Much of the technology we saw at CES 2022 was harmless and friendly, but beneath the shiny surface of the show were some ideas that shook our spines: autonomous tractors, the seemingly friendly T-800 robot, and bears that nibbles on your fingers.
Okay, maybe we’re being a little hard on the Amagami Hum ham, but like everything else on this list it ticked an important box: Given the right director, it could easily be the star of a horror movie. .
A big theme of CES 2022 has been technology that watches you sleep, including the worryingly intelligent anti-snore pillow and smart light bulbs, so they undoubtedly made our list, albeit a plus point.
Throw in an over-engineered air purifying mask, breathable PC case, and yes, more creepy humanoid robots, and you have a strong supporting cast for a new David Cronenberg flick. So grab some popcorn and peruse our list of the scariest tech ideas of CES 2022 — and if it gets you in the mood, visit our guide to the best new horror movies of 2022.
John Deere Autonomous Tractor
If James Cameron were to remake the opening sequence of Terminator, we might see this autonomous John Deere tractor rumbling over the skeletal remains of human civilization. Of course, the 8R tractor has been built with the perfectly sensible purpose of helping farmers till their soil more efficiently, but there’s still something exciting about watching this farm animal without anyone at the wheel lurking towards you.
Adding to our fears is the fact that the 8R quad uses artificial intelligence, as well as six pairs of stereo cameras, to drive itself. But the good news is that farmers can control the tractor with a smartphone app, and that the machine’s soil-analyzing ability should be able to give farmers some handy pointers on how to manage their land and crops more efficiently. Go.
Lurking at the edge of the supernatural canyon is Ameka, a close relative of Sonny from the robot and an emotionally expressive tantra with a slightly sick smile. Created by Engineer Arts, Britain’s leading manufacturer of recreational robots, it made its first public appearance at CES 2022 and is designed to welcome visitors to events or attractions. But is it spending its time before launching a presidential campaign?
The Amica is certainly smart, with artificial intelligence and cameras in each of its eyes that allow it to respond to your movements and track faces. Luckily, the robot can’t walk yet, which makes it a little easier to run from the Boston Dynamics spot. And given that Ameka lives in a position that’s somewhere between astonishing and astonishing, we think we’ll be able to distract it with a funny spinner.
Razer Zephyr Pro
If last year’s Razer Zephyr Mask wasn’t intimidating enough for you, the company has created an even more engineered version with built-in voice amplification, called the Zephyr Pro. It’s probably the ideal post-apocalyptic accessory for our troubled times, if not exactly the one your child collects from pre-school.
To be fair to Razer, the Zephyr Pro is good for a lot more than just Bain cosplay, thanks to its replaceable N95-grade filter and speaker grilles, which keep your voice at 60 decibels from a one-meter range presents. It’s also made from recycled materials and the optional RGB lights let you know when to replace your filter. There’s no release date yet, but it will arrive sometime in 2022 for $149.
ten minds motion pillow
The seemingly innocuous motion pillow is packed with tiny airbags that gently press your head into a better position for breathing at night. But what happens when it decides to put an end to your snoring forever? Maybe it’s our imagination that’s running away with us, but a pillow that can see you fall asleep and curl itself up is potentially the stuff of nightmares.
Fortunately, the reality of the Motion Pillow is, for now, more mundane and useful. Its AI motion system detects your snoring, detects the position of your head, then slowly moves it sideways to help open your airway. Assuming that it doesn’t wake you up when you re-engage in the real world, it will also present your better sleep stats from your amagami ham ham ready for a morning sleep…
Amagami Ham Ham
Yes, this adorable stuffed robot looks cute, especially when you know it’s designed to comfort you while gently nibbling your finger on it. But what happens when Amagami goes ham full gremlin and decides she wants one of your points for breakfast? The fact that it’s not technically possible doesn’t mean that our brains haven’t turned one of CES 2022’s most savvy launches into the comedy horror scene.
Thankfully, ‘Amagami’ is Japanese for “soft biting” rather than “fingertip guillotine,” and its creator Yukai Engineering has even coded an algorithm that serves up two dozen nibbling styles to the tips of your fingers. You’ll be able to buy it this year at Calico Cat and Shuba Inu Designs for about $40.
ovo game haptic west
What better way to unwind after a hard day at the office than by wearing a vest that protects against serious stomach wounds, insect bites, daggers and axes? It is a utopian dream envisioned by Ovo Games Haptic West, which works with games across mobile, PC, console and VR platforms to bring an extra dose of uncomfortable realism.
Thankfully, the sensations that the vest gives aren’t all near-death experiences, the Ovo game also promises to recreate the thrill of driving at 100mph or free-falling (towards a much larger trampoline, hopefully) . You can also adjust the intensity of each sensation, to make sure it stays on the right side when pleasurable. There is no fixed launch date for Owo yet, but you can register your interest on the official site.
CyberPowerPC Kinetic Case
There’s just something about the technology that feels like it’s breathing, and that’s the impact created by CyberPowerPC’s Kinetic Case. Instead of sighing when you’ve just spent nine hours on Microsoft Flight Simulator, the case’s 18 mechanical vents are designed to open and close automatically when more air is needed.
As CyberPowerPC’s Nam Hoang explained in a preview video for the Kinetic series, the aim was to create a case that was more than just a box with holes. The design was clearly inspired by the kinetic architecture in buildings like the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi – and now that we’ve overcome our reflexive phobia of breath-taking gadgets, we have to admit it’s pretty.
Hyundai’s ‘Digital Twins’
The prize for the most unintentionally disturbing vision of the future at CES 2022 goes to Hyundai, for its take on the metaverse and robots. Like a cross between David Gelernter’s Mirror Worlds and Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Hyundai’s presentation revolves around the concept of ‘digital twins’, an idea that sci-fi hasn’t exactly portrayed in flashy terms .
In Hyundai’s vision, robots are effectively our proxies, acting as our eyes and ears, or even allowing us to hug family from another continent while away from work . The company also featured people visiting Mars with their pet Boston Dynamics robot, which itself treads a fine line between terrifying and terrifying. The advantages of “metamobility,” where physical limitations are no longer a hindrance to anyone, are certainly exciting, but it’s hard not to think about the dystopian downsides when you’ve weaned on Blade Runner and The Matrix.
Taking Hyundai’s concept of ‘digital twins’ and turning it into a mildly disturbing reality, Beonmi 1.0 is the robot, apparently evolving from human-pilot to fully autonomous humanoid over time.
It’s Beonmi’s somewhat intense ‘concentration’ face that initially intimidated us a bit, but the robot also smiles and is apparently happy to work in a vast range of sectors including agriculture, logistics and eventually space manufacturing . We’re happy to give Beonmi the benefit of the doubt for now—until it’s applied to a job on Nerdshala, at least.
- See all of Nerdshala’s CES 2022 coverage With reviews, feedback, and analysis of the best new technology we’ve seen, from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.