CES 2023 is in full swing. We’ve been drowning in specifications for almost a week and it’s starting to gnaw. Okay, there are some pretty things we’ve seen: a new range of 13th generation, Gaming laptops from the RTX 40 series (opens in new tab) here, a sprinkling of high refresh, monitors with a low response time (opens in new tab) there, but what about the real scientific innovations?
As much as I’d love to present you with timeline-changing technological marvels, there are many more things that only seem to ring the gilded bell of consumerist marketing gumpf. Still, I’m somewhat uplifted by the hilarious tech making its way to market.
So to break through the mundanity interrupted only by my unique insight of “Gosh, there aren’t many 16:10 gaming laptops (opens in new tab) this year,” I give you Katie’s worst from CES 2023. A wonderland of technological weirdness to set us up for another year of staring into the void that is humanity’s future.
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Okay, let’s start with something designed to help you manage your physical well-being. A noble cause, and not at all something that could ever be abused. It’s technology you have to pee on. Not that I’m inclined to do such things, but my colleagues assure me that “any technology can be peed on”. Whether or not to urinate is another matter.
The U scan (opens in new tab) is a health monitor in the form of a piss stone for in your toilet. Not only does this little pee monitor help you keep tabs on vitamin deficiencies, estrogen, PH levels and more by analyzing your urine, it also presents its findings via a handy mobile app. It’s a great idea, but I don’t see many people purposefully buying tech that you have to pee on. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can almost hear our Jacob shuddering through the computer screen at the uncleanness of it all.
This thing is even smart enough to tell the difference between human pee and flush water. It can even detect precisely Who pee on it.
God tell me the Withings office that brought us this little one doesn’t have these in their office restroom cubicles that monitor employee vital signs. Old Orwell is now turning in his grave.
Rubik’s Cube of a thousand dollars
Okay, so this one is actually pretty cool, or at least it was before I saw the original price tag. Essentially it’s a Rubik’s Cube, only electronic and with games. The press release simply states that it’s “a solid black glass cube…alive…where you can change the screen geometry on the fly, can’t be described in words, it’s truly a sight to behold.. .”
If all those ellipses weren’t enough to awaken the WOWCube’s burning mystery, its internal connections communicate through magnets. Magnets, how do they work? Unfortunately, the press release refuses to reveal the WOWCube’s most intimate secrets. Now, while the crossover between Rubik’s Cube likers and those who understand is obscure Insane Clown Posse (opens in new tab) references is relatively niche, at least the WOWCube is a little more relevant to gaming than some of the stuff on this list.
WOWCube pre-orders (opens in new tab) are now open and the company will begin delivering the first batch in “January 2023”. Specifically. Just know that the tip top “Black edition” will cost you $999, or $699 if you pre-order. So a Rubik’s Cube that costs more than the Steam deck (opens in new tab)? No thanks.
Three years ago, Sony shone at CES with the Vision-S (opens in new tab), a concept sedan packed with wall-to-wall entertainment features. It seemed to be nothing more than a publicity stunt, but now the company has partnered with Honda to make the dream a reality with the Afeela.
In case you’re wondering, Afeela is one Arabic name (opens in new tab), numerologically associated with social prowess, camaraderie and grace. Though it’s the “feel” part that highlighted the announcement.
It’s an AI-powered electric vehicle with an integrated PS5, of course. The worst part is that while the LED panel is on the front of the car power be used for cool stuff, we can see where it goes: cheaper leases on cars full of ads, or worse, ads on the car you paid for that you can’t turn off.
As our Jorge admits, he doesn’t really feel the idea of one gross advertising trend (opens in new tab).
Don’t get me wrong, the car looks damn gorgeous, I just have my reservations as companies stray from their main wheelhouse. I hope the Afeela doesn’t just end 417 hours left to live (opens in new tab) such as the Sony DualSense controller.
Smell your waifu
The Aroma shooter (opens in new tab) Perhaps the crowning glory of CES 2023, not only for the worst name, but for the most potential for perverted use. It’s a smelly techy tether that emits odors relevant to what’s shown on your computer screen. It uses “solid state” ink cartridges (opens in new tab) which come in a variety of flavors including papaya, chamomile, and even soy sauce.
It’s essentially a portable aroma diffuser, only the company has managed to do away with liquid and gaseous materials. The compatible app, AromaPlayer, is technically what’s shown here. It is a platform that “integrates fragrance into your favorite movies” and allows you to create and distribute your own digital fragrance landscapes.
Okay, nothing strange about that. People have wanted to pass on scents digitally for some time now. Maybe it will work, I thought.
Then – and if you watch the video below you’ll understand why – my suggestive brain kicked in and rolled a critical good luck. As our Robin said, setting a somewhat degenerative tone for the rest of our morning meeting today, “It kind of looks like it’s for perverts.”
Admittedly, it has incredible potential for use in games, though there’s another sharp contender in the gaming space: OVR technology (opens in new tab). It’s a small module that, instead of being worn around your neck, hooks onto the bottom of your VR headset.
Both can be quite fun, used responsibly.
NFT anime pc accessories
The anime that technology brand XPG brought us last year, Extreme Saga (opens in new tab), has just born a red-washed round gaming gear from the subsidiary Adata. And while the peripherals and PC case actually don’t look that bad, I have serious reservations about the anime it’s all based on. It’s mainly a cover to sell NFTs, but also because it’s one of the worst animes I’ve seen in a while.
Now you can base your entire PC setup around the main character, and why the hell wouldn’t you? She’s a badass redhead with a positive attitude and a penchant for kicking ass.
It’s really telling when the YouTube view to like ratio is 2M:397.