A robot cat that nips at your fingers, the metaverse BODY suit and Sony's prototype electric SUV: Top five weird and wonderful inventions unveiled at CES 2022 so far
- The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is going ahead in person despite fears
- A number of large firms are participating virtually rather than going in person
- These include Google and Amazon, who cited concerns over Omicron spread
- A wide range of products have been announced or will be announced this week
A robotic cat that nips at your fingers, a smart bulb that can monitor your health and a suit designed to put you in the metaverse are among thousands of products and announcements revealed at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week.
As well as consumer electronic devices, there are new vehicles on show at CES, including a prototype electric SUV by Sony, and a LiDAR based breaking system.
The annual event runs from from today until Saturday, and MailOnline has created this roundup some of the weird and wonderful inventions unveiled so far.
Thousands of companies and engineers are demonstrating their latest inventions and developments at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week
CES is one of the largest trade fairs in the world, and despite the rise in Omicron cases, prompting Amazon and Google to drop out, the show has opened its doors to thousands of visitors.
One of the biggest sections of the 2022 show is transportation, with an increasing focus on electric and autonomous, it is becoming a fixture of CES.
Here are five of the most unexpected, unusual and fascinating inventions unveiled on the first day of the massive show:
Robot cat that nips your fingers
A robotic cat, called Amagami Ham Ham by Yukai Engineering, is possibly the weirdest product to come out of CES 2022.
It is a cuddly toy in the shape of a cat that can nibble your fingers, which the firm says is based on the idea that we all have a secret desire to have our fingers nibbled.
A robotic cat, called Amagami Ham Ham by Yukai Engineering, is possibly the weirdest product to come out of CES 2022
The concept is designed to be a stress reliever, and is driven by an algorithm that produces 20 different nibbling patterns.
This means that every time you put your finger in its mouth, you'll get a different nibble than the time before, according to its developers.
The patterns include tasting, massaging and suction and the it comes in two designs, based on the Nemu Nemmu series - a calico cat and a shiba inu dog.
'Most people like the nibbling sensation but know they need to teach their children or pets to stop it, because kids and animals will otherwise bite them with full force eventually,' Yukai Engineering CMO Tsubasa Tominaga, told TechCrunch.
'Amagami Ham Ham is a robot that frees humankind from the conundrum of whether 'to pursue or not to pursue' the forbidden pleasure.'
It isn't clear how much the device will cost or when it will be available, although the firm are looking to run a crowdfunding campaign in the Spring.
Metaverse body suit
Panasonic subsidiary, Shiftall, has announced a range of products designed to help users immerse themselves in the metaverse.
They included the MeganeX VR headset, Pebble Feel metaverse-linked wearable heating and cooling device, and Mutalk microphone that is metaverse compatible.
Panasonic subsidiary, Shiftall, has announced a range of products designed to help users immerse themselves in the metaverse
The headset and microphone join the motion-tracking suit - Haritora X - that more closely immerses the user in the virtual world.
The headset is compatible with Steam VR and provides a high resolution display, while also being light, according to the firm.
The Pebble Feel is a palm-sized air conditioner than cools and heads the neck, when worn with a special shirt, to provide more realistic environmental simulations.
At CES the firm tested the suit, made up of the Pebble Feel and Haritora X on users wearing an Oculus VR headset.
Sony electric SUV
During a press conference ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sony took the wraps off its new Vision-S 02 SUV.
This is a new version of the firm's first prototype battery-powered car that it has already been road testing.
During a press conference ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sony took the wraps off its new Vision-S 02 SUV
The seven-seat utility vehicle measures in at around 4.85 metres long, which is fractionally longer than the Tesla Model Y SUV, and sits higher from the ground.
Despite looking different, Sony bosses said the '02' uses the same electric platform as the Vision-S saloon that has been tested on roads since December 2020.
That means power will likely be generated by a pair of 200kW motors - one at the front axle and one at the rear - producing a combined output of 536bhp from a four-wheel-drive system.
No further information about battery sizes and range capabilities have yet been released.
In terms of the Vision-S 02 SUV's performance capabilities, Sony said it will have a top speed of 'more than 112mph'.
Health tracking lightbulb
US-based startup, Sengled, unveiled a smart lightbulb that makes use of radar sensors and bluetooth to provide health tracking information on people in a room.
Without having to wear any other devices, the bulb can track a user's heart rate, body temperature and sleep patterns.
US-based startup, Sengled, unveiled a smart lightbulb that makes use of radar sensors and bluetooth to provide health tracking information on people in a room
It uses Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar to map the room, or an entire house if they have bulbs in each room, and detect people in the home.
The smart bulb then uses its radar system, combined with artificial intelligence, to monitor the health and vital signs of people in the room.
It is also able to track physical movement, and so could be used in the home of an elderly person to watch for falls - and send the data to an app that can call a selected contact and alert them.
The product is still under development, so no details on pricing have been revealed, but it is expected to launch by the end of this year.
French company Maca announced plans to test its eco-friendly £665,000 hydrogen-powered 'carcopter' on racetracks this year.
It will have a top speed of 155mph, does not create any CO2 emissions and is fully recyclable, according to the firm, who hope it will launch a new racing sport.
The Maca S11 Carcopter was unveiled on the opening night of the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 in Las Vegas.
With three low-noise propellers, it has a metal chassis and a frame made of carbon, linen and wood - looking similar to flying vehicles int he game Wipeout.
