CES 2021, technology – Every January, the world’s biggest tech-brands and the sharpest innovators convene in Las Vegas to do business. But this year, it went all-digital due to Covid-19. Archipanic’s Editor in Chief Enrico Zilli surfed the first CES – Consumer Electronic Show to give you a glimpse of the smartest near future.
“CES showed how the pandemic accelerated the arc of innovation and illustrated the resilience and innovative spirit of our industry. From the latest innovations for the home and entertainment, and advances in 5G, vehicle technology, AI and digital health, the technologies at CES 2021 will pave the way for a brighter tomorrow,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® which owns and organizes CES.
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Among the highlights was the much-anticipated LG Electronics rollable smartphone with an expandable display, which works kind of like a paper scroll, where two halves would be pulled apart to reveal more of the flexible screen. “We’re hoping to see it out in the market early this year.” Said LG Electronics President and CTO I.P. Park. The tech giant has also presented its first transparent television. The 55 inch OLED screen can sit at the foot of a bed and hide inside its frame, but could also act as a safe partition in a restaurant.
The Indy Autonomous Challenge’s Organizers unveiled the world’s first autonomous race-car, 300km/h, to be used in the Indianapolis race in October, where 500+ university students are developing the technology to drive the race-car and win the competition for a $1.5 million prize.
But the real protagonist of CES 2021 is Covid-19. Myriad of disinfecting robots, like the LG PuriCare™ line for high-quality air management solutions, took center stage. Gaming company Razer© unveiled “the smartest face-mask ever created,” featuring built-in neon lights, a microphone to amplify muffled speech, and a wireless charger that cleanses it with UV light between uses.
Telemedicine was king. On show innovations allowing doctors to remotely take care of their patients via face-scanning apps providing realtime data on their health and mental conditions, but also robots to be deployed in high-risk hospitals’ rooms.
As we will most probably spend most of our time at home, many companies presented smart home appliances looking after our daily lockdown routines. Samsung presented the Wall-e looking personal assistant Bot Care and Bot Handy, a robot-butler that can pour you a glass of wine or do your laundry. Just like in The Jetsons! [Video]
Samsung’s vacuum cleaning robot JetBot 90 AI+ uses object recognition technology and sensors to identify and classify objects and work out its best cleaning path. Other bots able to scan our flats were designed to make you feel safer, keep an eye on the kids, and even look after pets.
Of course, all eyes were on the automotive sector. Mercedes-Benz launched the MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience – Hyperscreen, which uses AI to offer a seamless driver and passenger infotainment experience. The 56 inches screen can evaluate man data and its surroundings while providing information about interesting landmarks along the way. ‘Hey Mercedes, what can you tell me about this building?’ or ‘Hey Mercedes, what is the name of the restaurant on the left?’ [Video].
General Motors unveiled the concept of a Cadillac electric air taxi. The fully autonomous, all-electric aircraft promises a ‘convenient and luxurious commute’ for a single passenger. The vertical take-off and landing pod-like concept vehicle utilizes a co-axial rotor propulsion system and is powered by next-generation battery technology, reaching speeds of up to 90kph [Video].
5G and IoT were high on the agenda too. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network allows unparalleled upload and download speeds, enormous capacity and ultra-low lag, supporting more connected devices and mobile connection, and providing faster, more responsive service deployment and a new standard for energy efficiency and reliability.
“CES looked different this year, but the foundation of the show – innovation, connection, collaboration – remains strong and consistent,” said Gary Shapiro. “The digital transformation will continue for years, even as we return to Las Vegas in 2022. We have seen the value of connecting digitally and we can welcome even more people from around the world.”