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5 of the oddest and, in some cases, coolest tech at CES 2022

January 7, 2022, 8:20 PM UTC

Weird tech gadgets are a routine part of CES, the annual tech convention in Las Vegas taking place this week.

Ten years ago, showgoers got an eyeful of the iPotty, a toilet training device for kids that had an iPad attached to it. Attendees have since seen everything from smart forks that monitor how fast you eat to an Internet of Things pet litter box (for some reason, toilet tech is a big thing at CES) to motorized roller skates capable of speeds of up to 10 mph.

This year is no exception, although some of the weirdest items were also some of the coolest. Here’s what is turning heads.

BMW’s color changing car

It sounds like something a James Bond villain would drive, but BMW’s eye-popping concept car is real, even if it’s unavailable to consumers at the moment (and won’t be anytime soon). Using e-ink, the same technology that’s behind Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader, the company has created a car surface that can change colors in an instant with the help of an electronic field. Currently, the color palette consists only of black, white, and gray, but even that limited menu could be useful. Lighter colors, for instance, reflect more heat and light than dark ones, which could impact the comfort inside the car. Is it durable? Is it practical? Who knows?! It’s definitely weird (and cool), though.  

Amagami Ham Ham

We’re not sure who thought an eight-inch robot that nibbles on your finger would be a good or marketable idea, but it is certainly odd. Buyers have a choice between a robot cat or dog, both of which are based on characters from the Nemu Nemu series of toys. Stick your finger in their mouth and they’ll nibble on it. The bites—there are 24 different kinds—are driven by HAMgorithms (yes, that’s what they call them), designed to re-create the sensation of a baby or pet biting your finger. The creators have not yet set a price.

Fasteesh Y-Brush

Most toothbrushes look pretty much the same. But the Y-Brush is an aberration: It resembles a dental mold, with a clunky attachment affixed. After biting down on it, you press a button so that it starts brushing all your teeth at once. Ten seconds later, you’re done. The device is said to have 35,000 bristles that remove plaque and freshen your breath. Convenience isn’t cheap, though. The device costs $147.

Sony Bravia Cam

Sure, there’s nothing inherently weird about a camera that’s built into a TV or that attaches to one these days. Using them for video calls is common. Sony’s latest Bravia Cam, though, does more than most. The stand-alone device lets you control your TV with gestures and (here’s where it gets weird) uses proximity sensors to determine if someone is sitting too close to the TV. The technology frees parents from having to fuss at their kids about their TV viewing, going so far as to black out the screen when someone is too close. If used in conjunction with a Bravia TV, the cam will even dim your set to save energy when you leave the room. The price was not disclosed.

L’Oréal Colorsonic

Dyeing your hair at home is a messy, sometimes complicated affair. L’Oréal is looking to streamline the process with the Colorsonic. It looks a lot like many other hair care products. The top half is covered in bristles and the bottom stores a cartridge with dye inside. After you press a button, the bristles move back and forth 300 times per minute as you brush to evenly apply the color. Theoretically, you’d be able to turn it on, brush your hair, and in a few minutes have the hair color you want. The company is targeting a launch toward the end of the year or early 2023. The price has not been set yet.

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