As the first-ever virtual CES 2021 comes to a close, let’s look back at, or forward to, some of the highlights of the unique version of consumer technology’s yearly showcase. From health and safety to the usual innovations in consumer tech, this all-digital CES still left viewers and attendees with tons of new products and concepts to talk about. Here are a few innovations geared towards navigating the changes occurring all over the world.
A mask became a necessity in 2020 as COVID-19 shifted the way people needed to navigate their daily lives. Razer announced a new project at CES 2021 showcasing what they call the world’s smartest mask that boasts safety and social features, as well as being a non-disposable mask.
The mask features a surgical N95 respirator and has a high fluid resistance. The primary safety feature and differentiator for Project Hazel is the auto-sterilization function. The mask comes with a chargeable case that has a UV light interior that kills bacteria and potential viruses while the mask is charging.
From a social standpoint, the new mask features a transparent design, a low light mode that helps mask wearers still show their expressions in dark areas or environments, and has a built-in mic and amplifier. The most common complaints from mask wearers try to get addressed by Project Hazel. When people feel they’re not their usual selves when needing to wear a mask or don’t feel appropriately understood when speaking, Project Hazel is looking to up the comfort.
Speaking of comfort, the mask’s ventilation brings in cool air and doesn’t trap heat or CO2, and no part of the adjustable mask rests on the wearer’s mouth.
The expected release of the mask to consumers is by the end of 2021.
Kensington’s StudioDock is exclusive for Apple users; however, it’s the future answer to the problem many Apple users have, especially those working from home, of trying to find the best set-up to utilize Apple products for work and actively charge them.
The StudioDock provides a compact place to charge your iPhone and AirPods, as well as a dock for most iPads currently on the market. The port can allow the iPad to act as a mini iMac, and the dock can wirelessly connect to an iMac so your iPad can become an extra screen for your home office. There is also optional charging support for an Apple Watch.
Kensington’s StudioDock ultimately offers flexibility to the user’s workspace better than some other competitors currently on the market. The dock also has a USB-C port, three USB-A ports, an audio jack, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and an Ethernet jack. So for those not looking to invest in a new computer, the dock provides an option to turn your tablet into a mini-desktop computer.
There’s currently no release date set yet for the StudioDock.
Senior care is one area that 2020, unfortunately, brought much change to and broke down support networks for many elders. CareClever debuted a robotic answer to help those feeling isolated with Cutii. Cutii is a companion robot and one of the first that is ready to be released in 2021.
Cutii’s differentiator is that it is entirely mobile, so no voice-activation is needed to use the companion. If, for example, an elder falls and needs assistance, Cutii will answer your call and try to get in touch with an emergency contact on its own. Like many other smart applications and devices, Cutii also can remind users of appointments.
Voice and video calls can also run through Cutii, and the companion can also act as a platform to host teleconsultations with doctors.
Cutii commercially launched in France, and CES 2021 kicked off the start-up’s marketing efforts in the United States.
With more time spent in the home, chances are the messes become more frequent as well. The Roborock S7 is a smart vacuum and mop that scrubs the floor up to 3,000 times per minute to clean the more challenging to get out messes it identifies. The mopping feature also identifies surfaces like rugs or carpets to ensure those surfaces don’t get wet.
The cleaning device’s corresponding app also gives users the ability to schedule when each room should be cleaned or if a particular part of the living space is a No-go Zone. Users can also adjust suction power at any time.
The Roborock S7 releases to consumers at the end of March and sells for $649.
The classroom or office definition has varied in the past year with changing circumstances due to the pandemic; however, Owl Labs’ Whiteboard Enhance provides a solution to help participants feel comfortable as hybrid meetings or classrooms continue to be a reality.
The Whiteboard Enhance software works in businesses and classrooms that already utilize Meeting Owl Pro and gives any user the ability to zoom in or out of any images on the whiteboard. For example, a student using the software can zoom in on the teacher’s board and not obstruct the view that other students have on their screens.
Meeting Owl Pro provides teachers or businesses to present in a 360-degree smart video conferencing environment.
CES 2021 saw innovations in areas that aren’t always a focal point at the yearly tech show; however, the best of CES 2021 still could bring excitement and maybe even some reassurance for those looking to make their lives a little more comfortable in 2021.