Pooping robots, glowing face masks and rollable screens: Weird tech of CES 2021
Welcome back to cnet's live coverage of CES 2021.
And as we wrap up the final day of the show, it's time to do probably my favorite thing of the show, and that is to break down Though weird tech and to do that, I've got two wonderful weirdos with me.
I've got IS actor and Bridget Carey and I am Claire Riley in San Francisco.
Now before we get into all the kooky, fun, crazy stuff that we saw at the show this year and despite the size of the show, there was quite a lot I want to start with you.
Was it harder to find the crazy stuff this year now that we couldn't actually be physically walking around the show floor, and heading to the darkest corners of CES?
Yeah, I think it's definitely Finally more difficult because basically you're going online and you're facing the internet.
And there's a lot of events going on that are not CS based and trying to figure it out when you're on the show floor because obviously this year is all digital.
But last year, years before when you're on the show floor, you can
Find some of the strangest stuff in the weirdest spots because there's always like a little tiny booth and you're like what is that?
Very hard to find that stuff if the PR isn't very good or their site looks a little junky you might not see it.
But honestly On the floor, a lot simpler.
Completely agree, and Bridgete I'll ask the same question of you actually because I know that you and I at the show, one of our favorite things to do is kind of run around and have a bit of a treasure hunt.
Did you find it harder to find the cool stuff this year or was it still something that, every year at CS there's going to be some weird stuff so it's easier to find.
A lot of the pitches were still coming at me but you wonder like, how real they are?
Because that's one thing.
You go to these booths you can see all right do you have something that actually turns on or not?
So I think because it also is such a weird time right now.
I was hungry for the weird, give me this stuff that is odd because everything is odd right now.
Yeah, that's a good point.
And I think we could all kind of use a bit of a distraction.
So, Bridget, I mean, the thing that we see at every show is weird pet technology.
What did we see in the world of weird pet stuff this year?
It's not a CES if you can't find a robot pet so we do have a robot pet [LAUGH] has come out of the shadows.
This is not a dog like IBO it's not a cat like I saw last year with Mars cat.
This is a Fluffy creature called though mosman.
It's by a company called Vanguard industries and right now it is a Kickstarter.
But you can check out this video it's got little eyes A coups and kind of sounds like a little critter a little kitty.
Of sorts but it, what makes it interesting is that it doesn't just move randomly.
It is an AI pet is supposed to learn and grow.
We saw that with Sony's IBO that it would kind of change how it acts depending on.
On how its owner acts, same kind of idea here.
So the more you give it, positive reinforcement, it might change to be a little more friendly to you and those different people.
So it also charges in this little adorable pod so my gosh, right.
It looks like a little Tribble has come to life in your hand.
I just want to snuggle it is, For different reasons, you can have it as an emotional support.
We see that a lot now, you know, when elder care, you know, like, Can there be something that can respond to you and grow and maybe even for children, you know, give them responsibilities and teach them to care for something, but it's a little pricey.
It's right now if you go on Kickstarter and you pledge about $400 they say you can get one in June.
So I mean, yeah, I love it because normally I see the robot.
It's kind of like I don't wanna robot in my home if it's a piece of hard called plastic that just reminds me it's a machine whereas that thing is not gonna lie.
It's freakin adorable.
Can you tell me a bit about these Pet door I saw like a pet door that you can actually kind of the dog can open up with it's but am I getting that right or if I'm completely mischaracterized it's always maybe open away this but this is called The IQ pet portal and you know i i talked about how this little cute fuzzy thing looked like a star trek Tribble.
Now we have Star Trek doors for your pet instead of like a pet like a doggie door that would come in and out.
Now they have this kind of elevator style, you know door that the dog or cat approaches The way it would open the door is that it would have a bluetooth sensor on its collar.
And so when it approaches, [SOUND] opens up and then it closes hopefully not on its tail behind it.
It has sensors to prevent that it says.
So this is an expensive product.
It's gonna be about $3000 because you got to buy the whole door.
It's an investment but I just kind of found it interesting also there is a camera so you could see, if you're hanging out with your friends in the bar you're like, my dog's got to go better open the door for him, if you don't wanna set it to be automatic.
And you can apparently talk to the pet and they can hear you back and Yeah, I just thought it was another funny okay, I can understand this cuz if you don't want to just have a flap where any animal can get in but also you just got to be really trusting of this automatic door and what if your Bluetooth caller runs out of battery that poor door, the poor dog, and then It's so confusing.
I'd be afraid if I wasn't able to go through this thing.
Yeah, I think you're right like I love the idea that pets can engage with the smart home but at the same time Yeah, it's got some real Star Trek vibes.
I'm seeing it on the on the screen there.
It's Maybe it's something, if you really care about your pet having that level of autonomy.
But that kind of price tag was starting to seriously get up in cost.
But speaking of smart home, we always see some really cool smart home tech at CES.
And this year was no different.
I mean, smart home for the pet, sure.
But we also had smart home tech The humans right Ailes?
That is very true.
We've seen a lot of great stuff with smart home but the thing that really caught my eye was LG, they were showing off some awesome transparent OLED TVs.
