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The Best, Weirdest, and Most Interesting Tech at CES 2023

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The 2023 CES exhibition has come to an end. After two years of cancellations and downsizing thanks to the pandemic, CES was almost normal this year, barring a few absent companies and downsized exhibits. Thankfully, Gadgets 360 was on site in Las Vegas and we were able to see plenty of brand new tech as well as concepts and demonstrations of ideas that give us a peek into the future. Of course there were plenty of TVs, laptops and wearables, but in this article, we’re bringing you some of the more experimental tech, and the exhibits with stories behind them. Do leave us a comment and tell us which of these you’d like to own this year.

LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare

LG held one of the first press conferences of CES 2023 and it was jam packed with products, not all of which were aimed at the mass market or could even be considered practical. The LG Styler ShoeCase is a whimsical niche offering aimed at sneakerheads who want to store, clean, and show off their collection. Each ShoeCase has a motorised turntable, customisable RGB LED illumination, and a UV-absorbent coating. You can control its functions through the LG ThinQ app. You can stack multiple ShoeCases and they are also designed to snap on to the LG Styler ShoeCare steam cleaning appliance which has multiple routines for different materials.

You can stack a bunch of LG Styler ShoeCases and sync their turntables and lighting effects

 

HP Hearing Pro

Hearing aids are typically bulky and ugly, and some people might feel stigma wearing them. They’re also expensive and you need a doctor’s prescription to get one. HP is one of several companies now authorised to sell hearing aids over the counter in the US, and has licensed its tech from Nuheara. These earbuds look like mainstream true wireless earphones so they’re easy to wear and don’t look awkward. You can calibrate them through an app, and yes, they work as Bluetooth earphones too.

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These hearing aids are meant to be affordable and won’t call much attention to themselves when worn

 

Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 3D OLED

If you thought 3D was just a gimmick, Asus might be able to change your mind. The ProArt Studiobook 16 3D OLED is aimed mainly at 3D content creators, industrial platforms, and the education market. The glasses-free 3D experience uses eye tracking and a lenticular array to generate vivid 3D images that are visible even if you move your head around. There’s software that lets you view and manipulate 3D models, video content, and of course games. You can even use 3D input methods such as a stylus with the right sensing hardware, to manipulate models in 3D space.

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The 3D display effect combined with 3D input opens up possibilities in education, engineering, and much more

 

Sony-Honda Afeela concept car

CES is almost as much a car show as it is a gadget show, and among the many vehicles was a prototype from Afeela, the new name for Sony and Honda’s joint venture. The “media bar” display on the front can show you information before you get in, while the ultra-modern interior has a giant panoramic screen covering the entire front console. With Sony’s cameras and sensor technology plus Honda’s experience manufacturing cars, Afeela aims to implement level 2+ autonomous driving.

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Afeela is the new brand name for Sony-Honda Mobility’s aspirations in the EV market

 

Abbott mixed reality experience

CES attracts all kinds of companies who leverage tech, and one name you might not have expected to see here was Abbott. The medical diagnostics and research company has developed a mixed reality experience to get young people interested in blood donation and keep them occupied while blood is being collected. The experience uses Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 hardware and guides the wearer through planting a virtual garden hands-free using only eye tracking and audio cues. It can also potentially help distract and calm anyone who is afraid of needles.

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Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 headset is the basis for Abbott’s experience

 

LG transparent OLED T TV

One of the most fascinating displays at LG’s CES 2023 booth was its prototype transparent OLED T TV. It looks just like a normal TV when in use, but the panel itself is constructed with an internal curtain of sorts that can be raised or lowered, so you can see right through it while content keeps playing. It isn’t anywhere near ready to go on sale yet, and we have no idea what it might cost, but this shows the future of OLED technology. In the future, your TV could be the front of a painting on your wall, or integrated into some kind of furniture.

