Five CES products that make you ask… ‘but why?’

The technology industry loves to breathlessly sell you its latest and greatest and best-est new idea. Pitches have to be fast and aggressive because if you took more than a second to think about what they were selling, you might not reach for your wallet. As flashy as the products at CES 2024 in Las Vegas can be, they often have one fatal weakness. Which is to not have any sort of answer to the most important question of them all: “y tho?”

One: LG’s wireless transparent OLED TV

Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget

LG came to CES showing off a 77-inch wireless 4K OLED TV that is transparent for some reason. You can play footage of a singer, or an aquarium, or other screensaver-y type things as a talking piece in your home. But it turns out, being transparent isn’t great for actually watching TV, so it ships with a roll-out black background to make your transparent TV no longer transparent. I can imagine this used as an advertising screen or as an installation in a museum or corporate office. But why would you spend so much money on a TV where its key feature is an impediment to its proper function?

Two: Kohler PureWash E930 Bidet Seat


It’s important that devices are designed with accessibility as a primary concern, rather than tacked on at the end. Nobody would hate on a voice-activated toilet that could help folks with access needs get through their day. But Kohler’s bidet seat is deeply integrated with Alexa or Google Home. Why on earth would you spend more than two grand to give Amazon or Google detailed insights into your bathroom habits?

Three: Lockly Visage facial-scanning smart lock


Lockly’s Visage smart lock uses facial recognition to allow access to your home, opening the door if it spots you approaching. Setting aside the hideous privacy and security implications of smart locks, a thing you should never connect to the internet, this is a mad idea. Why would you leave something as important as access to your home at the whims of a sensor or some unproven gadget?

Four: Urtopia’s ChatGPT-enabled e-bike


The Urtopia Fusion is an e-bike equipped with a 540Wh battery promising 75 miles of range, a beefy mid-drive motor and air suspension forks. It is also, for some godforsaken reason, equipped with ChatGPT which, the company says will enable you to “talk” to your bike. Its custom assistant will, when asked, help you “explore new routes,” “get real-time information” and even “engage in entertaining conversations.” Why on earth would you want to have a conversation with your bicycle when you should be focusing on literally anything else.

Five: Hyundai S-A2 air taxi concept


Hyundai showed off a new VTOL air taxi concept that, it’s hoped, would take people on short hops of up to 40 miles. It can reach a top speed of 120 miles per hour and will probably never ever come to the real world. After all, why would you go to the trouble of reengineering the whole world to accommodate this disaster waiting to happen?

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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