These aren't necessarily meant for the home, but they did show an application that I thought was insane.
It's It's this little thing they call the LG bed.
It's not a little all, it's huge.
So at the foot of this bed is this little seethrough strip, okay, and you can see little data like weather, the time, whatever you need to see in this little strip and if you want, you can have this entire What it looks to be a strip come out cuz it's a giant transparent OLED television that rises from the frame.
And this is just one of the applications of the transparent OLED display tech.
Because LG is trying to get this tacked into lots of different places and this application, I think is the craziest, weirdest thing I've seen because in their demo video, you're seeing right now, you can see the strip, you can see through it.
In the video you can see that past the bed is another TV so if you wanted to have like a double TV you could do this.
Come on get out of there you can see that the foot of the bed you can come out I'm trying to will the B roll to work there you go.
You can see this television for the bed.
I think this is insane.
I've not thought of the front the the phrase bed frame technology, but I'm excited about it.
What do you mean?>>Yeah bedframe technology it's it's the it's the future of the smart home and.
I think what I loved about this Olin transparent, our lead display was that there's so many applications for it.
So you can, I saw a demo where it was inside a restaurant.
I mean, we're getting more and more used to clear dividers between restaurant tables.
Wouldn't it be cool if that could actually have a TV display on it as well.
And what about the boss room?
Do we see any cool bathroom tech this year?
I mean, yes, what do you got?
Everything else is getting smarter in your home, your bathrooms gotta get smarter Kohler obviously a big name in bathroom, bathrooms in general, but the stillness bath you've heard of it, it's been all over the place.
The top of the line version is only $16,000.
But think about this.
What other companies pushing tub technology.
Another one, you got colored lighting.
You've got mist coming out of this tub, and there's an infinity overflow.
And I forgot to mention something.
Did I mention that you could talk to your smart speaker to fill it up and set the temperature so you could be like, hey, set it to 200 degrees.
Half full and he would do it.
The craziest, weirdest part of this is that this product is real.
And it's coming out in May.
I don't know about that old lead transparency stuff.
I think that's really cool, that's commercial.
But you'll be able to buy this and put this in your home, if you want for 16 grand in May, and that's the top of the live version.
There's a cheaper one for 6000 and a mid range one to 10,000.
So you got your choice.
Yeah, I like that.
I feel like I could just do a casual refurb of my house and pay $16,000 I couldn't even finish that sentence.
So let's just say I really would love a bath in one of those bonds right now after CES week, but I don't know, Now that I've got $16,000 to splash on that pot in the pond, I also really loved from color I saw some cool touchless technology.
So that's a big topic this year.
Obviously because of the pandemic and our concerns around health, the ability to just wave your hand over your toilet or wave your hand in New York.
Nia faucet and for it to suddenly switch off.
That's the kinda convenience that I say being something that could roll out into houses in a kind of a real and measurable way rather than $16,000 infinity bathtub with misting effects and the ability to integrate with my spot speaker.
That's what I look for in a bathtub.
Bridgette speaking of touchless faucets and toilets, talk to me about pandemic tech because or health tech it's become a really popular topic at this show because of waves out window, and what were some of the cool weird things we saw in this realm.
Well, we got some high tech masks and I know masks themselves aren't weird.
It's just weird to see how much tech there is in a purifying mask.
Here's something that LG has.
It's called the Pure Care, It's just under $300.
And if we roll the bureau you're able to see how this thing goes over your face to make you look something like shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because it has two fans got dual heppa filters inside is a washable fabric face guard But with a respiratory sensor and this whole fan system, you can get this now and walk around and definitely have people look at you but, wow, I think it's interesting for pollution, obviously, but I wanna be over this era, I don't wanna invest $200 into more of, This this life we have and going into talking about that razor, the gaming company.
They have something that I think is a little more my style.
It's a it's just a concept right now.
They call it project Hazel and it looks a lot cooler than what LG has because it lights up.
It got a clear front area so you can see someone talk And it even has glowing RGB lights to fully immerse yourself in that dystopian future cuz if we're gonna go there, let's go there all the way let's look futuristic and also has a way for you when you talk.
It amplifies your voice a little bit so people can hear you better.
It's a prototype, it's a concept, it's not something that we have a price for yet.
But, I like with their heads hat, it's just wicked looking.
I sort of question as well how much.
This stuff will stick around.
That's the big question.
Right But I mean, I also think back to March last year when we thought that masks would be a short term thing and they have stuck around and everyone that bought the really uncomfortable ones in March.
Is now like, maybe I should maybe I should get a slightly better mask I actually need to be able to breathe through this thing.
Speaking of razor I did want to kind of have a quick mention of something that I loved from the show and that was the razor gaming chair but.
I don't know how much this would actually be used by gamers or whether someone would invest the kind of cash to get one of these in their home.
But I mean, Bridget this is seriously cool.
Would you want this for your home office set up, for your for your zoom meetings?
I want this To be in my dentist's office, [LAUGH] I'm in the chair.
I can at least look at this 180 degree transparent screen.
I mean, Goodness, I don't want 180 degree zoom meetings.
Enough of that.
[LAUGH] But yeah, how cool is this though?