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You can see right through the TV when it’s set to transparent mode, but it can continue displaying images

 

MSI Stealth 14 Studio

We’ve seen ultra-compact laptops before, but the latest Intel and Nvidia hardware released at CES lets manufacturers shove a lot more power than before into tiny bodies. Among the many new laptops that MSI demonstrated at CES 2023 was the new Stealth 14 Studio, which packs a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU into a 19mm thin chassis weighing only 1.7kg. You get a 14-inch 16:10 panel with up to a QHD+ resolution and 240Hz refresh rate, plus upgradeable DDR5 RAM, NVMe storage, and plenty of ports. It’s built for gaming, but will be popular with creative pros on the go too. If you need something even more portable, the 0.99kg Prestige 13 Evo is 16.99mm thick and has a more subtle aesthetic, but also uses the latest CPUs and promises all-day battery life.

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The new Stealth series is designed and optimised for gaming as well as content creation

 

Acer eKinect bike desk

If you need motivation to get some exercise, this stationary bike desk from Acer will force you to pedal to generate electricity. You’ll need to keep moving to make sure your devices stay powered up through the USB Type-A and Type-C ports, and the little display on the front will show you how much electricity you have generated. You can adjust the bike’s resistance and move the desk surface up or down for comfort. There’s even an app that helps you track your exercise. This might be useful if you’re working at home, and they might even show up in some offices.

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If you need to motivate yourself or your employees to exercise, this might be the solution

 

Ryse Recon arial utility vehicle

Are flying cars finally about to go mainstream? Not quite. Startup Ryse showed off its Recon flying car, which is really more of a quadcopter. It’s large, noisy, and can only seat one, but it can fly for about 25 minutes per charge. It takes off and lands vertically, so it could be used to get around tight spots. Moreover, the company says it only takes about ten minutes to learn how to fly it, and you don’t need a pilot’s license. Demonstrations in the Las Vegas Convention Centre outdoor parking area proved that while it might look cool, it isn’t going to replace your four-wheeled ground-based transportation anytime soon.

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It might not make your daily commute to work any easier just yet, but it could be a sign of things to come

 

Corsair and LG curved monitors

The curved TV trend seems to have died out, but curved ultrawide monitors are becoming more popular with gamers because of the immersive experience they can deliver. Unfortunately they aren’t great for everyday work and if you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated gaming PC, you’ll want something more practical. You can now get the best of both worlds – Corsair’s Xeneon Flex is a 45-inch 21:9 240Hz OLED panel that you can literally grab and bend so it’s either flat or curved. LG’s OLED Flex is a 42-inch TV that can work as a monitor and as an added bonus, it’s motorised so you can switch between flat and a few different degrees of curvature with the press of a button.

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Corsair’s monitor has retractable handles that you can use to bend it with (left) while LG’s implementation is motorised (right)

 

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

It’s been a few years since we saw Intel’s multi-screen laptop concepts, and now Lenovo has brought something very similar to market in the form of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, with a second panel that unfolds above the main one. Multi-finger gestures make it easy to scale content across both screens and you can multitask on the go with the detachable keyboard. The folio stand lets you arrange both 13.3-inch OLED screens horizontally or vertically, and of course they both work with a stylus.

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The two screens can be positioned horizontally or vertically, opening up possibilities for multitasking

 

 

Vegas Loop

Closing out our list, we have a display of technology that wasn’t one of the CES 2023 exhibits. The new Loop is a system of tunnels dug by The Boring Company between the Las Vegas Convention Center’s old and new halls, with an extension running to one hotel on the Las Vegas strip. There are plans to extend this new public transportation system throughout the city’s high-traffic tourist areas. At the moment only Tesla cars are driven through the tunnels at low speed, and that too only by trained drivers. Eventually, autonomous vehicles could turn it into something more like a point-to-point subway. Of course the RGB lighting everywhere made CES attendees feel right at home.

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Cars are limited to 25mph (40kmph) in the very narrow tunnels

Disclosure: Flights and hotel stay for the trip to Las Vegas were sponsored by MSI


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