I largely managed to avoid the horrors of CES 2023. While Stuff editor Dan Grabham was bundled into a black van, flown to the USA and deposited on the steps of an exhibition hall, I watched from afar. Just as well. Exhibitors then didn’t have to put up with an irritable me grumping about the, well, CESness of it all.
Due to its desire to showcase cutting-edge tech, I find CES is too often about want rather than need. In a world increasingly concerned with sensible, usable, sustainable tech, it’s odd each year to see yet more extravagance on display. It’s like a tech fashion show gone rogue.
There were exceptions. It was wonderful to see Sony’s gaming system Project Leonardo and L’Oréal’s make-up applicator HAPTA flying accessibility flags. The growth of Matter (which I hoped for earlier this year) is great. And more companies are exploring emergency communications via satellite. But for every gadget poised to make a truly positive impact, there was something baffling, wasteful, unnecessary, or all of those things.
There were of course the usual incremental upgrades to a raft of kit. Beyond all that, Amazon aired its Ring Always Home flying indoor security camera, which set off every privacy klaxon worldwide. Mui urged people to buy a £500 slab of wood to control their smart homes. Blok answered a question no-one asked: “What if instead of a chopping board and iPad, we combined the two, for more money, and added a wallet-punching subscription?” And Glüxkind revealed future lawsuit the Ella self-driving baby stroller.
So I’ve decided for CES 2024 I’m going to stick my head in a bucket of sand, in a desperate attempt to preserve my sanity. Still, in case I later have to write about it, I’ve extrapolated current events to predict next year’s headlines. Here’s a sneak peek…
This new curved display is so wide it’s actually a loop
Gamers love the ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra-wide aspect ratio’s full 360-degree view and call it a “must have”. But there have been concern users spin around so much while using the display that they dizzily fall off their chairs and knock themselves unconscious.
This new car lets you customise everything – for a price
You can use your phone to switch this car to any colour – or choose from a range of terrifying animated patterns guaranteed to dazzle oncoming traffic. Don’t worry about that though. The ongoing industry obsession with IAPs for everything from expanding an EV’s range to using seat warmers means you must pay £199 every time you unlock the doors or move the car at all – so you won’t. Still, it’ll look great parked by your house.
This new Android phone unfolds to become bigger than a barn door
In 2024’s battle for ‘most screens’, an Android newcomer unveiled a folding phone that can unfold a whopping seven times. Maxing out at dimensions beyond 2A0, the combined displays are amazing for productivity. This phone’s sure to be an iPhone 16 killer. The only tiny downsides are no apps support the vast screen real estate and the folded phone’s chunky in the pocket at 84mm ‘thin’.
Meta moves on from headsets to ‘fullbodyset’
Determined to ensconce people in the metaverse, Meta was reportedly inspired by CES 2023 mic/gag combo Mutalk. It in record time created its new 2024 ‘fullbodyset’ to cocoon an entire human inside its plastic shell. Optional tubes are available for ‘feed’, ‘waste’ and ‘air’, powered by you regularly punching a massive ‘like’ button in the Horizon Worlds StayAlive zone.
Suggestions people might instead “punch themselves in the face to save money, be more eco-friendly and get a better user experience” were dismissed by a Meta spokesperson as “not entirely true”. Stuff couldn’t possibly comment. Well, not until 2024 anyway.