Astounding CES 2024 Tech Concepts We Can Hardly Wait For

The world's biggest consumer tech show lets us dream of a Jetsons-style world where these futuristic concepts come to pass.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Cooper
CES 2024 in Las Vegas
1 of 19 CNET

Looking to the future

CES 2024 is a candy-colored box of goodies. While you can certainly buy some of the wares at the show, some of the most intriguing tech concepts trumpeted at CES are visions of the future we wish were already real. (Others were straight-up wacky.) Here's what's sparking our imagination.

BMW's Dee car with personality on stage with Hollywood's other famous cars, Herbie and KITT (from Knight Rider).
2 of 19 BMW

Talking, color-changing BMW

Remember KITT, the talking car from Knight Rider? It's getting closer to reality thanks to Dee, a talking, color-changing BMW concept car displayed at CES. It will listen and respond to commands from curbside, as well as remotely via a smartphone app. Plus, the concept's exterior skin is covered with new full-color E Ink technology that can instantly shift between up to 32 colors, allowing you to generate patterns and multicolor schemes on the fly to customize your ride.

self-screening pods for airport security
3 of 19 Department of Homeland Security via Monash University

Self-service airport screening pods

Airport security lines are never fun, and they can be so long they result in travelers missing their flights. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration is testing a new self-service system that could let you complete the screening process on your own. The self-service screening pods are for TSA PreCheck passengers to use as individual screening consoles. When a passenger steps inside the screening pod, they show their ID and the machine will begin scanning them and their bags. Each station includes a video monitor with step-by-step instructions. The prototype that's being shown at CES this week is the Micro-X self-screening system. 

A "Mars rover" with solar panels extending from the top of it.
4 of 19 Jon Reed/CNET

Jackery solar Mars bot and rooftop camper

Jackery displayed two concept items -- one more practical than the other. The company showed off a "Mars rover" with solar panels. The Solar Generator Mars Bot is like a portable power station on wheels with solar panels sliding out of the sides to capture more sunlight, somewhat like NASA's Opportunity Rover, with power outlets. And a more practical item on display was the company's rooftop camper tent. Solar panels mounted inside the hardshell roof of the pop-up tent and extending wings of panels can provide power through one of the company's power stations, running plenty of camping equipment for long journeys.

5 of 19 Kia

Kia's Lego-like concept vehicles

Kia debuted three concept vehicles at CES 2024: the PV1, PV5 and PV7, the automaker's new Platform Beyond Vehicle family. They are electric vans that can be customized to move products, serve as work or living spaces, be converted to modular pop-up stores, and operate with or without a driver behind the wheel. Think Legos for vehicles -- they can be reconfigured almost at will.

6 of 19 CNET

Hyundai's steering tech

The Hyundai Mobion concept vehicle moves unlike any other vehicle you've probably seen. The newly developed eCorner steering technology uses advances in robotics technology to allow the vehicle to move laterally, rotationally, and do all sorts of crazy things. The wheels can be moved independently, but also in multiple different configurations. The car can even crab walk, and it can do rear-wheel steering on a level that we've almost never seen before. Hyundai hopes to begin shopping the tech around in 2025 or so.

A 12.3-inch nanoLED prototype showing fruit and veg.
7 of 19 Nanosys

Quantum dot-powered TV of the future

Nanosys has created a prototype 12.3-inch nanoLED screen that could be thinner, brighter and more efficient than OLED. What's nanoLED, you ask? It's a technology based on electroluminescent, aka "direct-view" quantum dots, and its screens boast improved picture quality, energy savings and manufacturing efficiency. While the screens can't quite be made in TV size yet, the new prototypes are big enough for tablets, small laptops and automotive uses.

Supernal S-A2 on stage with Hyundai executive
8 of 19 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Hyundai's electric air taxi

The electric air taxi flies closer to reality with the CES debut of the Supernal S-A2. Hyundai's advanced air mobility wing Supernal displayed its new, second-generation S-A2, an electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, air taxi. It'll take to the air as early as 2028, the company said. 

9 of 19 Nick Wolny/CNET

Doublepoint Android watch software

A Finnish startup created some impressive software, called Doublepoint, that turns your smartwatch running Android's WatchOS into a kind of remote control you can wear on your wrist.

