CES 2023: Colour-changing car, pee sensor and self-driving stroller among the best new tech

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has just wrapped up in Las Vegas with the world's most cutting-edge technology on display.

As is the case every year, the show featured wacky gadgets most of us will never use, extremely lavish tech only the very wealthy will get to use, and some everyday devices many Kiwis will be getting their hands on in the coming months.

But what was the most exciting tech of CES 2023?

Now the show has concluded, the world's major tech news outlets have published their verdicts and below is a roundup - here is the best of the best.

Most exciting cars

Tesla's troubles over the past year may mean people are keener than ever to check out other EVs and CES certainly had some attention-grabbers.

The Sony Honda Afeela.
The Sony Honda Afeela. Photo credit: Getty Images

Sony and Honda Afeela

"Screens soak the car's interior, which makes it a massive multimedia entertainment chamber as well as a mode of conveyance," reports Wired

"Afeela owners will get to process what will presumably be tremendous amounts of road, navigation, and safety information gleaned from their driving. They will also get to program the most important part of the car: the emotive rear lights. Sony claims... you will be able to post anything from sports scores to Spider-Man animations on your flickering back lights - or maybe just flash them in an angry colour when someone cuts you off."

BMW iVision Dee.
The BMW iVision Dee. Photo credit: Getty Images

BMW iVision Dee

"A wild colour-changing concept car with 260 e-panels that can change up to 32 colours," reports CNN.

"During a demo, different parts of the car, including the wheel covers, flashed in varying hues and swirls of colours... just imagine being able to drive a sporty red car on the weekends and then a conservative grey model when you go to work."

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i and LG Gram Style.
The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i and LG Gram Style. Photo credit: supplied

Most exciting laptops

Plenty of cool new hardware from the likes of Intel, Nvidia and AMD was announced at CES, but the laptops that most impressed were those that innovated on form factor.

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

"By axing the traditional, physical keyboard and putting two 13.3-inch OLED screens on the Yoga Book 9i, Lenovo could potentially shake up modern laptop design in a way we haven't seen since the original Surface Pro a decade ago," reports Engadget.

"It's a level of flexibility and adaptability that traditional laptops simply can't match. And unlike overly ambitious concepts in the past, this dual-screen notebook is actually coming out (sometime this spring for around US$2000) so we can see how it will truly fare in the real world."

The Verge also awarded the Yoga Book 9i the best laptop of CES, saying: "There's a haptic touchpad and a haptic keyboard, there's a detachable keyboard you can click on and off, and there are all kinds of gestures you can use to move your windows between the two screens, resize them, and make good use of the form factor... I'm sure we only began to discover the available tricks during our brief time with the Yoga Book."

LG Gram Style

"Like the Dell XPS 13 Plus, the LG Gram Style looks to play with the classic laptop formula," reports Wired.

"There's a 'hidden' haptic trackpad and LED backlighting to illuminate your presses as you go. LG also claims the colour of the device shifts dynamically depending on the angle you view the glass chassis from and how light hits it."

The Withings U-Scan.
Photo credit: Withings U-Scan

The pee sensor

Of all the health devices at CES this year, it wasn't a smartwatch or ring that garnered the most attention, but rather the Withings U-Scan.

"The device sits at the front of your toilet. When you pee - and apparently it's best to sit when you do so to get an accurate sample - it collects the urine, analyses it and then sends the results to your phone via Wi-Fi," reports C-NET.

"What type of results, you might ask? Well, for starters, it can monitor daily ketones and vitamin C levels and test your urine's pH level, which can indicate overall kidney health. Use a different cartridge, and women can use it to track their menstrual cycles."

Most exciting TVs

Sony took the unusual step of not debuting its new TVs at CES this year, meaning it was the company's competitors LG and Samsung that instead stood out the most.

LG's new 'Zero Connect' television.
The new 'Zero Connect' television. Photo credit: LG

LG Signature OLED M3

"What's most interesting about the M3... isn't its screen - it's the tech inside of it," reports Engadget.

"More specifically, the M3 is designed to receive video and audio wirelessly, through a separate box that LG says you can place up to 30 feet away from the TV. Outside of a power cord, the M3 itself is cable-free; instead you plug your media streamers, cable box or game consoles into the breakout box, and all of it is beamed over a wireless link."

Samsung S95C

"It improves on the previous year's model with better anti-glare technology and brighter images. The colour in particular seemed to impress our TV expert, David Katzmaier, the most," reports C-NET.

"The key reason it's on this list, beyond its high quality, is the potential it has to give LG a run for its money in the high-end, 77-inch TV market, which could eventually bring prices down across the board."

Best accessibility tech at CES 2023: L'Oréal Hapta; Sony's Project Leonardo.
L'Oréal Hapta; Sony's Project Leonardo. Photo credit: L'Oréal / Sony

Most exciting accessibility tech

While a lot of what is shown at CES promises convenience or pleasure, for some the world's latest and greatest tech opens up possibilities previously unimaginable.

L'Oréal Hapta

"L'Oréal debuted an assistive lipstick applicator [is a] a sturdy grip-and-gimbal system that lets those with limited finger dexterity or strength more independently apply lipstick," reports Endgadget.

"It's also a device that caters to an often overlooked segment of consumers, and can be expanded to work with more makeup applications. Of all the accessibility-related products we saw this CES, the Hapta is the most unique, while being actually helpful."

Sony's Project Leonardo

"It's good to see Sony following in the footsteps of Microsoft, which launched its own accessibility-focused Xbox Adaptive Controller in 2018," reports The Verge.

"The kit is designed to be highly customizable, letting you swap components like stick caps and buttons so that you can build a PS5 control setup that suits your needs. The device also has four 3.5mm auxiliary ports so that you can plug in third-party accessories that might be beneficial to you, and you can also use Project Leonardo in conjunction with a DualSense controller."

The Ella AI Powered Smart Stroller.
The Ella AI Powered Smart Stroller. Photo credit: Gluxkind

The US$3300 self-driving stroller

Making more headlines before the show kicked off than after, for parents of little ones this device isn't quite as scary as it sounds - or perhaps as useful.

"Canadian-based baby gear startup Gluxkind was showed off its Ella AI Powered Smart Stroller. It offers much of the same tech seen in autonomous cars and delivery robots, including a dual-motor system for uphill walks and automatic downhill brake assist," reports CNN.

"It's meant to serve as an 'extra pair of eyes and an extra set of hands', according to the company's website - not a replacement for a caregiver. The Ella stroller is able to drive itself for hands-free strolling - but only when a child is not inside."

Samsung Display’s Flex Hybrid.
Samsung Display's Flex Hybrid. Photo credit: Samsung

Foldable, foldable screens

Screens that can fold have been a feature of smartphones for years but foldable screens got bigger at CES this year, including one from Samsung that can transform shape in multiple ways.

"The Flex Hybrid combines both foldable and slidable form factors so, theoretically, you'd be able to unfold it for a small tablet-style experience and then slide it out further when you need a bigger screen," reports The Verge.