The 20 Craziest Things We Saw At CES 2018

CES Craziness

It seems crazy to think that just years ago, the CES show floor was filled with desktops, tablets and smartphones. Fast forward to th is year, and, the world's famous Las Vegas-based consumer show was filled with devices beyond PCs.

Showgoers at CES 2018 got a glimpse of the newest technologies – including drones, robots, connected cars and smart home devices. With the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and smart speakers making up this year's hottest trends, these technologies were on display from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Intel, Qualcomm and LG.

Here are 20 of the craziest products and devices that CRN saw at this year's CES.

ForwardX CX-1

One of the most unusual products at CES Unveiled was no doubt the CX-1, which manufacturer ForwardX says aims to improve the experience of getting from Point A to Point B in the airport. While rollaboard luggage is pretty convenient, even better would be self-driving luggage that follows users through the terminal -- and leaves their hands free to carry other things, according to ForwardX. That's what the company is seeking to accomplish with the CX-1, which ForwardX says combines auto-follow, obstacle avoidance, gesture-control, and anti-theft technologies. It's an intriguing idea, though quite possibly one that's a bit ahead of its time. We'll know soon enough if the demand is there as the company is looking to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the CX-1 in March or April. Pricing has yet to be determined.

Gemini PDA

If the crowds that visited the Gemini booth at CES 2018 are any indication, it may be a good time for the personal digital assistant to attempt a comeback. The Gemini folds open to reveal a physical keyboard, similar to the Psion PDA of the '80s and '90s. The big difference this time: The Gemini PDA is a full-fledged Android smartphone. Essentially, what users get with the Gemini is a small clamshell laptop -- with a 6-inch FHD display and 10-core MediaTek Helio X27 CPU -- that folds back up to make phone calls. The Gemini will come in both Wi-Fi-only and 4G models; the unlocked phone will work with all major U.S. carriers, according to its manufacturer, Planet Computers. The Gemini is poised to be a winner for those who miss their PDA of old, yet are still happy to be in the era of always-connected mobile devices. The Gemini is priced at $499 for the Wi-Fi-only model and $599 for 4G/Wi-Fi capability. It's expected to be commercially available in the next few months.

Intelligent Vision System – Scrabble-Playing Robot

The robots at CES could do many things – including dominating at Scrabble. The Industrial Technology Research Institute's Intelligent Vision System for Companion Robots, otherwise known as ITRI, showed off their Scrabble skills during the show. The combination of artificial intelligence, 3-D vision recognition and hand-eye coordination helped these robots play Scrabble – and recognize individual words spelled by other players and where they are on the board game. The robot remains in prototype and has no set release date.

Robotis OP3

The Robotis OP3, an $11,000 fully functional robot, spent its time on the CES show floor handing out pamphlets about itself to attendees. This "miniature humanoid robot platform" has advanced computational power, sensors and dynamic motion ability. Externally, the robot has a camera on its face that recognizes and distinguishes humans from other objects, and a microphone and speaker to interact with humans. Internally, Robotis OP3 packs a built-in NUC with an Intel Core i3 processor, a management controller, an 1,800mAh battery, and an array of modules.


Cambridge Sound Management touts its Nightingale product as the "world's first smart home sleep solution," and launched at CES this year. Nightingale is essentially a white noise machine that takes into account the type of bedroom and noise in the bedroom – like snoring – when emitting various sounds.

The product also integrates with smart home products like Hue, Nest, Ring and Google Home through the If This Then That platform, and can be controlled with Amazon Echo.

Users can now pre-order Nightingale for $249. Kickstarter orders will ship in January, and pre-orders are expected to ship in February.

