10 of the quirkiest innovations at CES 2023

Four-day technology fair opened in Las Vegas on Thursday

Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management at BMW, speaks next to the i Vision Dee prototype during CES. AFP
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The Consumer Electronics Show 2023 — one of the biggest technologytrade fairs in the world — has brought together tech companies as well as industry leaders in the automotive, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

The National looks at 10 of the best, quirkiest innovations presented on the first day of the four-day event.

L’Oreal launches prototypes to help people with limited mobility

L’Oreal unveiled two new technology prototypes to help users with limited arm and hand mobility to better apply make-up.

Hapta is a hand-held, computerised make-up applicator and Brow Magic provides users with customised brow looks in seconds.

“For L’Oreal, the future of beauty is inclusive … and this future will be made more accessible by technology,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, chief executive of L’Oreal.

About 50 million people globally live with limited fine motor skills, the company said.

People attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP

Loovic: your personal navigator

Tokyo-based technology company Loovic has developed one of the world’s most intuitive navigation systems.

Loovic is a collarbone-conduction device that enables its users to navigate and enjoy scenery around them without looking down at a smartphone map app.

It is designed to solve challenges for those who may have difficulty with spatial cognition, the company said.

The device is worn around the neck and uses tactile notifications and bone-conduction voice to guide the user along the way as naturally as if a person were guiding the user.

The product is not available for purchase yet as it is still in its beta phase, the company’s website said.

Health-focused Nowatch

Designed in Netherlands and produced in Finland, Nowatch combines health science, hardware technology, software innovation and ancient gemstone knowledge. It measures stress, mood and sleep using various sensors.

There is no screen on Nowatch as it has a jewellery-styled gemstone face.

It comes with health-tracking technology and includes Philips electrodermal activity bio-sensing technology that provides insights into a person’s daily stress level.

Body temperature adjustable mattress

The German start-up Variowell developed Pepaminto Mattress Topper that uses Apple Watch’s sensors and heart rate tracking to adjust the temperature of the bed while users are sleeping.

“With Pepaminto, for the first time it has been possible to easily implement different thermal settings in a bed during the night by adapting the heat dissipation within the foam,” Variowell’s chief executive Tobias Kirchhoff said.

Catherine Coleman, former astronaut for N, and Lisa Su, chief executive of Advanced Micro Devices, during a press event at CES. Bloomberg

The idea behind the technology, which also won the CES 2023 innovation award in the digital health category, is a combination of thin warming strips and naturally cooling bands of graphite.

Withings’s new toilet sensors

Wellness and fitness services company Withings has unveiled U-Scan, a new product category that aims to provide health information through regular at-home urine analysis.

Only 90mm in diameter, this health lab sits within any toilet bowl. It provides an immediate snapshot of the body’s balance by monitoring and detecting various biomarkers found in urine while also offering advice for health improvements.

Withings representative Asmirian Albisson displays the U-Scan. AFP

Expected to launch in the second half of this year, it is also one of the world's first hormonal-based cycle synch guides for women.

It will provide key hydration and nutrition biomarker analysis, recommended actions based on cycle phases and data correlation for an optimised menstrual cycle, the company said.

Bosch innovations improve road safety

Technology company Bosch has introduced several new sensor-based innovations for mobility at CES 2023.

They include the RideCare companion solution that plays a critical part in the enhancement of safety for vehicle occupants, the company said.

The connected hardware and software solution consists of a camera, a wireless SOS button and cloud-based data services.

Drivers can use it to contact Bosch associates around the clock in case of an accident or other dangerous situations.

In the event of an incident, the Bosch associate can look into the vehicle through the camera, assess the situation, and, if necessary, quickly request assistance.

Robots to scale autonomous delivery market

Robotics company Ottonomy unveiled Ottobot Yeti, the first fully autonomous unmanned delivery robot on the market, ideal for kerbside, first-mile and last-mile deliveries.

With its global pilots last year, Ottonomy demonstrated autonomous deliveries across a range of terrain and in varying inclement weather while providing more sustainable solutions.

“During the validation processes, we ran pilots with airports, retailers and postal services which gave us the deep insights we needed on the most effective use cases and scalability,” said Ritukar Vijay, chief executive and co-founder of the company.

Members of the media photograph the Ottobot Yeti as it operates before the start of the CES tech show. AP

“With our strategic partnerships, we are in the prime position to fill the gap that companies like Amazon and FedEx were not able to.”

Ottonomy is also working with industry partners in Canada and Saudi Arabia with more launches scheduled in the US, Europe and Asia later this year.

Cutting-board with built-in display

With an embedded digital display, Blok’s walnut cutting board shows off recipes and also offers cooking classes on a 13-by-20-inch screen.

Priced at $699, users can also purchase monthly or annual subscriptions starting $39 a month for live and on-demand cooking classes.

Sony and Honda reveal new car brand

Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) announced its new Afeela and unveiled their prototype for a new type of mobility.

The beta version is equipped with nearly 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside of the vehicle.

SHM said pre-orders are planned for the first half of 2025, sales by the end of 2025 and delivery in 2026 in North America.

Yasuhide Mizuno, chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Honda Mobility, speaks in front of an Afeela prototype during a press event at CES. Bloomberg

In March last year, Japanese companies Sony and Honda announced plans to start a joint venture to make and sell electric vehicles.

LG’s MoodUp refrigerator

LG showcased its MoodUP refrigerator, which was first announced in September last year, with colour-changing LED door panels.

It allows users to choose various colours on its LED doors and play music through its built-in speaker.

Users can also customise the panels’ appearance and refresh the mood by applying various themes.

Using the tones and hues of nature, the season theme represents different times of year, while the mood theme elicits a feeling of well-being through the use of soft, soothing colours, the South Korean company said.

LG MoodUp refrigerators with customisable LED colour panels are displayed at CES. AP
Updated: January 06, 2023, 6:39 AM
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