “tracking and coaching” – complete with a 3D guide informed by thousands of recorded brushing sessions.
For the old fashioned among us who want to know how it functions better as a toothbrush, this Oral B iO has a new magnetic drive to make the motor quieter, sensors that know which quadrant of your mouth you’re brushing
As with most of Oral-B’s other electric brushes, the iO also features a pressure sensor that lights up red when users are brushing too hard – although here, you’ll be shown a sad face on the smart display too. When you’ve got the pressure just right, the light will remain green and the smart display will smile.
Bonus: The Y-Brush
Dentists everywhere hate the T-Brush that goes against the commonly held belief that 2 minutes is the optimum time you should be spending brushing your teeth by claiming to have your teeth clean and sparkling in just 10 seconds.
The Y-Brush was debuted at CES 2019 and returned again this year.
The mouth-guard-shaped brush works by covering all of your teeth with motorized nylon bristles.
For people who despise brushing their teeth, Y-Brush offers extreme efficiency and speed. However, it’s still undergoing clinical testing to determine its efficacy, so maybe don’t ditch your other toothbrush just yet (plus, they won’t start shipping until March). And you still need to floss, because despite its great concept, Y-Brush doesn’t reach the nooks and crannies in between your teeth.
Price: Still undergoing clinical trials
Wearable technology was big business in 2019 with Google acquiring FitBit and VR/AR varients becoming more and more affordable.
2020 certainly hasn’t disappointed in delivery more wearable delights with meditation Headband company Muse launching the Muse S, a wearable headband designed to help you get a good nights sleep.
The Muse S’ main selling point is its ‘Go-To-Sleep Journeys’ that metaphorically rock you to sleep with a combination of ambient sound, soothing narration and ‘real-time biofeedback’. These don’t just help you get peaceful enough to meditate, they’re designed to get you to sleep.
Price: While the device isn’t available elsewhere yet, Muse’s website lists prices for certain regions, so we know it’ll cost £329.99 in the UK with subscriptions priced at £11.99 per month or £86 for a year.
For anyone who loves their feline friend, there’s nothing worse than seeing them distressed when the time comes around for a vet visit. Anything to make the process quicker, easier and less stress free would be welcomed with open paws.
Cue the Caremito.
It’s got two two litter boxes, one green, one blue. When you need to catch your cat’s wee for analysis by a vet, you just remove the green one. The blue one collects it, and analyses it, allowing you to keep track of your cat’s various illnesses. The app even links with your vet for follow-ups and results. Caremitou has already won a CES Innovation Award 2020.
The ForwardX Robotics Ovis Suitcase made a scene at last year’s CES and it’s back again making an appearance at CES 2020.
This ‘autonomous’ piece of luggage that self-navigates through airport terminals was shown last year but now it supposedly really is coming to market for the surprisingly reasonable sum of $800.
It uses cameras and sensors, both on the suitcase itself and on the wearable wristband (which notifies the traveler through a buzz when the suitcase has strayed too far away from the user.)
It can follow you, run along side by side and even has obstacle avoidance thanks to its multiple on-board cameras. Feeling nostalgic and want to try pushing your own luggage? Simply grab the handle, which cuts all motor power for manual control.
2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in the continued growth and accessibility of VR technology as big publishers releasing ‘VR exclusive’ content like Half Life: Alyx.
Now, Panasonic is leading the charge of major hardware players streamlining the hardware with The Ultra-Compact HDR VR Goggle serving as the tip of the spear.
With a frame that wouldn’t look out of place with a cowl and a cape, the Panasonic Ultra-Compact HDR VR Goggles will be a welcome addition to VR aficionado’s arsenal.
Panasonic claim that they’re the first HDR-capable VR Goggles. Audio provided via built-in Technics earbuds.
The big question marks are around the precise resolution, the field of view, the tracking sensors and how the goggles are powered. By the looks of the size of the device they will have to connect via cable or Bluetooth to a phone, PC or some other module – the release also mentions 5G.
So this is an interesting one. CES awarded Keep the innovation award but then Keep couldn’t exhibit their wares because it’s been banned from using the word cannabis anywhere on the show floor, which is the product’s entire MO.
KEEP is actually a discreet storage system for marijuana that uses biometric authentication, allowing the user to lock and unlock the KEEP device with a touch of your finger or a look with your eyes.
It looks like your everyday smart-speaker and comes with an app to alert you to anyone deciding to tamper with your goods.