It makes your watch a general-purpose controller for any device via a Bluetooth connection. You may be able to dim your lights, scroll Netflix or do any number of other things.

10 of 19 Hisense

Hisense projector concept car

Hisense doesn't make cars, but the company is demonstrating its laser TV in-car technology at CES. CNET's David Katzmaier calls it "basically a drive-in movie theater built into your car." There's a laser projector right on the front bumper -- you could project a movie straight from your car onto a flat surface, like your garage door. Inside the car, you can turn the windshield into an information hub, allowing drivers to simultaneously observe virtual images and the real environment. 

11 of 19 Tara Brown/CNET

Samsung transparent micro-LED

Transparent OLED and even LCD-based screens have been around for a while, but Samsung says its micro-LED display technology produces brighter, clearer images and is more transparent than the going tech. That means you should be able to see through it more easily to objects on the other side. 

One intriguing use: One day, you could be in a luxury box at an athletic event or concert looking through this transparent micro-LED glass. Scores, replays and highlights could appear on the "windows" and augment the experience of the game without obscuring it. (You're still on your own for getting those luxury box tickets, however.)

samsung flip concept phone at ces 2024
12 of 19 Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung's flip phone concept

Samsung's Flex In & Out Flip concept is like a Galaxy Z Flip you can fold in both directions. Unlike the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and other flip phones you can buy today, it folds completely backward so that you use the phone's 6.7-inch screen even when the device is shut.

13 of 19 LG

LG DukeBox

If you've ever wanted to sync up The Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, the LG DukeBox might be just the device for you. It's a 360-degree speaker with a transparent OLED panel at the front to show off the tube amplifier inside. LG says the screen can be used to watch movies or "create a cozy fireplace ambiance where the vacuum tube is visible amidst the flickering flames."

14 of 19 CNET

LG concept car

LG has a car? It's just a concept for now, but this futuristic beauty features completely autonomous driving, seats that turn completely around, and of course, plenty of screens. It also works with LG's smart home system, and there's a video game system and concierge station that holds a wine bottle. AR displays give you information on businesses you're passing as the car drives you around.

15 of 19 CNET

Samsung rollable OLED

Imagine Samsung's flexible rollable OLED display technology inside your car. These screens offer small, unobtrusive displays when you're driving, but when you need to charge your electric vehicle, you can fold out the screen to a larger size for movie watching or playing games. It folds right back up to the size of a chunky highlighter when you're done.

A crystal made of glass that can capture solar energy.
16 of 19 Jon Reed/CNET

Stained glass solar panels

Think you know what solar panels look like? Think again. This crystal isn't just an art object but a solar panel capable of turning sunlight energy into power. Extra points for not looking like a giant, unsightly black box.

17 of 19 Razer/CNET

Project Esther gaming chair cushion

Razer showed off its new Sensa HD Haptics technology with a concept for a gaming chair cushion. Project Esther, an add-on cushion unveiled at CES, is the first demonstration that Razer has offered of the new technology, which comes via its acquisition of Interhaptics in 2022. It straps on to a chair and creates sensations to let you feel as if you're really experiencing the game you're playing.

A model of a skyscraper with black lines on the windows representing potential perovskite solar cells.
18 of 19 Jon Reed/CNET

Panasonic's novel solar cells

Panasonic has a plan to one day turn walls and windows into solar energy. The new solar technology, perovskite, uses different materials than traditional silicon solar panels. The fact that the materials are printed onto walls and windows means Panasonic can manufacture components at much lower temperatures -- which saves energy -- and the solar cells themselves have the potential to one day capture as much energy as traditional solar panels, if not more.

Honda 0 Series Saloon Concept
19 of 19 Honda

Honda 0 Series Saloon

Honda gave CES attendees their first peek at its next generation of battery electric cars, the Honda 0 (pronounced "zero") series, expected to launch in the US in 2026. Shown here is the sharply styled 0 Series Saloon, the flagship model.

It will be joined by the more upright and van-shaped Honda 0 Space-Hub, featuring a transparent canopy and center-facing bench seats.

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