Beyond the laptops and TVs at CES, wild inventions and prototypes in development offer a look into the future.
CES 2023 featured tons of cool tech products, including many that you can get right now, like a Citizen smartwatch that can gauge fatigue and a smart kitchen mixer that can tell when your dough is ready. But some of the most fantastic products at CES are the futuristic inventions that won't be available for years.
The convention is loaded with prototypes, designs and big ideas for fascinating products to come. Some cost exorbitant sums, and some may never hit the market. That's just part of the mystique.
A real flying car, tablets that shrink and bend, cars that double as your friend and electric roller skates are only some of the groundbreaking creations on display: here's the most futuristic tech at CES 2023. For more, check out the biggest highlights of CES 2023 and the weirdest products we found at this year's convention.
Ever since The Jetsons hit TVs back in 1962, flying cars have become synonymous with the future, but more than 60 years later, we're still waiting to fly one. We got a big step closer at CES 2023, where the Aska A5 -- the first fully functional prototype of a flying car -- made its debut Thursday.
You can call the Aska an airplane with wheels or a car with wings, but technically it's an electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft. The vehicle can carry four passengers, and its foldable wings expand to launch vertically and fly for a range of 250 miles.
Though the Aska A5 officially takes off at CES this year, you won't be able to fly one anytime soon. Next Future Mobility plans to release the vehicle in 2026. Preorders require a $5,000 deposit that is refundable after a year.
Building on the concepts it developed in its limited prototype C-7 electrical boat, Swedish tech maker Candela is almost ready to bring its technology to the masses -- or at least anyone who can afford the expected $390,000 price tag. The new C-8 Hydrofoil hovers above the water and features a completely redesigned propulsion system that operates underwater, making a quiet ride almost silent.
Candela's new electric boat can travel at 50 knots (about 57.5 miles an hour) and will get you about 50 miles before the battery needs to be recharged, which only takes about 2 hours. The C-8 adds an enclosed cabin and ups the number of passengers to eight.
CNET's Bridget Carey says that the C-8 "feels like you're floating on a magic carpet ride through the water." The boat will hit the water for actual customers later this year. Learn more about the revolutionary tech on board with this video walkthrough.
Screens for mobile phones and tablets have been static rectangles for a long time now. CES 2023 shows that innovations from producers like Samsung Display could change all that, with screens that collapse, expand and extend to offer multiple viewing and storage options.
For foldable devices, Samsung has made the biggest splash at this year's CES with its Flex Hybrid tablet concept that closes like a notebook computer and features a screen that adjusts between 10.5 and 12.4 inches. The company also demonstrated its Flex S, a device that folds multiple times to switch between phone size and tablet.
These foldable devices aren't even products in development yet, just "concepts," so there's no telling what the final versions will look like. And because Samsung Display is a supplier for other manufacturers, the final products might come from a different provider than Samsung. However, CNET's Eli Blumenthal explains why and how this year's inventions could be a turning point for foldable devices.
Canadian company GlüxKind is banking on it with its Ella stroller, an autonomous device that can keep moving on its own. The stroller isn't meant to move independently with a baby inside -- the automatic movement is intended for when your baby doesn't want to ride anymore and is walking or being carried by you.
This "smart" stroller doesn't only propel itself. It's dual-motor drive system makes it easy to push up hills or offroad, and intelligent braking will keep it from rolling downhill.
A built-in white noise machine can help your little one fall asleep, and when you pause to stop anywhere, Ella can gently rock your little one back and forth.
All these cool features don't come cheap, however. The Ella is expected to retail for $3,300. While the company is accepting preorders, there's no scheduled release date.
If the Aska A5 is blurring the line between airplane and automobile, BMW's concept i Vision Dee wants to blur the line between car and companion.
The German automotive giant's i Vision Dee imagines a future where your car is far more personable. E Ink panels allow you to program emotive, human-like faces into the car's grille, and sophisticated AI technology is able to talk to you less like a servant and more like a buddy.
That E Ink goes beyond the grille. The entire car is made up of E Ink panels, 240 of them to be exact, allowing you to change the color and create patterns in seconds.
The BMW i Vision Dee is for now just a concept, but some of its features will trickle out to BMW's actual cars. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said, for instance, that the AI-powered HUB technology the company put into the i Vision Dee will come to real cars in 2025.
Chinese technology company TCL is best known for its TVs, but it's also branching out into virtual and augmented reality devices. Its RayNeo X2 AR glasses are available for demo at CES 2023, and CNET's Scott Stein was able to use them to translate a conversation with a Chinese speaker in real time.
The frames on the RayNeo X2 AR glasses are slightly bulkier than regular eyeglass frames, but prescription inserts eliminate the need to wear other glasses underneath, and the expected introduction of Qualcomm's AR1 chipset should reduce the size further.
The RayNeo X2 AR glasses will be released to the developer community at the end of the first quarter of 2023, with a commercial launch set for later in the year.
Although Valve may have tried to reinvent the game controller years ago, we haven't seen much innovation in the game controller space since everyone settled on the functional Xbox design as a standard.
Developed by hardware subsidiary Alienware, the prototype Concept Nyx Controller builds on the Concept Nyx home gaming server that Dell introduced last year. A fingerprint sensor at the top recognizes individual players, automatically loads their preferences and can even start their favorite games.
Two customizable scroll wheels on the bottom of the controller let you easily select weapons or other menu items, and touch sensors under the left and right shoulder buttons offer sliding controls. Shift buttons on the back of the controller make it possible to quickly switch between two entirely sets of commands on the front.
The Nyx Controller is still a prototype in development with no expected release date yet.
Electric bicycles are taking off, so why not electric roller skates? Thanks to French company Atmos Gear, you soon won't have to take off your skates to conquer steep hills. Its motorized skate frame is designed to fit any roller boot and will get you cruising at about 15 mph.
The skates are powered by a remote control and designed to give you a range of about 12 miles. You can also use the skates manually, even while the motor battery is recharging.
Atmos Gear is currently accepting preorders of the product for 500 euros ($530, £440, AU$775 converted). The company has said that it will begin production of its electric skates once it's received 200 preorders -- it has currently received 150.
One of the more unusual prototypes shown at CES 2023 is a wearable neckband from a Japanese startup company called Loovic. The device hangs around your neck, sort of like studio headphones when not in use, and provides audio and tactile directions to help you navigate without looking at your phone.
The device was inspired by Loovic CEO Toru Tamanka's son, who suffers from a cognitive impairment that makes following directions difficult. It will work for anyone who wants to receive navigation while keeping their head up. The Loovic neckband delivers directions through speakers as well as tactile feedback on the neck and shoulders. The device is still a prototype, with no scheduled release.
Keep up with all the announcements from Las Vegas with the wackiest gadgets and doodads from CES, and check out all the different robots we discovered at the show.