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The weirdest tech and gadgets we saw at CES 2024

We always find some strange gadgets at CES. There’s no way around it, with thousands of exhibitors peddling their wares, trying to find a market for things no one has dreamed up before. From startups to giants like Samsung, there are plenty of things that make us pause, chuckle, and shake our heads. Here’s a few favorites from CES 2024. Keep in mind, weird doesn’t necessarily mean bad. It just means weird.

While the bottom half of the Spacetop looks like a traditional notebook, the top half relies on tethered AR glasses to provide a 100-inch virtual display.

Photos by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

If you squint, you can see how a laptop paired to AR glasses could provide a much more expansive and immersive experience than a standard 14-inch laptop screen. Unfortunately, the narrow field of view, spongy keyboard and high price make this a bit of a non-starter.

Samsung Ballie robot demo

Engadget

Yes, Ballie is definitely cute. We got a kick of out seeing it roll around its demo area at Samsung’s CES booth. But it’s still pretty weird to have a tiny robot follow you around so it can project a workout video on the ceiling while you work your abs.

Image of Shift Robotics' Moonwalkers on a black table.

Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

The Moonwalkers have a highbrow premise: by propelling the human wearing them a little bit further than they’d normally go when they take a step, this could add up to much more efficient walking over the course of a day, week or lifetime. The new “X” model is lighter and has fewer wheels, making it theoretically easier to produce. But the original Moonwalker cost about $1,400, a wild amount of money. You’re probably just better off walking a little quicker.

A Volkswagen in-dash tablet display shows an example of the ChatGPT integration announced at CES 2024.

Photo by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

While we can see the potential use cases for having a more intelligent voice assistant in your car, one powered by ChatGPT, having the car tell us a story about dinosaurs was a pretty weird way to go about demonstrating it.

Image of both Zoo Gears' dog pianos, TheButter, as well as its forthcoming musical instrument and pet feeder, TheBiscuit.

Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

We’ve all seen videos of dogs “playing” an instrument, but this might be the first one purpose-built for a pet. “Teach” your dog to “play” this “piano” and you’ll surely get hours of entertainment. The $299 device even comes with an automated feeder to encourage your dog to keep going.

Cartoon promotional image of a girl wearing headphones while applying headphones to her dog.

One By One

Turns out downtempo music music soothes pets and cartoons studying endlessly alike. We love the research showing this, but that still doesn’t explain why this is better than just letting your dog listen to your Spotify account.

A white Flappie cat door installed in a square of black wood with a stuffed cat and mouse behind it on display at CES 2024.

Photo by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

C’mon, just look how cute this is! Let the poor guy in, your cruel and arbitrary cat door.

Image of the Adam-X medical training robot, an artificial human body laying on a white dais with the shirt open.

Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

Let’s be clear: “weird” does not necessarily mean “bad” or “useless.” Adam-X certainly does look useful for medical training. But, well, it’s also just a bit off-putting.

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

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