Lenovo Mirage Solo

At CES 2018, Lenovo unveiled its Mirage Solo virtual reality headset, the first stand-alone headset running Google Daydream. That means that unlike other Daydream headsets, the Mirage Solo won't need an Android smartphone to power it. The headset also doesn't require extra sensors or cords to track head movements, which is another differentiator from many other VR headsets. For the display, the headset features a 5.5-inch LCD with QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution and an impressive 110-degree field of view. And for the processor, the Mirage Solo includes the same chip that powers many of the leading Android smartphones on the market -- Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835. Judging from our highly enjoyable tryout of the headset at CES, it's clear that Lenovo is in contention to become a serious player in the VR space. Lenovo said the Mirage Solo will be priced at less than $400 and will be available in the second quarter of 2018.

Samsung HMD Odyssey

Our other favorite reality-altering headset at CES 2018 was Samsung's HMD Odyssey. We found the headset to cause much less disorientation -- and better immersion in the virtual experience -- than some of the other headsets on display at CES. Introduced in the fall, Samsung's HMD Odyssey is a Windows Mixed Reality headset that features integrated AKG headphones and vibrant dual 3.5-inch AMOLED displays. The headset enables a high degree of immersion in games and videos with a 110-degree field of view and 360-degree surround sound. The HMD Odyssey also includes two cameras, a built-in microphone, and sensors including a proximity sensor. Importantly, extra motion sensors aren't needed for the HMD Odyssey, unlike with many other head-mounted displays. The Samsung HMD Odyssey is priced at $499.99.

Realmax Qian

One of the coolest augmented-reality headsets at CES 2018 was the Realmax Qian, which looks pretty weird from the outside -- but inside offers a stunning experience. Our demo of the headset included viewing a "Finding Nemo"-like world of cartoon fish that was overlaid atop the real world. The vivid display includes 100-degree field of view, which manufacturer Realmax says is the highest field of- iew so far in AR glasses, and the headset includes interactivity through hand tracking and gesture recognition. The Realmax Qian is currently in development.

Pico Neo

At the high end of the spectrum for virtual reality gaming is the Pico Neo, a headset that offers free movement in all directions (i.e., six degrees of freedom) as a result of not needing external wires or smartphones to power it. The Pico Neo features dual 3.5-inch displays, providing a combined resolution of 3K, along with a refresh rate of 90Hz. The headset is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4 GB of RAM, and includes a pair of hand controllers. The Pico Neo was one of the best headsets we tried out at CES 2018, with an amazing display and an immersive experience overall that very much transports users (and makes them quickly start to forget where they are). The Pico Neo is in pre-orders for $749; estimated shipping dates haven't been disclosed.

Ujet Electric Scooter

Aimed at urban dwellers, the Ujet is an electric scooter that seeks to make transportation and parking easier while also cutting pollution. The Ujet, which goes up to 28 mph and has a range of 90 miles, runs on a battery that is rechargeable in a typical wall outlet. The scooter also folds up, and is relatively lightweight at 98 pounds (with a battery offering four hours of usage) or 108 pounds (with a six-hour battery). The Ujet Electric Scooter has a starting price of $8,800, and release is planned for the first half of this year, depending on regulatory approvals.


Pitched as the first "smart home scent DJ" by manufacturer Agan Aroma, the Moodo is a connected device that lets users create custom fragrance blends for their home. The Moodo includes four scent capsules and lets users adjust the volume of the different scents their liking (users can also choose from among preset options). The machine can be controlled via smartphone app or by voice, using the Amazon Alexa assistant. The Moodo leverages the know-how of Israel-based Agan Aroma, which specializes in creating signature scents for businesses. The Moodo is available now for $189 (without a battery) or $209 (with a rechargeable battery).

Glowforge 3-D Laser Printer

A new era of 3-D printing -- using all manner of materials -- is kicking off with the arrival of the Glowforge 3-D Laser Printer. The Glowforge expands 3-D printing beyond plastic to include materials such as wood, leather, acrylic, paper and fabric. The printer breaks new ground by using laser cutting and engraving to shape the materials into the desired state. For our demo at CES, the Glowforge cut a custom luggage tag that replicated a scanned image of our handwriting. The highly versatile printer opens up a broad range of new possibilities to designers -- such as creating customized leather satchels and hardwood laptop skins, for example. And demand is surging for the printer, which starts at $4,000, with Glowforge reporting $70 million in sales in two years.

