I think we can all agree that one of the best parts of any CES is seeing all the weird, wacky, and borderline insane products that surface at the show. You know what I’m talking about: It’s the suitcases with ears, the cuddling robots, and all the other stuff that makes you scratch your head and wonder how somebody had the drive and determination to follow through with such a strange idea. So in the spirit of celebrating all the wonderfully odd things that make it to the Consumer Electronic Show against all odds, we’ve rounded up a modest collection of the weirdest tech we spotted this year.
For more interesting products, be sure to check out our Top Tech of CES 2022 Award winners!
I’m pretty sure there are a grand total of six people on Earth that want a circular smartphone in 2022, and thankfully a company called Dtoor answered their prayers this year at CES. I like this thing because it’s a glorious affirmation of the consumerist dream: No matter how impractical or niche your desires might be, you can rest assured that someone, somewhere has developed a product that’ll scratch your exact itch. What a time to be alive.
Samsung’s NFT-enabled TV
I’ll take “shameless trend chasing” for 200, Alex! Also, why didn’t they call it the NFTV? Huge missed opportunity there. If you’re gonna jump headfirst into the NFT zeitgeist and build the low-hanging fruit of trendy tech, then at least give it the low-effort pun name it deserves. This isn’t rocket science, guys.
Airvida’s air purifier headphones
Don’t get me wrong — I’m a fan of just about anything that offers 2-in-1 functionality, but this is just strange. Even in a world where airborne viruses and year-round wildfires have made everyone painfully conscious of air quality, this still just seems like a weird mashup. It’s like a snorkel with a built-in duck call; just because you can make it doesn’t mean you should.
Victrola’s latest portable record player
Seriously?! Who in their right might would actually, unironically, take a whole-ass record player and an assortment of records with them for on-the-go listening? This is absolute lunacy. And before you get all “it’s more about the nostalgia than convenience” on me, I’d also like to point out that by using this device as intended and connecting it to a Bluetooth speaker, you’re completely negating the benefits of the analog audio source you’re hauling around.
If you’re reading this, Victrola, I just want to say that as a proud member of the millennial hipster community and a statistically perfect example of your target demographic, I regret to inform you that we’re all too busy bidding on third-generation touchwheel iPods on Ebay to give this thing more than a passing glance.
Sengled’s heart rate monitoring light bulb
So I totally get that this thing has some legitimate use cases and could potentially be helpful in certain settings, like hospitals or assisted living homes — but it’s also extremely creepy. The fact that an unassuming little light bulb can monitor my heart rate from afar, without my permission, just makes me feel like the world is slowly becoming a boring cyberpunk dystopia, and that soon we’ll find ourselves trapped in a neo-Orwellian surveillance hellscape of our own design.
Homeplenish’s smart TP holder
As DT’s Shubham Agarwal so eloquently put it, “smart home gadgets have a tendency to border on solutions-for-nonexistent-problems territory,” and this contraption is definitely one of them. It tracks your TP usage to predict when you’ll run out, then orders more so that your replacement rolls arrive just in time and you never caught short on TP. The idea is that this will eliminate the need to hoard bathroom tissue, but at what cost? See above comment about being trapped in a neo-Orwellian surveillance hellscape.
Amagami Ham Ham
Amagami Ham Ham is the best kind of weird. It serves absolutely no practical purpose — and that’s what’s great about it. There’s no half-baked promise that this thing will improve your life or offer some sort of dubious mental health benefit. The creators offer no justification for its existence. It’s just a cute little thing that nibbles on your finger, and that’s all it needs to be.
Now shut up and buy a finger-sucking robo-plushy. You know you want to.