CES 2022: The 5 quirkiest products we can’t wait to see

CES 2022
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

CES 2022 represents the biggest tech convergence of the year. It's a culmination of the latest and greatest in tech from the best TVs and headphones to air fryers to AR headsets and far, far beyond. But by far the most exciting thing about the Consumer Electronics Show is that we never quite know what to expect.

That’s perhaps more apparent than ever at CES 2022, which kicks off in the new year on January 5. Just one glance at this year’s honorees for the CES 2022 Innovation Awards and we’re immediately lost in an ocean of promising new tech, whether it's functional, intriguing, or just downright bizarre.

And it’s the quirkiest of the bunch we want to shine a spotlight on right now. CES 2022 will undoubtedly host a concentration of highly anticipated products everyone will have their eyes on. But the following five products also deserve attention, if only because they have our eyebrows raised by just how different or unique they are.

Bird Buddy

Bird Buddy

(Image credit: Bird Buddy)

First on our list is the Bird Buddy. We love the name, but the product itself is even more fascinating. Bird feeders weren’t exactly on our 'AI-fication' radar until now, but the Bird Buddy shows that the fledgling tech is full of promise.

At the most basic level, the Bird Buddy can connect to your Wi-Fi and notify you when its stock of seeds is running low or when a bird flies into view of the device’s in-built camera. However, Bird Buddy’s approach to gamification (the act of incentivizing an everyday or mundane activity through tangible, satisfying feedback or reward systems) has us preparing our backyards for the future of bird watching.

The coolest thing about the Bird Buddy is that its AI recognizes over 1,000 species of birds and will store photos of birds in a checklist-like collection accessed via its app. Think Pokémon Go, but with less tri-headed ostriches and more blue crested warblers. 

Flic Twist

Flic Twist

(Image credit: Flic)

Here we have a device that addresses fundamental accessibility issues when it comes to smart home tech. Many of us take our smart home setups for granted, but for visiting friends and family, any given setup can prove to be more complex than needed if they’re not already familiar with the tech.

Enter the Flic Twist. This ergonomic, wall-mounted smart home device makes use of intuitive push-and-rotate functions to control various elements of the smart home, including lighting, television volume, song selections, and more.

Perhaps the real genius of the Flic Twist is that you can use it to cycle through most – if not all – of your smart home-compatible devices. From there, the same intuitive control schemes are applied depending on whichever device you have selected. In theory, this should make smart home control much easier to grasp for those who don’t wish to get lost in a mire of menus, apps and lists of options.

iPetWeaR

iPetWeaR

(Image credit: ITRI)

Many of us love our pets as if they were our own children. Pets have been a welcome source of calm and comfort for us in these recent, trying years. So it’s wonderful to see new tech that can keep an eye on their health where our own observations might fail to see any potential issues.

That appears to be the goal of the iPetWeaR. Coming from the Industrial Technology Research Institute, it’s being billed as the world’s first smart wearable for pets that makes use of “contactless micro-physiological radar sensing technology” to monitor the health of your pet down to minute detail.

By pairing the smart device with the app, you can monitor your pet’s heart rate, sleep patterns, respiratory rate, precise location, and more. Not only could this help you maintain a healthy lifestyle for your pet, it could also help you track them down should they go missing.

Motion Pillow 3

Motion Pillow 3

(Image credit: 10minds)

Cracking the code to a perfect night's sleep is an ongoing mission for many, particularly those of us who suffer from respiratory issues or are incessant snorers. It’s us (this writer included) that the Motion Pillow 3 could help out a great deal – an impressive feat for what, on paper, just sounds like a pillow with airbags fitted.

However, on closer inspection, the Motion Pillow 3 is a little more than that. The pillow actually detects the sound of snoring, which is picked up by a separate control unit. This console then signals the pillow to inflate its airbags to optimize one’s sleeping position, thus helping to reduce or completely eliminate snoring.

That’s also sure to be a boon for frustrated or concerned partners who have to share a bed with a notorious snorer. And the best part is that the Motion Pillow 3 could even help foster better long-term sleeping habits. As Everyday Health reports, long-term snoring can lead to developing irregular heart rhythms, better known as arrhythmia. Helping to reduce snoring, then, can only be a net positive for users of the Motion Pillow 3. 

V Board

V Board

(Image credit: HDVISION)

Finally, here’s a device that could be incredibly useful as many of us adjust to long-term work-from-home setups. The V Board consists of a camera and pen that work via infra-red sensors. Billed as an interactive whiteboard, the V Board transforms any compatible display into a virtual screen that the pen can interact with.

The V Board’s camera detects the size of the display the user wishes to interact with. From there, the user makes use of the V Board’s included software to turn the display into a digital whiteboard. This is ideal for use in online meetings or classroom environments where more traditional, physical means of annotation might be unfeasible or simply out of reach.

Earlier in 2021, V Board’s Kickstarter campaign received over five times the funds it required, meaning it’ll begin shipping soon for early backers. And, hopefully, it'll be available at retail level before too long. 

Rhys Wood
Hardware Writer

Rhys is Hardware Writer for TechRadar Gaming, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Rhys has a strong love for all things gaming, including everything from triple A blockbusters to hidden indie gems. For Rhys, the highlights of the work are being able to test out top-notch gaming hardware, from controllers and headsets to VR and beyond. When he's not on the clock, you'll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14 and Sea of Thieves. Or taking massive Ls in Mario Party Superstars.