After a two year hiatus, CES is back in fighting fit form. The world’s biggest tech companies have descended on Las Vegas again, and they’ve brought some remarkable goods with them. Among other things, we have a $800,000 flying cara fool large wireless TV (more on that one below) and yes, a pee sensor for your toilet at home (definitely more on that below).
This year’s show marks the return of fully in-person CES. It’s thought to have brought in more than 100,000 people, and more than 2,200 companies talked about what they think are the next big things. This year—and for the first time since 2020—CNET editors walked the floors to see new products and services.
Before we dive into our list of the best of CES 2023, here are the criteria we used. We have tried to keep the number of those who earn our Best of Show award to between five and seven. Everyone on this list meets at least one of the following criteria.
- The product contains a concept or idea that has never been seen before.
- The product aims to solve a major consumer problem.
- The product is a redesign or a different version of an existing product in a way that sets a new benchmark in performance or quality.
Finally, to avoid giving awards to products that may never see the light of day, we gave more weight to those with at least a calendar year release window or timeline, as opposed to products with no planned release date or a more nebulous one.
LG M3 Series 97-inch Wireless OLED TV
The LG M3 Series 97-inch Wireless OLED TV is a behemoth that doesn’t skimp on normal high-end TV features. This gigantic beast of a TV combines fantastic imaging technology with its sheer size to be one of the most exciting TVs in recent memory. However, what takes it over the top is that it is completely wireless.
Yep, no more struggling with a bunch of wires behind your entertainment center to make them look like they aren’t there. With this TV they are not.
LG says the 97-inch should be available in 2023 along with an 83- and 77-inch version. Don’t expect it to be cheap though. The wired version of LG’s 97-inch TV costs $25,000, while its 77-inch OLED is only $2,900. Just to set expectations.
Have you ever thought that you can get health data on the spot at home, just by going number one? You will soon be able to use the Withings U-Scan (pee) sensor. The device sits on the front of your toilet. When you pee—and apparently it’s best to sit when you do to get an accurate sample—it collects the urine, analyzes it, and then sends the results to your phone via Wi-Fi.
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 pattern, and women can use it to track their menstrual cycles.
We’ve seen at-home urine test strips that require you to be hands-on to get test results, but the U-Scan is designed to be a seamless experience. Just do your business and move on. The fact that you can do this test daily without really thinking about it and have results sent to you immediately is what really sets the U-Scan apart.
HTC Vive XR Elite
The HTC Vive XR Elite is the latest version of HTC’s VR/AR headset and, based on our time with it, it could be the best Vive yet when it releases at the end of February for $1,099.
Yes, we’ve seen VR headsets before, so what makes this one special? The main reason it’s on this list is its size. HTC has shrunk the VR headset down to almost normal goggle size, and less than half the weight of the Quest Pro VR Headset.
If you normally wear glasses, you don’t need to wear them while using them. The adjustment knobs, or diopters, can change the lens prescription in real time, meaning the user does not need to wear glasses at all. This is a very useful feature if it works as well as expected. As a person who wears glasses but soured on VR over the past few years, the combination of the XR Elite’s small, light chassis and no-glasses requirement VR makes it a much more appealing prospect to me.
I’m not about to rush out and buy a VR headset, but the technology here looks exceptional, so let’s hope it catches on.
BMW and Vision Dee
Yes, those BMW and Vision Dee is a concept car, so my first reaction was to take every feature here with a grain of salt, but BMW has confirmed that the coolest and most useful feature, the head-up display, is coming to production cars in 2025.
Instead of a traditional dashboard display, the Dee instead uses the entire windshield as the HUD. It’s an AR display that uses the full width of the windshield and includes five levels of immersion. Level 1 gives you the essentials – speedometer, some navigation information and so on. Levels 2 to 4 increase the information on the screen and eventually overlay navigation information on the road.
Level 5 can display a completely virtual environment and is not intended for driving. Or rather is not meant for when you are driving and rather is meant for when a car is driving you. It’s one of those that works best in motion, so check out the video of the BMW i Vision Dee to see it in action.
The concept car also has an E Ink wrap on its chassis that can change color based on your own desire, and during BWM’s press conference the presenters made it look like it could have a conversation with you, a la KITT, but BMW admitted it used an actress backstage to show what it wants to do in the future. Again, only the HUD was confirmed to come to cars in the future, so that was the most useful thing to focus on.
Samsung S95C 77-inch QD-OLED TV
The Samsung S95C is the company’s first 77-inch TV to use its QD-OLED technology. It improves on the previous year’s model with better anti-glare technology and brighter images. The color in particular seemed to impress our TV expert, David Katzmaier; however, the screen finish is a bit grayer than LG’s, which tends to wash out the image somewhat.
Still, the main reason it’s on this list, aside from 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 ultimately prices can drop across the board. Good news for those of us looking to buy a big, incredibly high-end TV at some point in the future.
Schneider Smart Home System
Schneider’s smart home system is not something I ever considered owning until I moved into a new, bigger house in 2020. Let’s just say, I grow at least a few more gray hairs when a new bill comes in. The system will allow users to save money by scheduling when certain outlets draw power by controlling the breakers, switch and outlets to prevent energy vampires like TVs and chargers from drawing power when we don’t need it.
For EV users, it can schedule when your vehicle charges, set the time to only charge when rates are lowest or only charge with solar panels if possible.
As home electricity rates get higher – where I live they certainly have – and with more devices requiring more charging in our homes, having this kind of detailed control, without having to unplug a bunch of stuff every time you leave the house or go on vacation, is indeed a welcome remedy.
Dolby Atmos in-car sound in a Maybach
Dolby Atmos is a sound technology – think surround sound 2.0 – that aims to fully immerse you in whatever you’re listening to. Atmos has been around in movie theaters and home theaters for a while, but the Mercedes-Maybach is one of the first cars to use it.
So how good is it? The experience is hard to explain, but I’ll let CNET editor Bridget Carey do her best. She says: “The music felt like it was floating in space around me – I couldn’t tell where the speakers were; it created a surreal sound. When you listened to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody it was like Freddie Mercury just drifted in. before me.”
Watch the video to get a better idea of what Bridget experienced in the $185,000 Maybach. For those of us without that kind of cash, Dolby says we could see Atmos used in more affordable cars. The team is working on adapting the technology to a traditional six-speaker setup, but there’s no word yet on exactly when.
CES 2023 has returned with some potentially useful technology. Some new, some refinements, but at least try to solve a known consumer issue. There were many more that almost made the list. These are only the real standouts. Be sure to check out the rest of CNET’s CES coverage for everything else.