CES is one of the hottest tech events of the year, and this year has not disappointed. While most debuts at the conference are impressive, to say the least, there are some other showcases that are a little, well, odd.
Read on to find out more.
Please note this article will be subject to updates throughout the week, so be sure to check back later for any new additions.
What are some of the strangest technologies at CES 2021?
And so, without further ado, here are some of the strangest technologies being debuted at CES this year. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. Check out MOFLIN: An AI pet that will likely freak you out
To any fan of Star Trek, the resemblance of MOFLIN to tribbles will surely amuse you. But, this "AI pet robot" is far more than a homage to this venerable sci-fi franchise.
Developed by Vanguard Industries Inc., this diminutive pet possess emotional capabilities that can actually evolve over time like "real" animals. MOFLIN is coated in soft fur, makes cute sounds, and is so adorable, its creators say, that it will melt your heart in no time.
"We took a nature-inspired approach and developed a unique algorithm that allows MOFLIN to learn and grow by constantly using its interactions to determine patterns and evaluate its surroundings from its sensors," explains Vanguard Industries.
"MOFLIN will choose from an infinite number of mobile and sound pattern combinations to respond and express its feelings. To put it simply, it’s like you’re interacting with a living pet," they added.
2. The Typewise Keyboard is something else
Another interesting concept at CES this year is the Typewise Keyboard. Developed by Typewise AG, it is billed as the "next-generation" in keyboards.
According to its creators, this new keyboard design is specifically created to boost productivity while also safeguarding privacy on smart devices. It comes with an innovative honeycomb layout that is specifically designed to allow for two-thumb typing, which apparently reduces typo-rates by as much as 80%.
The keyboard currently supports over 40 different languages and also enables users to type in multiple languages simultaneously without needing to switch between them. According to Typewise, this keyboard is also 100% private, as all the data it creates is stored on the device only.
3. This AI-powered dog collar is a little odd
Devised by Petpuls Lab, their self-named AI-powered dog collar might be a vision of the future of, well, pet accessories. Clearly inspired by the Disney animated film "Up", this collar can, apparently, actually give your dog a voice!
The device's AI-technology is able to detect, track, and analyze five common emotional states of dogs such as being happy, anxious, angry, sad, or simply relaxed. Petpul's collar also doubles as an activity and sleep tracker for your dog to help you better understand your "best friends'" emotional and physical well-being.
"The Petpuls smart collar consists of a small device attached to an eco-friendly, silicon collar which pairs via Wi-Fi to the accompanying iOS or Android app. Petpuls provides a comprehensive view of a dog’s health enabling dog owners to provide proactive, personalized pet care," says Petpusl Lab.
4. GoSun's Flow is an interesting way to purify water
GoSun's Flow is another unusual tech innovation being showcased at CES this year. This odd-looking device uses the power of the sun to purify and sanitize water.
It is compact and can easily fit into a regular-sized backpack. According to its creators, the device is highly efficient and by using solar energy is capable of eliminating 99.99% of all pathogens from water.
It is capable of pumping around 1 liter of water a minute, and can also function as a portable handwashing station, hot shower, and a source of potable water from anywhere in the world with a water source -- like a creek, river, lake, pond, etc.
5. The Next Generation OOLER is a little strange if we are being honest
The OOLER, developed by ChiliSleep, has been billed at this year's CES as the "most advanced and most luxurious sleep systems" available. A water-powered temperature control system for your bed, this one builds on the success of its forerunner the OOLER.
Capable of maintaining thermal ranges of between 55 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 46 degrees Celsius), this might be the last sleeping aid you'll ever need. According to its creators, the OOLER helps you fall asleep faster and maximize the restful sleep you get throughout the night.
"It’s simple. Chili’s nature-based sleep solutions are an easy way to change your sleep — no pills, no will power needed. Why? Cooling is the ultimate hack to get great sleep. Whether you have 6 hours or 8, science meets a magical experience to give you the quality sleep your body needs," says Chilisleep.
6. WOWCube is far from conventional
Brought to you by Cubios Inc., the WOWCube Entertainment System might be one of the strangest entertainment systems you have ever seen. Ostensibly similar to a 2 by 2 by 2 Rubik's cube, this innovative entertainment system combines mixed reality with a tangible interface to take 3D puzzles to the next level.
In this sense, it helps augment video games through physically tilting, twisting, and shaking of the device.
"Patented technology, unique CubiOS operating system, and a single digital cube surface formed by screens turn the WOWCube® system into a cube you twist, tilt and shake for gaming, learning, and content.
You may play many games, download new games from the application store via Bluetooth, and develop new games and applications," explains Cubios.
7. Moxie is designed to help your child learn
Moxie, developed by Embodied, Inc., is another weird piece of tech making its debut at CES this year. An animated companion, this little device, "helps build social, emotional, and cognitive skills through everyday play-based learning and engaging content developed in association with child development and education experts."
Designed by a team of experts in child development, engineering, game design, and entertainment, Moxie incorporates sophisticated algorithms to, "bring it to life. This learning toy is able to perceive, process, and respond to natural language, and can even perceive eye contact, facial expressions, and other behaviors in your child.
Moxie, so Embodied claim, can even recognize and recall people, places, and objects. Freaky!
8. Oticon More is a little freaky too
Oticon More, developed by Oticon, is another unusual piece of tech from this year's CES. Billed as the first hearing aid with Deep Neural Network (DNN) tech, it could be the future of hearing aids.
