CES 2021: 3 of the Most Exciting New Technologies

CES 2021 logo

CES 2021 is over, so let’s take time to check out three of the most exciting concepts to grace the digital-only exhibition. Featuring COVID-19 masks to a robot that can serve you a drink and put the dishes away. Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 situation this year, the exhibition went digital-only with prerecorded press events.

Gone were the extravagant and to be frank, bloated, and tedious press conferences, replaced by a more focused and pared-down offering. Something we wouldn’t mind being utilised in some form for future shows. The organisers have said they will return to Las Vegas for 2022 when we hope this pandemic will be well behind us. On with the show!

Razer’s no games Project Hazel concept

Famed for their comprehensive range of PC & gaming accessories, Razer brings something unusual to CES each year. Last year was the fascinating modular PC Tomahawk platform. In the era of COVID-19, we get an N95 rated facemask.

A product that goes well beyond their natural niche. Project Hazel features including voice amplification (goodbye incoherent Starbucks orders), active ventilation with replaceable filters, and a special charging case that blasts the mask with a dose of UV light killing off bacteria,

Other neat features include a transparent window, so people are better able to read the wearer’s lips. Helpful to those with hearing impairments and people who need support processing facial cues. A low-light mode that turns on automatically so that the mouth is viewable even in poor lighting conditions. The mask itself is waterproof, scratch-proof, and for sustainability made from recycled plastic.

And seeing as it’s a Razer product we’re discussing, where would we be without jazzy lighting. Its last flourish is customisable light zones powered by their Chroma RGB system.

A man in low lighting wearing a baseball cap and the mask with green LEDS on display.

There’s no report on pricing or a release date yet, but you can sign-up for notifications via the Razer website.

Chances of a release: given the current pandemic; a no-brainer.

LG’s Rollable (not Scrollable?) phone

A phone with the ability to adjust its size sounds like the sci-fi future we all covet. LG has disclosed little about this concept, which comes straight from their “Explorer Project” series. An experimental section that includes last year’s ill-fated LG Wing. We got a brief look at how they envision the as-yet-unnamed product in a video.

CES 2021: A gif of the LG Rollable held horizontally with the phone becoming smaller.

It’s not all good news. An article from The Korea Herald suggests LG may reconsider their participation in the mobile space and auction off the mobile division. So releasing what we presume is an expensive phone for bleeding-edge enthusiasts is unlikely to make the cut if they decide to stay invested in mobile. The poor sales (around 100,000) of the Wing proved the inherent risks of special form factors.

Chances of a release: we have strong doubts.

Samsung’s Bot Handy the butler of CES 2021

Once again, Samsung are aiming big with their robotics division. After air-purifying robots, a retail bot, and a walking aid device for the elderly. The Bot Handy aims to help lighten the load around the house. It uses advanced AI to recognise and pick up a multitude of objects with differing sizes, shapes, and weights.

A profile view of the Bot Handy.

The cute robot takes on a black and white monolithic appearance and appears to be around 4.5ft tall. A single-arm with three pivot points at the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. It can also move around under its own power, raise its height, and swivel when necessary. There are a pair of expressive blue eyes, something we’ve encountered on earlier Samsung robots. There are cameras on its head for use with the AI and actual sight.

CES 2021: A gif of the Bot Handy performing tasks including loading a dishwasher and picking up clothing from the floor,

The AI will allow Handy to examine the composition of materials and variables to enable it to apply the correct application of force when picking up an object. Something that has been a holy grail of robotics since research first began. The payoff would be a robotic helper that could complete a wide range of chores: loading/unloading a dishwasher or washing machine, cleaning messy rooms, and pouring you a glass of wine after a long day at the office.

Chances of a release: no price or release date. One for the future.

So CES 2021 didn’t disappoint and we hope that at the very least some of these products make it onto shelves and into homes over the coming years. What tech did you find interesting from this year’s show? Comment below!

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Grew up in the Essex countryside and currently resides in London. Passing through his 30s far too quickly. Likes: writing, design, the arts, and copious amounts of coffee. He is working on his first novel.

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