CES 2024: The weirdest tech, gadgets and AI claims from Las Vegas

Key Takeaways:

– CES 2024 is taking place in Las Vegas
– There are many strange gadgets and claims at the event
– Swarovski unveiled AI-powered birding binoculars
– Flush is an app that allows businesses to rent out their bathrooms for a fee
– Clicks Technology revealed a BlackBerry-style keyboard for iPhones
– Sound Drive matches music to your driving cadence and energy
– GL.iNet introduced a router that looks like a picture frame
– LG announced an AI assistant robot that can call 911
– Kohler introduced a bidet seat with voice command support
– Skyted’s masks absorb voice frequencies for privacy in noisy environments.

TechCrunch:

CES 2024 is in full swing in Las Vegas. We’re on the ground giving you the most talked about news and announcements from the event, but much of the fun is to be found in the weirder margins of the show floor. In an era of CES where companies are all-in on the AI hype machine, there are bound to be gadgets and claims that are a little odd, to say the least.

Here are the eight strangest gadgets, tech and claims from CES 2024 so far.

AI-powered birding binoculars

For the birder with an unlimited budget, Swarovski unveiled the ​​AX Visio 10×32: a $4,799 pair of AI-powered binoculars. The binoculars use AI to help you quickly identify more than 9,000 birds and other species, as well as provide the ability to take photos and videos of your discoveries to share.

An app that lets you pay to pee

Flush app screen showing how much it costs to access a bathroom

Image Credits: Flush

Need to go and willing to pay? Web-based app Flush allows businesses to rent out their bathrooms to people for additional revenue. The oddest thing about this app, outside of its existence thanks to the lack of maintained and public restrooms in the U.S., is its rating system that businesses use to approve or deny a reservation.

A BlackBerry-style keyboard for your iPhone

Do you miss the days of having a tactile keyboard on your iPhone? Revealed at CES 2024, Clicks Technology’s creator keyboard turns your phone into a BlackBerry-era relic for $139. The keyboard acts as a phone case attachment and gives you access to more of your iPhone’s screen without the digital keyboard. It’s sure to make your phone a lot longer, but maybe that’s the price you pay for nostalgia.

Dynamic sound mixing based on your driving

The dashboard view of Sound Drive's dynamic sound mixing system

Image Credits: Tim Stevens

Sound Drive, a startup from singer-songwriter turned entrepreneur Will.i.am, aims to match the music you’re listening to with the cadence and energy of your commute. The technology reacts to your speed and matches music to it, with lyrics coming in and dropping out intelligently whether you’re ripping down the freeway or stuck in traffic. While we were a little skeptical, we came away from the tech fairly impressed.

A router that looks like a picture frame

GL.iNet's router that also functions as a picture frame on display at a desk

Image Credits: GL.iNet

Matching your tech to your home’s aesthetic has been trendy in the last few years. Is your TV too boring? Make it look like a gallery painting with the Samsung Frame or have it blend seamlessly into your home with LG’s newly revealed transparent television

And the latest tech item to get the yaasification treatment is the humble router. The Marble Wi-Fi 6 OpenWrt Router from GL.iNet looks like a small framed piece of art that you can hang on your wall or prop on your desk.

An AI assistant that calls 911 for you

At LG’s press event, the company announced its Smart Home AI Agent. The “two-legged” wheeled robot acts as an assistant in sync with your LG appliances. Generative AI allows you to chat with the AI Agent, and the company claims it can show you empathy. In the company’s surreal, Pixar-esque promotional video, the bot can remind you to take your medicine or call 911 in a time of crisis.

A bidet you can talk to

Kohler's PureWash E930 Bidet Seat that features voice commands

Image Credits: Kohler

Hey, Alexa? Turn on the bidet spray. Kohler introduced the PureWash E930 Bidet Seat with voice command support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With voice assistance, you can control the seat hands-free, turn on the bidet’s spray and dryer functions, as well as its self-cleaning UV feature. Just don’t let anyone watch you talking to your toilet.

A voice absorbing mask that looks like a muzzle

Goodbye, nosy eavesdroppers. Skyted’s “Mobility Privacy Mask” and “Hybrid Silent Mask” are designed to “absorb voice frequencies” in noisy environments like planes, trains and rideshares, so you can communicate with a little more privacy, according to founder Stéphane Hersen. The company aims to implement their Bane-like masks in offices, call centers and even in gaming environments.

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AI Eclipse TLDR:

CES 2024 is currently taking place in Las Vegas, and while there are plenty of exciting news and announcements from the event, some of the most interesting gadgets and claims can be found in the weirder corners of the show floor. With AI being a major focus this year, there are bound to be some peculiar inventions. Here are the eight strangest gadgets, tech, and claims from CES 2024 so far:

1. AI-powered birding binoculars: Swarovski unveiled the AX Visio 10×32, a pair of binoculars priced at $4,799 that use AI to help identify over 9,000 bird species and other animals. They also allow users to capture photos and videos of their discoveries.

2. An app that lets you pay to use the bathroom: Flush is a web-based app that allows businesses to rent out their bathrooms for extra revenue. What’s particularly odd about this app is its rating system that businesses use to approve or deny reservations.

3. A BlackBerry-style keyboard for iPhones: Clicks Technology’s creator keyboard turns your iPhone into a nostalgia-inducing BlackBerry-like device. Priced at $139, the keyboard acts as a phone case attachment and provides access to more screen space.

4. Dynamic sound mixing based on your driving: Sound Drive, a startup by artist Will.i.am, aims to match your music to the cadence and energy of your commute. The technology adjusts the music based on your speed, with lyrics intelligently fading in and out depending on the driving conditions.

5. A router that doubles as a picture frame: GL.iNet’s Marble Wi-Fi 6 OpenWrt Router is designed to blend seamlessly with your home decor. It looks like a small framed piece of art that can be hung on the wall or placed on a desk.

6. An AI assistant that calls 911: LG introduced its Smart Home AI Agent, a “two-legged” wheeled robot that acts as an assistant for LG appliances. The company claims the AI agent can show empathy and even call 911 in case of an emergency.

7. A bidet with voice command support: Kohler’s PureWash E930 Bidet Seat can be controlled hands-free using voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can turn on the bidet spray, dryer functions, and even activate the self-cleaning UV feature.

8. A voice absorbing mask for privacy: Skyted’s “Mobility Privacy Mask” and “Hybrid Silent Mask” are designed to absorb voice frequencies in noisy environments. These masks aim to provide more privacy during communication and can be implemented in offices, call centers, and gaming environments.

While CES 2024 showcases the latest and most innovative technology, it’s these strange and unique gadgets that often catch people’s attention.