Its DNN has been trained with 12 million real-life sounds and has been customized to fit into space and power limitations of such a small device. This, Oticon claim, helps to deliver a more natural representation of sounds rather than lab-constructed sound algorithms.
"This allows More to deliver a full and precisely balanced sound scene that makes it easier for the brain to perform optimally. Users can more easily understand speech, with less effort and remember more," says Oticon.
9. These fuel cells take their cue from the living world
BeFC SAS' Bioenzymatic Fuel Cells might be one of the strangest pieces of tech at CES this year. This paper-based energy source might just be the future of powering low power electronics.
"We believe our approach will not only allow the replacement of batteries for existing applications, but also open up new opportunities for low-power ultra-thin health monitoring, logistics/transportation monitoring, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications," says BeFC.
The tech makes use of biological catalysts, instead of chemical or metal catalysts, to convert natural substances like glucose and oxygen into electricity. Pretty neat, if a little weird.
10. This weird wearable will help you last longer in bed
Another weird piece of tech from this year's CES is Morari's wearable delayed ejaculation device. Developed to help men "last longer" in the sack, the company hopes it will also improve many couple's love lives around the world.
That is unless you don't have a problem in this department! Even so, many men in the West wouldn't mind a helping hand (excuse the pun), as it states in the Archives of Sexual Behavior; V.24; 1995; p447 "In Western cultures today, as many as 60% of men wish to prolong latency to orgasm and rapid ejaculation is one of the most common complaints from men and couples seeking sex therapy."
This odd wearable tech has, according to the manufacturer, been based on science and data to develop a wearable patch that contains elements that, when activated, interfere with the nerve signals from the penis to the brain to delay ejaculation.
11. This device brings water saving to the haircare industry
Being showcased at this year's CES is a new piece of kit that helps make haircare more sustainable -- when it comes to water usage. Developed by the haircare giant L'Oreal, unveiled it's "Water Saver" gadget.
Designed for both hair salons and domestic use, the device has been developed in collaboration with Gjosa. Utilizing some principles used in rocket engines, the devices enable the reduction of water droplet sizes by 10 times and accelerates them to ensure every drop of water is used in hair washing and rinsing.
All this while making shampoos, conditioners, and other hair treatment products easier and more efficient to rinse out of someone's hair.
12. Kohler's "Stillness Bath" takes inspiration from something called "forest bathing"
Another interesting piece of kit unveiled at this year's CES is Kohler's "Stillness Bath". Drawing its inspiration from Japanese "first bathing", aka shinrin-yoku, this new way to bathe combines water, light, fog, and aromas in such a way as to maximize your relaxation experience when bathing.
Kohler believes this bath will help transform your bathroom into a spa-like environment to reinvigorate your body and soul in one sitting.
"It starts with water filling from the bottom of the bath, overflowing into the Hinoki wood mote to create a soothing sound. Full-spectrum lighting surrounds the bath, setting the mood, and creating a chromatherapy experience. The fog then envelopes the surface of the Stillness Bath, immersing the bather in a feeling of deep relaxation. Finally, essential oils can be added into the bath's experience tower which softly emits invigorating aromas to stimulate the senses and promote focus." - Kohler.
13. Samsung has unveiled a solar power remote control!
Much to every TV owner's joy, Samsung has unveiled an actual solar-powered remote TV control. The device, designed to work with their latest models of OLED TVs, can be recharged using indoor light, or outdoor light using a USB.
An innovation that many have been waiting for, this is, as Samsung proudly claims, a "first-of-its-kind innovation for the brand.
"This will help prevent waste from a projected 99 million AAA batteries over seven years. To construct the remote, Samsung innovated manufacturing process that upcycles plastics from recyclable bottles –including 24% recycled content". - Samsung.
Win, win, win.
14. Make sure you check out this "smart" perfume
Another strange piece of tech being showcased this year at CES is NINU Perfume. This patent-pending SMART perfume is, according to its creators, a "world-first" and allows users to personalize their own scent using its AI-powered app in just a few clicks.
Containing the "highest quality" Eau de parfum, and incorporating a "high-end" Italian design, this might be the next big thing in perfume.
According to its creator's sales material, "NINU is a fresh breeze in the traditional perfume industry. Leveraging the latest technological advancements, it honors the tradition and builds on a millennia-old heritage.
Combining three different high-quality fragrances in a single high-tech design, allows you to find your scent and play with it."
15. Get ready for your next dystopian future entertainment experience with bHaptics tactical suits
And finally, another strange, yet awesome, addition to CES this year is bHaptics' Tactsuit X series. Billed as the next generation in Haptic Suits, their TactSuit X40 and TactSuit x16 are specially designed to take your VR, PC gaming, music, and movie-watching experience to the next level.
Each suit comes with a series of vibrotactile to provide "powerful, yet sophisticated haptic feedback in sync with content, using tactile motors that are evenly distributed throughout the haptic vest."
For fans of Occulus Quest titles, SteamVR, and VR FPS games, such as Onward and Pavlov, these titles already have native support for the TactSuit X16 and X40. The company plans to continue to work with other titles in order to provide its users with optimized haptic feedback for each game.
Now that is what we call an immersive gaming experience!
And that's your lot for today. Do you agree with our choices? Or have we missed any other weird tech at this year's CES?