The Wackiest Tech of CES 2023: Car Companions, Smell Showers and More

It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of CES: : Dazzling wireless TVs here, an actual flying car there. It’s a lot to take in. But hiding in plain sight are a whole crop of jaw-dropping, quirky or just plain weird gadgets. These bizarre products are part of the delightful hallmarks of a show typically overflowing with slim new laptops and gleaming cars.

We’ll keep collecting the remarkably odd and sometimes unsettling tech products we see this week. If you’re curious, here’s our ongoing list of the must-see gadgets of CES 2023and here’s a roundup of CES’s most futuristic gizmos.

Withings’ toilet sensor can read your pee

Withings’ toilet sensor.

Withings

We thought a urinal target was about as good as it got. Withings is going several steps deeper with in-toilet sensors that look a bit like a urinal cake and calculate if you’re low on nutrients, for example, or if you’re about to ovulate. Called U-Scan, the sensor attaches to your toilet bowl and analyzes your urine each day you use it. A companion app gives health readings over time.

A robot pet with a personality

WowWee’s Dog-E.

Bree Fowler/CNET

Robot companions are a fun idea, but they often suffer from a lack of personality. Every droid buddy comes with the same functions, the same range of personality traits that you can pick and choose from. Toymaker WowWee wants to change that with its Dog-E, an $80 electronic canine. It’s a robotic dog with a personality coded deep down in its heart (CPU?), one that reveals itself over time. Some dogs will always be hungry, while others might be more playful or shy, according to WowWee.

This camouflage car color syncs with music

Volkswagen ID 7 prototype

The camo-clad VW?

Volkswagen

Sure, we like what we saw on the inside of the Volkswagen ID 7 concept vehicle on display this week at CES. But it’s what VW put on the outside that caught our eye: The car is clad in QR-code-themed digital camouflage that’s divided into 22 zones that can light up separately, transforming the entire exterior into a music visualizer tied to the car’s audio system .

LG’s answer for smelly feet

Woman putting her shows into an LG Styler Shoecase Display

LG’s shoe-care device, in action.

LG

If you’re a sneakerhead, here’s your high-tech chance to take care of your shoes. Called the Styler ShoeCare from LG, you slip your sneakers into the locker-like device, and through the magic TrueSteam nozzles, 37 minutes later, your shoes are deodorized. A companion Styler ShoeCase lets you show off your shoes once refreshed.

Party in your kitchen

moodup fridge and app

Play around with over 190,000 color combos.

LG

Here’s one more reason why you’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties: LG’s new MoodUp fridge has color-changing doors and a Bluetooth speaker to make a kitchen the center of the action. You can customize the LED backlit panels with 190,000 color combos, LG says, to match your cooking mood.

Print your hair color

In past years, you may have seen how you can get temporary tattoos printed, but at CES this January you can take that further and get your hair printed too with color. Prinker’s showing how.

Aromatherapy shower sprays you with smells

sprig shower head

Kohler’s Sprig shower pod system infuses both essential oils and hyaluronic acid into your shower spray.

Kohler

How lush is this? Among the new shower and bath products Kohler is showing off this week is an aromatherapy shower system that the company designed to bring spa scents into the shower. The aromatherapy system infuses shower water with vitamins and scents — all you need to complete your spa treatment are the cucumbers.

Neutrogena customized skin care gummies

Neutrogena edible gummies

Custom skin-nutrient gummies from Neutrogena.

Bree Fowler/CNET

Neutrogena has made soap and lotion for years, but now the skin care giant wants us to chew on vitamin gummies that the company says can customize to your particular skin needs. A 28-day pack of chewable nutrients will cost $50.

Kitchen cutting board with built-in screen

Blok cutting board with screen

Blok

No more covering your MacBook keyboard or iPhone screen with sticky batter as you tap through a recipe with flour-caked fingers. A $699 walnut cutting board from Blok shows off recipes and cooking classes (with a $39 a month subscription) on a 13-by-20-inch display. The screen detaches for cleanup.

Livestream your dinner as it bakes

Samsung's Bespoke Wall Oven

Livestream your baking successes.

Samsung

OK. I admit it: I watch way too much of Twitch with its livestreams of gamers and crafters and roosting chickens. That’s why Samsung’s Bespoke AI Wall Oven it’s so appealing. Now I have the opportunity to livestream my own baking with a camera built inside the oven.

Banter with your car like it’s an old friend


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Volkswagen wasn’t the only carmaker bringing a funky concept vehicle to CES. BMW’s i Vision Dee has 240 e-ink panels on its exterior, which allows it to change colors in an instant. Most futuristically, it wants to be both your car and your companion: It uses sophisticated AI to create a personality of its own, a la Herbie or Knight Rider’s Kitt. While just a concept, BMW says some of the tech in the i Vision Dee will come to its new vehicles in 2025. That probably doesn’t include the AI ​​companion.

For more on CES, here’s how to watch all the big announcements this week in Las Vegas, what to know about Samsung’s massive QLED monitors on display and all the robots we found.

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