CES 2024 sprawls out all over Las Vegas, filling not only the convention center, but also huge additional spaces and hundreds (possibly thousands) of hotel suites, all full of eager tech firms and entrepreneurs looking to show off their products and inventions.
It means the show is full of mainstream and not so mainstream gadgets. It’s the latter we’re interested in here as we take a look at some of the quirkier devices found at CES 2024.
Put your iPhone on Belkin’s mad Auto-Tracking Stand, and it will allow the camera to follow you around the room, tracking your antics for you to take a video call, share on video later, or livestream as it all happens. The motorized base travels through 360 degrees and has 90 degrees of tilt, ensuring you really can make the most of the space around you and still not have the camera miss a moment of what happens.
It’s the first product to receive Apple’s Works with DockKit certification and is compatible with all iPhone models after the iPhone 12. It also includes a MagSafe charger, so the phone’s battery won’t go flat when it’s being used on the dock. The Auto-Tracking Stand is coming out soon and will cost $180.
Withings keeps coming up with unusual, innovative health-tracking devices, and the Withings BeamO is another to add to the list. It combines blood oxygen level tracking, a medical-grade ECG, a digital stethoscope, and a body temperature monitor into one handy device. As always with Withings, it’s designed to be aesthetically pleasing and not look like something you’d find in a hospital. The sensors collect data and collate it in an app, where it can then be shared with a doctor.
It can track up to eight different people in the same household, so you won’t need to own more than one, and the battery is expected to last up to eight months without recharging. The BeamO is currently being put through the approval processes for the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and CE in Europe, with the goal of launching around the summer. It will cost $250.
Wish your iPhone was more like a BlackBerry with a real, physical keyboard? And that the entire screen was yours to create on instead of that annoying virtual keyboard getting in the way? You’ll want Clicks, a case for the iPhone that has a keyboard built into the bottom, so your phone will look more like an elongated BlackBerry Bold than Apple’s finest.
Made to be as lightweight and easy to put on and take off as possible, it’s not really designed to be used all the time, just when you want to get work done on your phone and have an uninterrupted view of the screen. It’s available in yellow or gray for the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max and even has the backing of popular tech creator Mr Mobile. We think it’s very cool indeed.
Some of you may know MMGuardian’s app, which has been around for more than a decade and keeps kids safe online by allowing parents to monitor their digital activities. The developer has now collaborated with Samsung to launch a new MMGuardian Phone, which comes with built-in MMGuardian protection out of the box. This includes contact management, message monitoring, web filters and blockers, location tracking, and more.
It’s all wrapped up in a basic Samsung A14 phone with a 6.5-inch screen, an in-display fingerprint sensor, 5G connectivity, a 5,000mAh battery, and a trio of ordinary cameras on the back. But what makes it quirky? It, like almost every other product at CES 2024, uses AI. It claims the system’s deep learning AI can detect inappropriate selfies and alert parents if they’re being generated and sent. It’s a feature unique to the MMGuardian phone. The device is available now for $229.
CES is great for niche products that address a real need, and Garmin’s HRM-Fit is a perfect example. It’s a heart rate monitor that works with sports bras, which neatly avoids the problem of trying to fit a regular, bulky, and uncomfortable chest strap-style heart rate monitor under one. It’s a much neater solution. The Garmin HRM-Fit syncs with Gamin smartwatches and also with a variety of connected gym equipment. It costs $150 and is available now.
Although the Augmental MouthPad^ has been around for a while, it appears CES 2024 will be host to its first public demo, and it’s exactly the kind of thing we want to see. It’s a crazy, denture-style plate that goes in your mouth, where you use your tongue to control devices like your phone, computer, or other connected device. Think of it like a mouse for your mouth.
At first, it sounds ridiculous, but for people with disabilities that stop them from using a traditional hand- or finger-operated controller, it could be life-changing. The demo video is very impressive, although we can’t really see what’s going on in the mouth to assess lag or precision. It’s not a device we’d be keen to pass around in order for everyone to have a go, either.
The MouthPad^ is pure, wonderful, unusual CES material with a genuine use case that could help people interact with technology in a way that may be impossible otherwise.
Here’s another alternative control system. Wow Mouse is like Apple’s Double Tap on steroids, as it adds finger-based gesture controls to a smartwatch. Currently, you can test it out as an app designed for Wear OS, and the video demonstration shows the amount of control options integrated into it.
DoublePoint eventually wants to license the underlying technology, which is more varied with more gesture controls, to a device manufacturer, and it will also release a Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers. For now, you can get the app through the Google Play Store if you want to try it out for yourself.
We’ll be updating this list as we find more unusual mobile gadgets at CES 2024, so make sure to check back as the show progresses.
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