CES Goes Virtual Thanks to COVID-19

By Banu Athuraliya | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 30 2021
Tech Talk CES Goes Virtual Thanks to COVID-19

By Banu Athuraliya

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the world’s biggest consumer electronics show that happens every year in Las Vegas had to be moved online like every other event due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic – even a global health emergency can’t stop the Consumer Electronics Show.  CES is usually held in Las Vegas and large crowds gather to see the latest and best in class tech! Even though the event was held online, we got to experience some cool tech as always virtually at CES in 2021, and here are some of the coolest techs that you should look forward to.

Razer Mask – Hazel

With the pandemic taking over the world, Razer, a well-known gaming company showed off a concept project called ‘Hazel’ which is a high-tech face mask with N95 filters and active ventilation. In addition to its High Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE), the mask also has a high fluid resistance which protects against large droplets and splashes. The smart mask’s detachable ventilator regulates airflow and is capable of filtering at least 95 per cent of airborne particles. The coolest part is that Project Hazel comes with a special charging case lined with a UV light interior which kills bacteria and viruses as the mask charges.

On top of all of this, it has a cool design complete with RGB lighting. Thanks to a built-in mic and amplifier combo, our patent-pending technology ensures your speech isn’t muffled even when you’re masked up. The waterproof, scratch-resistant mask is as tough as it is sustainable made of recyclable plastic to greatly minimise wastage as compared to disposable masks.

Right now, we don’t know when this will be available but I hope it comes out soon!

Rollable Phone from LG

Foldable smartphones are slowly appearing in the market now but LG is focusing on the rollable smartphone they have been working on and teasing for the past few years. The good thing about a rollable phone is it won’t have a crease as all the foldable smartphones do now. LG teased its rollable phone at CES 2021 at the start of the event that wowed many and soon became the headline. Can’t wait to see when this phone comes out.

Samsung Bot Handy

Actually, personal assistant robots like we imagined are finally starting to make a splash as Samsung has showcased a few bots. While two of these new bots are futuristic concepts, one is going to be available to buy later this year.

Out of the bots Samsung showed off at CES 2021, ‘Bot Handy’ is what caught my attention the most. This bot can do pick up clothes, set the table, bring you drinks, pour you wine, and do the most tedious dishwashing. Not sure how the next generation of children will understand to do house chores if you get a Bot like this.

Bot Handy is able to raise itself up and down, recognises objects from its camera, and using computer vision algorithms, assesses its material to determine its force, and then grabs them with a claw-like hand on a single, pivoting arm. It uses AI to recognise and pick-up objects of different sizes, shapes, and weights, and it can tell the difference between the material compositions of various objects. The knowledge lets the Samsung Bot Handy calculate the right amount of force to grab and move household items and objects. It can help do things like clean up messy rooms or sort dishes after a meal.

This bot also has a white finish and a black display at the front which displays eyes that blink that make it more lifelike. Can’t wait to see robots like this in actual houses.

Voy Tunable Glasses

A new startup called Voy showcased a clear glass that has an adjustable prescription range in the lens itself from -5D to +2D so if the prescription of the person wearing the glasses fall in that range, they can use the same pair for working, driving, reading and even looking at a distance. The lens is controlled by a dial at the top of the frame. The Tunables also offer UV and blue light protection with an anti-reflection finish. These glasses are available in a range of colours, including tortoiseshell and as eyeglasses or sunglasses, starting at $79. This might be pretty handy for a person needing specs!

Kohler $16,000 Bathtub

Kohler showed off a bunch of smart toilet fittings but the most interesting one for me out of all those was the $16,000 bathtub called the ‘Stillness Bath’ that will give you a luxurious bath and attempts to give a similar experience to a luxury spa treatment. This is not just a bathtub; it is a complete experience.

The tub uses a combination of fog, coloured lighting, and amazing smells generated through essential oils to ‘relax the mind, soothe the body and renew the spirit’. A version of the bath called the ‘Infinity Experience’ will fill the tub with water from the bottom and flow over onto a wood moat to create relaxing sounds. Very hard to explain this experience in words, you have to check this out in a video on YouTube! All this will cost you a lot even if you buy the cheapest version of this which is starting from around $6000 but the complete experience will cost you a whopping $16,000 and it is set to launch next year.

LG’s Transparent OLED TV

CES is not comp’lete without some groundbreaking TVs; this year even though it was virtual we saw a bunch of 4K and 8K TVs showcased by all the major brands.

The LG Transparent OLED TV stood out the most for me because this time they have got the transparency level up from 10% up to 40%. LG showed off a cool example sushi bar which is perfect for the post-pandemic era with a touch screen at the bottom and items placed out on the display. They also show off this display being used in a subway where users will not only be able to see the commute but the outside as well on this crispy display. Unfortunately, these TVs aren’t going to be available to buy anytime soon but hopefully, this will be a thing in the future. I encourage you to watch LG’s press conference to see this and more TVs in action.

These are just a few of the coolest tech that interested me, but there’s a lot more. A pandemic can’t stop consumer electronics and innovations! Follow me on Social Media @AndroDollar and @BanuAthuraliya to see when I get my hands-on cool tech and you can watch my videos on YouTube if you wish at www.youtube.com/androdollar.

By Banu Athuraliya | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 30 2021

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