It's once again, something that razor came out with as a concept.
We don't have a price.
I think they call it project Brooklyn.
It's got Haptic vibration on the chair you can totally immerse yourself.
And you know, why not immerse yourself in something other than the same living room you've been looking at for nine months, right?
I feel that so deeply in my body.
When you say that.
Yeah you're right razor has really cool concepts that say yes every year but it's not necessarily something that will come to market.
That's the really the really big thing.
Speaking of roll out screens as we saw some amazing technology in the TV space this year now, CES is normally a big show for TV tech and if you think about it.
Everyone's at home.
Everyone's watching their big screens.
There's a reason that Kwibi didn't really take off and those small screen shows.
Tell me about the TV tech that we saw this year and what really excited you and maybe some of the cool weird stuff we saw Okay on TV tech, I will say I've seen some awesome stuff from a number of companies, including Samsung, LG.
These guys have been really pushing it when it comes to the.
Mini LED solutions so that we can get a really nice black level on certain items.
But I was thinking more of a portable thing.
TCL showed off some rollable devices, they showed off some TVs and stuff, but the thing that got my attention, I'm going to kind of veer off a little bit is this 17 inch OLED scrolling display.
Yes, you could use it like a TV but this thing is weird.
It's a concept and it is kind of amazing.
You've seen the rolling phones, you've seen the bendable ones.
This thing, I want you to imagine like a scroll like a mediaeval times scroll.
But instead of paper,it's a display.
Now right now foldables and rollerballs are in their infancy, you can get them whatever.
But this is a glimpse into the future.
So right now you're seeing the LG s phones,sorry TCL phones,and they can expand.
That's great and everything.
But when you see this 17 inch printed display, I'm telling you,you're gonna love this thing.
It's two sides.
You pull it open 17 inches of a display.
Now in these demos they're showing, or at least these concept videos, they're using it as a map.
No indication of what this will cost, when this will come out, or what's going on.
But for CES, I love when this weird stuff like this happens because this Is this is the stuff that gets you excited?
It's not like, Great, I could wave my foot by the dishwasher and we'll stop.
But this is super weird and freaking awesome.
And you know if TCL is working on this, other companies are working on too.
And then on the TV side.
I mean yeah, keep going.
So on the TV side, the most impressive TV step in the future is I will say it's weird.
It's Samsung's remote control.
I know this doesn't sound that exciting but all On the back of this is a solar panel on the remote.
So when you want to have the remote, work, you just turn it upside down, have the backside showing to an indoor light and it'll charge the actual remote.
Yes, you can charge it the USBC and that's nice and everything, but it's such a weird thing that nobody else has done this.
Why is this not a thing?
This is brilliant.
This should be unlike Everything right>> yeah, absolutely i mean it's a sort of split us earlier you sort of said I want the bunkers treasure map I want the thing that like you know, we've got the gaming chairs the razor masks the the TCL rolling display with zero price zero release date.
There's that kind of level of we attack But you're right.
There's the other level of weird take that's just like this is just a simple solution.
This is a pain point in our lives.
And I think it makes sense to be able to just have a solar panel on the back of your mind.
And that's the stuff that most of us are probably going to see in our lives more readily and more quickly than a talking robot or perhaps a fuzzy Tribble like pet and that leads me Bridgette, I have to ask What proportion of this is vaporware?
Do you think every year at CES we see products that are just flash in the pan very exciting, but they don't necessarily go anywhere and they disappear.
How much are we expecting some of these tech to stay around and are they are they going to be part of our lives anytime soon.
I would say a good chunk of this is yeah, not exactly vaporware or maybe inspires another version next year to something that's more practical in our lives.
But I will give you that there is a robot I got to see this year that is not vaporware.
It's very real.
It's sitting behind me This is a CES product that they sent to me a little early.
It's called the K one by Robeson.
Can I give you a little demo?
Because this is a weird
This is how I want to end it.
It'll be great.
Okay, okay, let me turn them on a second.
The answers voice commands and because this is a weird text segment I'm going to do something that has never been seen on video yet.
Hey k one here.
Take a poop [SOUND] Robots can do anything guys, if you're wondering why I did that it's because Robeson makes these high end robots to teach kids stem in creative ways.
And so it has all sorts of effects it has like 80 different things you can say to it, but of course I want to choose something that I hope my bosses are not watching.
Or camera, but obviously kids are going to get hooked in different ways whether it's tumbling and rolling.
It can do a handstand, fire cannons and the good bathroom humour.
Well, I guess it can fire cannons in more ways than one, Bridget.
I didn't think I would see a robot pooping for me today, but this is the future.
I don't need a jet pack, I just need a pooping robot.
On that note, I think there's no better place to end our weird texts.
segment thank you to my favorite weirdos I as and Bridget It was lovely to share this time with you.
And for all of you watching make sure you stay tuned because we've got so much more coming your way from ces 2021 we We've got, Cnet, best of ces 2021, which is his, top picks for the show.
And of course, we've got a couple of deep dives for you, on things like digital health care, which is particularly relevant, post pandemic, as well as, the future of transportation.
So, make sure you keep it here.
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