CES 2023: The most WTF tech we saw

CES 2023: The most WTF tech we saw
(Image credit: LG)

CES is well known for idiotic ideas and silly tech, and you best believe the Laptop Mag team found the worst offenders.

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” My grandad taught me this old adage when I was a kid, but several companies at CES 2023 clearly didn’t get the memo. From disco refrigerators to a cutting board with a subscription service, plenty of bad decisions were made, which should have stayed in Vegas.

So without further ado, here is the list that nobody wants to be on: the stupidest gadgets of CES 2023.

Paula Abdul’s fashion audio glasses

Audio glasses were certainly one of the trends of CES 2023, but, er, straight up now I need to tell you that Paul Abdul’s IdolEyes were among the worst. Call me cold hearted, but these audio glasses may have taken one step forward on fashion, but they took two steps back on audio and overall quality. 

(Image credit: IdolEyes)

At first glance they looked crazy cool, but picking them up you immediately felt how flimsy the hinges were, if I were in a rush rush to get them on I can imagine snapping the temples right off. The audio coming out of the built-in speakers was disappointing as well, coming up short on volume and clarity, I wish I could bend time back ‘round to before I tried them. If you are looking for the promise of a new day in audio glasses, check out our hands-on with the AirGo3 smart glasses.

— Sean Riley, Assistant Managing Editor

LG’s color-changing refrigerator

“Sorry for party rocking,” said the unassuming LG fridge in the corner of your kitchen. The new MoodUp fridge brings all the typical features you’d expect, plenty of refrigerator and freezer space, an instaview chiller that you can knock on to look at what’s inside, and tons of compartments.

(Image credit: LG)

But all of these features were announced in a far distant second to a built-in bluetooth speaker and color-changing LED backlit panels that all flash when you engage in something called party mode… Yes, I’m serious. Now, with my vast knowledge of house parties, I always know that the kitchen is the place where all the cool kids hang out — slightly quieter so you can talk and closer to the alcohol.

Bringing the Pantone-colored party to the kitchen (yes, LG partnered with Pantone on a ruddy fridge) is not only insanely stupid, it ruins my favorite room of any party. 

— Jason England, Content Editor

Travel mug with FindMy Support

I was conflicted about adding this product, officially called the Ember Travel Mug 2+,  to the list. Why? My colleague, Laptop Mag Assistant Managing Editor Sean Riley, said that he often misplaces his coffee mug while he traipses around the house. As such, a travel mug outfitted with Apple’s FindMy support is a huge benefit for him. And as it turns out, the Ember Travel Mug 2+ has this feature.

(Image credit: Ember)

However, other than Riley, whenever I brought up that I discovered a travel mug with Apple’s FindMy support at CES 2023, I’m looked at as if I have five heads. “Why does a mug need FindMy support?!” many said. After reminding them that it’s a travel mug, they still found it to be a little excessive for a glorified cup. I personally think it’s pretty cool, but because the critical response has been so mixed, I’m sorry, Ember, but you’re getting whatever the tech equivalent is of a Razzie for this one.

— Kimberly Gedeon, Editor

Blok cutting board

Everything does not need a subscription or to have a display attached to it and one of the worst examples of this at CES 2023 was the Blok cutting board, which was guilty of both crimes. 

(Image credit: Blok)

I can see how they got there, recipe content and cooking videos are incredibly popular, but there is just no rational reason to build the display into the cutting board and the $39 a month subscription (they have their own chefs creating live and on-demand videos) combined with the $700 price tag is the icing on the cake that I would bake using a recipe on my tablet that I will keep well away from my cutting board or the flour, eggs and every other ingredient needed to bake said cake.

— Sean Riley, Assistant Managing Editor

The Y-Brush

Tooth decay is a serious health issue and preventive dental care is very important. That stated, I found myself curious about the Y-Brush, which was on display at CES 2023 once again — it even won an innovation award. However, its slogan was “For people who are not good at brushing their teeth.” Eww! 

(Image credit: Y-Brush)

The idea behind this device is to brush your teeth in seconds and go about your day pretending you really put effort into your health. The Y-Brush uses sonic vibration to clean your teeth in ten seconds or less. Now, you know there are folks who already rush through this very important habit, so it’s kind of disturbing to think you know someone who will attempt three seconds, and run out and attack the world with their now sonic-powered breath. 

The Y-Brush comes to us via Europe, and is now available in the US on Amazon for $89.99 and comes in multiple sizes. It’s nice to know you can now order the laziest method of dental health on Amazon and have it rush delivered to a person in your life who already is failing at brushing their teeth regularly. I wonder if this can be sent anonymously? We now live in a world where people spend more time making a TikTok than brushing our teeth. 

Mark Anthony Ramirez, Staff Writer