IBM 50-Qubit Quantum Computer

One of the most mind-boggling showcases at CES 2018 was IBM's prototype of a working 50-qubit quantum computer. The prototype is the largest quantum computer in the world right now thanks to its use of a 50-qubit processor, according to Jeff Weiser (pictured), vice president and lab director at IBM Research. The quantum computer promises to solve problems that conventional computers will never be able to tackle, by bringing unprecedented power and speed to computing through leveraging the principles of quantum physics. "You can essentially test all numbers against a problem at once, in parallel," Weiser said. "It gives you a massive parallelization." The system wasn't able to operate at the show because to do that requires keeping the machine to a temperature far colder than deep space. Potential applications of the quantum computer include complex optimizations, searches and machine learning. Unveiled in November, IBM's 50-qubit quantum computer has not yet been released for use by commercial partners, but the company does have its 20-qubit quantum computer available to partners.

Kevin Smart Speaker

Smart speaker Kevin, made by Swiss startup Mitipi, has one unique function – it wants to scare off potential robbers from the home using lights and sounds. In a reference to Kevin from "Home Alone," this speaker is equipped with smart LEDs and simulates the noise of someone being at home – including sounds of a TV or someone taking a shower – so that potential burglars won't dare to enter the home. The smart speaker will launch on Kickstarter in 2018, with an early bird price of $150.

Forpheus Ping Pong Playing Robot

Omron's robot Forpheus showed off its ping pong playing prowess at CES this year. The robot uses artificial intelligence, cameras and sensors to play ping pong with humans using a robotic arm to sense and hit the ball. The robot even gives out words of encouragement and advice via a digital sign – including "Don't rush!" and "You got me this time!" Forpheus won't hit the market anytime soon -- the robot was instead meant to showcase Omron's technology and usage of AI.

Omni Smart Cycling Helmet

Wearables company Coros showed off its Omni smart cycling helmet during CES. This smart biking helmet features bone conducting audio points in the straps – so users can listen to music but still have their ears free to hear the traffic and external environment around them.

If the rider does get into a collision, the helmet's built-in sensor alerts emergency contacts through an alert on the phone. The Coros Omni bike helmet will launch this upcoming quarter for around $200.

L'Oreal's UV Sense

L'Oreal unveiled a new wearable at CES called UV Sense – but it isn't a headset or bracelet. The UV Sense sticks onto consumers' nails with adhesive glue and tracks their UV exposure. UV Sense, which is battery-free, connects to apps on smartphones to deliver data about sun exposure based on the user's location. The product will get a limited launch in summer 2018, when it will be given to dermatologists.

Casio's G-Shock Rangeman

Casio, which launched its newest smartwatch at CES, has designed an array of watches aimed for outdoor lovers – and this new watch is no exception. The G-Shock Rangeman GPR B-1000 comes fully equipped for the great outdoors, with a built-in GPS system and solar charging capabilities. The $800 watch, which will go on the market in April 2018, is water-resistant and can withstand temperatures as low as minus 4 degree Fahrenheit.

DJI Tello Drone

DJI, Intel and Chinese company Ryze paired up to create the Tello drone, which the companies showed off at CES this year. At only $99, the drone is one of DJI's least expensive models (its next least expensive model is the $499 Spark drone). The drone touts 13 minutes of flight time, a 720P camera and technology that detects barriers to prevent collisions. While there's no further details available about when the drone will hit the market, the Tello will be available in color options of yellow, blue and white.

ProGlove's Smart Glove

While the majority of products at CES are for consumers and smart homes, ProGlove's smart glove targets a different audience – industrial workers.

The glove, which is designed to meet safety requirements for industrial conditions, features real-time visual and haptic feedback, wireless connectivity and gesture sensing. The gloves also feature a barcode scanner on the back that can be used for automatic quality check on the industrial floor, documenting critical assembling, and tracking and tracing applications.