Chief operating officer Thierry de Boisvilliers said: 'There are many companies working toward similar solutions.
'While most companies are relying on electricity or traditional fossil fuel to power their vehicles, Maca deploys clean-burning hydrogen-based fuel cells, which allows for longer flight times and green energy sustainability.'
Maca, which worked closely with Airbus on the invention, says the carcopter will be on the market by June 2023.
Hyundai metaverse robots
Hyundai revealed details of an interactive and partly virtual future it calls 'metamobility,' where a variety of robotic devices interact with humans to provide a broad range of mobility services.
These, the motor company revealed, would range from automated individual transportation to remote control of robots in 'smart' factories.
Hyundai revealed details of an interactive and partly virtual future it calls 'metamobility,' where a variety of robotic devices interact with humans to provide a broad range of mobility services
Hyundai offered several examples of how it might link the metaverse and the real world, including a vehicle that can be transformed into a work space or an entertainment room that includes a 3D video game platform.
Other ideas include a 'smart' factory where humans outside the plant remotely control robots that interact with machines and products inside the plant.
Also, automated personal transportation devices for people with disabilities or individuals who want to maintain social distances while traveling.
To make all this work, the automaker said it was building a Mobility of Things ecosystem that will link modular robotic platforms to perform different services.
Other inventions and announcements
Thousands of new products are unveiled across the CES event, ranging from major new announcements from the likes of Sony, to new categories of products.
Sony Playstation VR
Sony revealed some details of its next-generation virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 5 console, at CES on Wednesday.
The PlayStation VR2 device will have an OLED display, use integrated cameras to track players and offer feedback via a built-in headset motor and Sense controller.
Sony revealed some details of its next-generation virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 5 console, at CES on Wednesday
'Players will feel a heightened range of sensations unlike any other,' Sony said in a statement without providing details on visuals, pricing or launch date.
The first title for the PlayStation VR2 will be Horizon Call of the Mountain - the latest instalment in the machine hunting action franchise.
It will include haptic feedback and eye-tracking technology, allowing rendering done in a way that means screen images will render more quickly.
It does so by reducing the quality of images in the peripheral vision, focusing on the main point of view, and reducing computing power requirements.
No release date or pricing details have been revealed for the product or the game.
Star Wars-like mask
Among those showcasing their latest and greatest innovations was Airxom Mask - a mask with a white plastic shell that covers the mouth and nose.
And the mask has been said look like something out of Star Wars.
Among those showcasing their latest and greatest innovations was Airxom Mask - a mask with a white plastic shell that covers the mouth and nose. And the mask has been said look like something out of Star Wars
The device is said to protect the wearer from pollution, bacteria and can even keep the coronavirus at bay.
Connected to a belt-worn device, it contains an 'active' filter capable of destroying fine particles and pathogens or pollutants.
The current model is due to be released in a few months, for about $340.
Smart dog collar
An Apple Watch-style smart collar for dogs will be able to track its heart rate and other vital signs when it goes on sale in the summer, its developers claim.
Built by GPS tracking company Invoxia, the smart collar will also double as a GPS and activity tracker, and is expected to cost at least $99 when it goes on sale.
An Apple Watch-style smart collar for dogs will be able to track its heart rate and other vital signs when it goes on sale in the summer, its developers claim
Previous generations of dog fitness trackers relied on a combination of GPS sensors and an accelerometer, but the new device also makes use of artificial intelligence.
The Invoxia team, based in Issy les Moulineaux, France, used radar sensors that use light to send signals into, and receive data back, from the skin of the dog.
They worked with veterinary cardiologists to train AI that can gather data from the sensors and and fill in any missing information blocked by fur.
John Deere announced its first fully autonomous tractor at CES, a farm vehicle that is able to till a field without a driver on board.
The large machine is activated by a smartphone and is equipped with cameras and sensors that allow it to navigate farmland.
John Deere announced its first fully autonomous tractor at CES, a farm vehicle that is able to till a field without a driver on board
As well as being built into a new tractor, John Deere have built the autonomous system as an add-on for existing tractors, making older vehicles driverless.
It makes use of six pairs of stereo cameras that monitor the surrounding field, and then makes use of machine learning to avoid hitting something.
The firm hasn't decided on cost or availability, but say it could be through a subscription model rather than direct sale to customers.
CES OPENS WITH IN-PERSON EVENT DESPITE OMICRON FEARS AND BIG FIRM NO-SHOWS
One of the world's biggest technology trade shows opened as an in-person event despite ongoing concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant.
CES officially opened in Las Vegas on Wednesday, with organisers saying the event's 'comprehensive health measures' will help protect attendees.
The CES technology show in Las Vegas is set to be an in-person event despite concerns over Omicron (Martyn Landi/PA)
Those attending the show in person must show proof of vaccination as well as test negative for Covid-19 less than 24 hours before entering a CES venue, with masks also required throughout the show.
Organisers cut the convention from four days to three as a further measure to help stop the spread of the virus.
The show, usually attended by more than 100,000 people and thousands of tech businesses, is often used by some of the biggest names in the industry to announce new products and was set to return to an in-person setting having been entirely virtual in 2021 because of the pandemic.
These virtual tools are being used again this year, but organisers had urged those able to do so safely to attend in person.
However, in recent weeks a number of companies, including Google and Microsoft, have confirmed they will not attend physically.
The show's organisers remained buoyant and said new exhibitors have continued to sign up.