CES, the world's biggest tech conference, is over for another year – and this time around I'd have believed you if you told me the 'C' stood for 'car.' We saw a ton of weird and wonderful vehicular concepts at this year's event – but Sony's somewhat terrifying 'billboard with wheels' might be the creepiest of the lot.
We'd heard tell for a while that Sony and Honda were planning to unveil an electric car, and it finally arrived last week in the form of the Afeela. The concept, slated for release in 2026, features a Qualcomm 'digital chassis' (including 'digital mirrors') and lots and lots of screens. Including on the outside. (Fancy creating your own car concept? Check out the best 3D modelling tools.)
Not content with shoving a PS5 into the car's interior, Sony and Honda have also added a widescreen 'media bar' to the front, between the headlights. This could display all sorts of useful information including charging information and weather conditions. Oh, and ads.
That's right, at the 35 minute mark of the CES presentation (above), we see various possible applications for said media bar – including using it to display an ad for Spider-Man: No Way Home. In other words, the screen could become a (very thin) travelling billboard. Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yashide Mizuno says the media bar opens the possibility for "fun and exciting mobility interactions," but as our sister site PC Gamer notes, it looks like glimpse of a potentially terrifying future.
Much like the eye tracking of the Meta Quest Pro, this all feels rather dystopian. Are we a few years away from cars, like busses, becoming moving posters? And will we have any choice over what's displayed? If we want that choice, will we have to pay for it? It makes BMW's colour-changing car look like a world of purity and innocence.