The weirdest things I saw at CES 2019, the biggest tech show of the year

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  • Business Insider sent me to the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 8-11.
  • I spent three full days walking around the show floors, sprawling 11 venues – 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space.
  • While there was a lot of cool cutting-edge tech, there were also a lot of bizarre moments, many of which I captured on camera.

CES 2019 is in the books.

I saw massive 8K displays, futuristic self-driving cars, robots, smart-home devices, and much more.

But I also saw lots of bizarre moments that didn’t particularly fit into any of these categories.

I captured many of these moments on camera.

Take a look at the weirdest things I saw at CES 2019.


I have celiac disease — basically an allergy to wheat and bread — so this robot could literally kill me. (Also, who would want this massive appliance for their home?)

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This robot only works every 2-3 hours. Lazy!

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This robot can take drink orders only; it cannot make the drinks. Yet dozens of people waited in line for coffee here. I’ll always remember my coworker looking at the line of people and exclaiming, “Does no one know this robot doesn’t actually make the coffee??”

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It wouldn’t be CES without an issue that’s plagued the show for decades: female objectification. This photo of a man taking a photo of a woman all dressed up, locked inside a box on display at a tech conference, sums up the event pretty well.

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Ah yes, the shark robot.

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I asked the company behind the shark robot why they shaped their underwater drone like a shark. “Did you find that fish shapes made other fish less likely to attack the camera?” I asked. Nope! They just thought it looked cool.

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Philips Avent had an exhibit dedicated to pregnancy, which showed how you can use the company’s products “from first scan to first step.” This particular signage, though, (“Discover the world of an unborn child”) creeped me out quite a bit.

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CES also had a ton of toilets on display. Take a look at the one in the back — would you want a black toilet in your home?

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Kohler’s smart toilet lets you control lighting, music, and all of your smart-home devices hands-free, directly from your porcelain throne. Personally, I find the idea of a smart toilet unsettling.

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This company thought it could get away with its lame noun salad by hiding it in the rafters, but I see you, Heath Zenith. “Link.” “Connect.” “Innovative.” These random words are just so inspiring, aren’t they?

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Small detail here, but this company thinks it takes 22 minutes to bake cookies in a conventional oven. Brava, you are burning your cookies! Just 10-11 minutes at 350 degrees and you’re good!

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So your company just made a smart tracker for pets: Don’t display it on something that looks like a traditional house pet. Use a crystal panther instead! (Duh!)

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These smart shoes claim to detect diseases based on how you walk. So if you start walking differently one day, your shoes might say you have Parkinson’s disease, for example. I’m sceptical of the technology, but I honestly don’t know why anyone would want shoes that tell them this kind of alarming information.

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These hashtags should immediately disqualify Bosch from ever attending another CES.

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Don’t you hate going to the doctor for an ultrasound? Well now you can do an ultrasound at home! This won’t lead to people misdiagnosing themselves — nah, uh, no way.

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One brave man decided to get an ultrasound right there on the show floor, in front of dozens of other people. Kudos to you, sir!

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This massive John Deere tractor was one of the only pieces of “farm tech” at CES 2019. It was cool, but totally out of place.

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This photo creeped me out. The TV screen is showing real-time footage of the two-person conversation happening next door, although the man here seemed totally unaware he was on camera.

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If boats of the future look like this, sign me up.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be CES without dozens of people fast asleep in massage chairs.

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You have to imagine at least some people attended CES just to sleep in these chairs.

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You couldn’t walk 10 meters in CES without finding another area where people were napping.

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I saw a lot of weird stuff at CES 2019, but I also saw a lot of cool tech as well — like Kia’s Real-Time Emotion Adaptive Driving tech, or READ, seen below.

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I don’t know how much of this CES I’ll remember. But at least I can say I made some friends.

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