The coolest gadgets unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 include a face-scanning security lock, a smart home beer brewer, a noise-reducing mask that also keeps your conversations private, and an exercise bike that can charge your electronics.
CES is widely regarded as the world’s biggest tech expo. Four thousand exhibitors are participating in this year’s event, including most of the world’s foremost tech companies.
Companies like Samsung and LG use CES 2024 to unveil their latest line-ups of annually-refreshed products, like TVs and home appliances.
CES is also used to announce or tease new electronics or technological innovations across a wide range of product categories.
While the big names bring lots of excitement, the expo is also a platform for smaller companies to promote their unique and innovative products and services to draw customers or additional funding from potential investors.
This year, 1,200 startups are attending in the hopes of gaining customers, getting exposure for their projects, or piquing the interest of investors looking for the next big thing in tech.
Below are some of the most noteworthy gadgets and electronics unveiled by prominent and up-and-coming tech companies at CES 2024.
Acer Predator Z57 ultrawide monitor
With 57 inches of display, the Predator Z57 is a behemoth of a curved gaming monitor.
Aside from all the screen real estate you could ever need, it boasts several features suited for serious gamers — including dual UHD resolution (7,680 x 2,160), a 120Hz refresh rate, and a MiniLED panel with 1,000-nit brightness and highly accurate colours.
With picture-by-picture capability, you can output from two different sources via two HDMI 2.1 ports at once.
Anker Solix F3800 — From $3,999 (R74,703)
South Africans are no strangers to portable power stations in 2024, thanks in no small part to the government and Eskom.
Many of the units sold locally have capacities ranging between 300Wh and 1kWh and are ideally suited for mobile use.
Anker’s new flagship unit takes things to a whole new level, with storage starting at 3.8kWh but a modular design allowing for scaling up to 53.8kWh.
It can output up to 6kW of power or 12kW when linked with an additional unit, making it suitable for electrifying a house or charging an electric vehicle (EV).
Exobrew home beer brewer — $1,628 (R30,412)
Make all the beer you want, without the risk of injury or sticky messes.
Exobrew’s Craft Gen 3 Pro+ is an all-in-one beer brewing system with a smart keg that simplifies making a lager, pale ale, stout, or other types of beer at home.
The machine boasts a single vessel and reverse heater/cooler technology to simplify the brewing process while making exceptional quality beers that Exobrew says will meet the standards of professionals.
The system’s brewing processes are all provided on a mobile app.
Lockly Visage — $350 (R6,541)
This one is for those who want to feel that they are entering a secret spy or military base whenever they enter their home, or if you simply don’t want to fiddle with keys to unlock your doors.
Lockly’s Visage smart lock is opened with a facial scan by enrolled users.
The lock is connected via Wi-Fi and supports the universal smart home connectivity standard, Matter, which is increasingly being adopted by the industry.
It uses a pair of 2MP infrared sensors to scan faces up to nearly 80cm away. It also comes with a fingerprint reader as backup and supports the Apple Home Key, iPhone, and Watch.
Up to 100 users can be registered on a lock, making it ideal for Airbnb hosts who want to enroll and remove guests while not on the premises.
LifeSpan Ampera desk bike — $999 (R18,669)
Those who feel they might be missing out on opportunities to get fit while sitting at their desks all day might jump at the opportunity to get their hands on one of these exercise bikes.
Although desk bikes have been around for some time, LifeSpan’s Ampera bike features a built-in power generator that lets you charge devices wirelessly or via a USB-C port using kinetic energy.
At 60 rotations per minute, the bike can produce up to 65Wh of energy per hour, more than enough to charge a smartphone or a compact laptop like a MacBook Air.
Seergrills Perfecta — $3,500 (R65,406)
If you’ve always struggled to braai and even an air fryer is not simple or quick enough for your cooking needs, the Perfect Grill is a must-have.
This AI-powered grill can supposedly cook food 10× faster than conventional cooking methods.
This includes grilling a ribeye steak with a thickness of 2.5cm in 90 seconds by using dual vertical infrared burners to cook both sides of the meat simultaneously.
These burners can reach a temperature of 900°C and ensure crisp edges with 360-degree heating.
Razer Project Esther — Concept only
Project Esther is an HD Haptics-fitted cushion for gaming or office chairs that can make gaming or entertainment consumption a more immersive experience.
Razer said the cushion can adapt to content displayed and generate tactile sensations that vary in intensity, speed, and duration.
The cushion has 16 haptic actuators for maximum body contact and uses Razer’s Hyperspeed Wireless 2.4GHz connection for ultra-low latency sections.
Philips smart deadbolt — $359.99 (R6,727)
The latest smart lock from Philips can read your palm’s unique patterns to provide biometric access to authenticated users.
The company said the device can register up to 50 unique palm vein patterns and identify the hands of people of all ages.
The smart lock also supports a PIN or fingerprint scan as backups.
The deadbolt doubles as a smart doorbell that can notify you via smartphone when someone is at your door.
Skyted Silent Mask — Price TBC
This noise-reducing wearable is currently only a prototype, but its Kickstarter campaign launched at CES 2024 had already amassed $64,982 in pledges in less than a day.
The mask can reduce the volume of your speech by 25 decibels — enough that someone close to you won’t be able to hear a word you are saying, while also blocking out noises from other sources.
That makes it great for businesspeople who travel often and need to be able to talk on the phone or a laptop while surrounded by many people or when in noisy environments.
Engadget was impressed after its quick demo with the device, with one of its writers saying they would feel comfortable talking about confidential or embargoed information in public while wearing the mask.
Pawwby P1 Ultra — $699 (R13,061)
Any cat owner will know one of the biggest hassles of having a feline in the house is cleaning a litterbox.
While robotic litterboxes are nothing new, the Pawwby P1 Ultra is in a category of its own.
Aside from its mid-20th century design, the P1 Ultra is the world’s first smart cat litter box with Pet-Safe Certification.
In addition to sorting through and disposing of your cat’s dropoffs, the P1 Ultra has a deodorising solution to eliminate smells and keep the air around it clean.