The Bizarre Truth About The Largest Gadget Show On The Planet

dancers with headphones at ces

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

In theory, the Consumer Electronics Show is supposed to set the stage for what to expect in the coming year of gadgets and personal tech.Despite what the CES haters might say, the event still accomplishes that to an extent.

But there’s also a strange side to CES. While the big companies like Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba take up the bulk of the main show floor, most of the show is just plain weird.

There are thousands of square feet dedicated to accessories, headphones, and a bunch of other junk you’ll probably never care to buy. There’s even a giant swath of real estate dedicated to iPhone cases. Hundreds and hundreds of iPhone cases.

Then there are the attention grabbers, the gimmicks companies use to say, “Hey, you! Look at our stuff.” And we’re not just talking about booth babes. It’s simply bizarre.

One television maker we've never heard of had a deal with the upcoming Iron Man movie to promote its booth. We've seen this poor guy in the Iron Man suit posing with show attendees for three days now.

These dancers performed in this weird model house to demonstrate a home audio system.

Nikon's booth had tango dancers performing nonstop throughout the show. (Don't worry, there were several couples and they all took shifts.)

Everyone is trying to play off the success of Beats Audio headphones. There are dozens of booths with knockoffs. This booth had dancers in black body stockings.

More headphones. These knockoffs come from an Asian company we've never heard of. Its booth was empty.

We spent a full minute in this booth and still couldn't figure out what the company was selling. But hey! A giant iPad!

There were hundreds of different iPhone cases on display from dozens of vendors. This is just a tiny taste.

More iPhone cases...

...and more (weird) iPhone cases...

...and iPhone cases that are extremely rugged. It never ended.

Some accessories like these smartphone cleansing cloths were just odd.

This guy was demonstrating a protective coating for smartphones and tablets that keeps screens from breaking. He smacked it with a hammer and the screen remained in tact.

A company called OhMiBod makes sex toy accessories for smartphones and tablets. This transmitter on the iPad connects to a sex toy and transmits vibrations from the music.

OhMiBod has a new wireless transmitter too.

We still can't figure out why so many booths had Hello Kitty accessories.

One of the Hello Kitty booths was even located on the main show floor. (This is seriously just a small fraction of all the Hello Kitty stuff we saw.)

Singapore Airlines had a tiny kiosk that simulated what it's like flying first class.

A live cooking show...at a tech event?

We thought this was pretty cool. These guys are playing guitars made with 3D printers.

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