As many as 1,800 companies presented their new, more advanced, and innovative products or technologies to 150,000 participants worldwide via video stream. New trends in technology have been announced, which reflect the turbulent year that preceded us. Everything is about COVID technology, i.e. marked by the development of robots and COVID-related devices, so presented were the AI products that facilitate work from home, increase the use of 5G technology and artificial intelligence, but also TVs that can bend or even become transparent.
Pandemic-friendly technology will experience a major boom this year. Several companies have already presented disinfection robots. LG has unveiled its autonomous UV-C light robot designed to irradiate viruses on frequently touched surfaces. (Although COVID is largely transmitted by air droplets, many companies and institutions have introduced mandatory regular disinfection of spaces.) To this end, LG has promoted portable air purifiers which purify the air in your car or office. Both have fans and HEPA filters. AirPop has introduced the Active + Smart Mask, which monitors your breathing and the quality of the air around you. Several companies offer contactless devices and inventory. Kohler and Toto showcased touchless sinks and toilets that open/close or flush automatically, and wash hands mostly by using smart sensors or a voice assistant.
New age of TV
Every year, major TV manufacturers present attractive technology solutions that have the ability to integrate into TVs, although they are unlikely to be widely available for the time being. In addition to bigger, brighter and sharper TVs, LG Display showed off the Smart Bed, that features a frame that hides a retractable 55-inch transparent OLED TV. Another version of the transparent TV has been designed for restaurants, which would allow guests to browse the menu and watch the chef prepare their food simultaneously. LG has also announced its first 48-ich bendable OLED display, intended for gaming purposes.
After years of telecommunications companies promising new superfast 5G wireless networks, 2021 is the year that marks the real start of implementing 5G technology. President and CEO of Verizon – Hans Vestberg – gave an introductory speech at CES 2021 on 5G and what it can offer for telemedicine, distance learning, and other purposes. He gave examples of projects Verizon is working on, including virtual tours of exhibits at the Smithsonian (the world’s largest museum complex, located in Washington, DC), virtual reality science classes for students, and UPS’s drone delivery pilot programs for medicine and other deliveries, all launched by Verizon’s 5G network. On the last day of CES, Samsung unveiled its new 5G Galaxy smartphone – an event unrelated to CES, but that certainly sparked a lot of interest.
Although in all-digital form, CES 2021 was once again full of demonstrations and panels on the use of 5G in telecommunications, the automotive industry, and smart cities.
The future of the labor market
Many of us have experienced the challenge of working from home in the past year. Today, tech companies are focusing heavily on devices and accessories to improve working conditions at home and help people become more productive. For example, Dell offers a comfortable video conferencing monitor that is easy to adjust and rotate to get the optimal angle for video calls, accompanied by a high-definition webcam. Shure is promoting a home office microphone designed to improve the sound quality of speech at video conferences. Targus, on the other hand, offers a product package for remote or hybrid work: a UV-C LED Disinfection Light for the electronic devices on your desk, an antimicrobial backpack for carrying office essentials like tablets and laptops, the Tablet Cradle Workstation, and a universal phone dock.
CES is a very important platform for presenting the latest electric cars and autonomous vehicles. GM CEO Mary Barra gave a speech on the future of GM’s cars and electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its AI-enabled Hyperscreen, a gigantic dash display unit that stretches from door to door. It is a voice-controlled interface that allows the driver and front passenger to control a wide range of vehicle functions, from calling to activating the seat massage. Fiat-Chrysler presented interactive, three-dimensional virtual tours of its cars and technology, in addition to partnering with Google to create an augmented reality model of its Jeep Wrangler 4xe hybrid vehicle that you could see on your smartphone.