Best of CES 2023: A color-changing BMW, a boba tea robot, and perfect eyebrows

A booth worker demonstrates L’Oréal’s smart brow applicator that uses augmented reality to help print eyebrows on the face during CES Unveiled, before the CES tech show, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP/Rick Bowmer)

LAS VEGAS — Tech companies showed off their latest products this week at CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show.

Crowds of investors, media and tech workers have streamed into cavernous Las Vegas venues to see the latest tech from big companies and startups. There are flashy concept cars, screens of every possible variety, robots that can help with a range of tasks and technology for homes. Some tech innovations are already available to buy while others may never make it past the prototype stage.

The show runs through Sunday. Here are some highlights:

VIDEO CALLS WITH A TWIST

A man looks onto the show floor from a Wehead spatial video communication device at the Wehead booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. The device, controlled via a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, allows the user to remotely look around through the device’s camera and observe the environment an interact with people in the room. (AP/John Locher)

Tired of the same old videoconference calls? Zero Distance thinks it may have the answer.

The company’s Wehead device helps people at a meeting feel like a remote attendee is in the room with them.

The device looks something like a machine you might find at the eye doctor, but with screens on the front. The person participating from afar looks like they’re there in 3D and when they look around or nod, the machine also moves.

Wehead works with standard computer or smartphone webcams.

“If there are a few people around the table and just one screen, not everybody can see the screen, and the person in the laptop, he or she is not able to see everybody,” Wehead creator Ilia Sedoshkin said. “That’s the obvious application.”

“But for people who spend like 40 hours a week in their home office, they don’t see other people a lot. So feeling the real person in the room, using some space on your table, can give you less loneliness,” Sedoshkin said.

The Wehead costs $1,555, with a pro version available for $4,555.

COLOR-CHANGING CAR

Stella Clark of BMW AG, shows off the BMW i Vision Dee concept car that changes color during a pre-show keynote at CES 2023 Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP/Jack Dempsey)

BMW is betting on a car that can change colors.

The German car manufacturer’s latest concept car can display up to 32 colors and allows drivers to customize their cars digitally.

That’s not the only thing — the mid-size sedan has a voice assistant as well as physical and digital elements that allow the headlights to create facial expression and express moods such as joy, astonishment and approval.

The car is called BMW i Vision Dee — Dee for “digital emotional experience.”

The splashy ride is the next iteration of BMW’s color-changing technology unveiled at last year’s CES, when the company showcased a car that had the ability to change from black to white.

The body of the latest version is divided into 240 segments, all of which the company said can be controlled individually and allow for an endless number of patterns to be generated.

The car will be available in 2025.

A BOBA ROBOT

An ADAM beverage robot makes boba tea at the Richtech Robotics booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP/John Locher)

From milk tea to passion fruit, ADAM the robot can make any boba tea drink you like.

ADAM also can function as a bartender or barista, but it made boba tea for delighted CES attendees who used digital touch screens to select their drinks.

“ADAM is intended to be basically a way to attract guests and a way to make drinks fully automated and very efficient,” Timothy Tanksley of Richtech Robotics said.

The two-armed robot has two grip handles that can be customized to make specific drinks. While taking a break from mixing beverages, ADAM can dance to keep people entertained.

ADAM, which can be rented for events or hired full-time, is among a range of robots on display at CES this week doing a variety of tasks from disinfecting surfaces to making deliveries.

NUT MILK ON DEMAND

A GrowUp nut milk machine is seen at the CES tech show on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. GrowUp allows people to brew their own nut milk at home with water and any nut, from cashews and walnuts to almonds and pistachios. (AP/Rio Yamat)

During the pandemic shutdowns in 2020, California resident Luiz Rapacci had a hard time finding his favorite almond milk at grocery stores. He looked up online recipes to make his own, but they were messy and time-consuming.

Almost three years later, Rapacci is at CES to unveil his nut milk brewing machine, the GrowUp brewer.

With GrowUp, customers can make nut milk at home in minutes with water and their chosen variety, from cashews and walnuts to almonds and pistachios, Rapacci said.

The machine costs $599 and is available now for pre-order.

PERFECT EYEBROWS

A booth worker demonstrates L’Oréal’s smart brow applicator that uses augmented reality to help print eyebrows on the face during CES Unveiled, before the CES tech show, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP/Rick Bowmer)

L’Oréal’s Brow Magic is bringing augmented reality to your eyebrows.

The company’s app scans your face and uses AR to make personalized recommendations for choices of shape, thickness and effect. You apply a primer, then the Brow Magic device uses 2,400 tiny nozzles to brush over and paint your eyebrows.

L’Oréal developed Brow Magic in partnership with Prinker, which makes a device that quickly applies temporary tattoos.

The makeup in Brow Magic, which is expected to launch later this year, can last up to two days and be taken off with regular makeup remover.

Image credits: AP/Rick Bowmer



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