Even in a virtual environment, CES 2021 remains ground zero for innovation, with exhibitors, enthusiasts, and media opting for virtual press briefings over cramped convention halls and casinos for the first time ever. It’s an online-only affair, sure, but with more than 1,000 virtual exhibits and 150,000 online attendees, there’s still going to be a ton of product announcements and plenty of tech for us to sink our teeth into from afar.
Whether you’re into TVs, gaming, 5G, robotics, or health and wellness tech, we’ve assembled some of the best gadgets and gizmos from the online trenches of CES 2021. We’ll keep updating it as we go, so check back often.
More CES 2021 coverage
Samsung’s Micro-LED TVs come home
You may remember Samsung’s amazing Micro-LED tech from previous years as “The Wall,” a massive, modular system of LED panels that could be assembled as desired, targeted for commercial use. This year, the Korean tech giant is bringing its Micro-LED panels to the home in 110-, 99-, and 88-inch iterations, pre-assembled and easy enough to hang yourself. As Digital Trends Senior Editor Caleb Denison points out here, it’s groundbreaking tech, the kind that revels in intense brightness, perfect black levels, and all the features you’ve come to expect from Samsung. ‘Nuff said.
LG teases its Rollable smartphone
You traditionally don’t see a lot of smartphones at CES, but with a global pandemic raging on, all bets seem to be off — Samsung is even set to unveil the Galaxy S21 on the conference’s last day. And while LG did reveal details about its latest LG smartphones during its virtual presentation Monday, it was a brief glimpse of the company’s rumored Rollable smartphone at the beginning and end of it that grabbed everyone’s attention. In the video, the device — rumored to launch later this year — smoothly transitioned from a smartphone to a tablet, and vice versa, in a matter of seconds. It was like a Marvel end-credit scene.
Twinkly smart lights
Don’t lie: Your Christmas lights are still up, aren’t they? This year of all years, no one is going to blame you. While smart lights aren’t anything new, the lineup of Twinkly smart lights announced at CES 2021 is. Available in the spring, Twinkly’s latest app-controlled LED lights come in some pretty cool configurations, including a straight Twinkly Line, a bendable Twinkly Flex that can be twisted into words and shapes, and Twinkly Squares that can display images, pixel art, and more.
Belkin Boost Charge Pro 2-in-1 Wireless Charger Stand
Since Apple announced its new MagSafe charging technology last year, there have been a few cool accessories to hit the market, but nothing particularly eye-catching — until now. Leave it to CES to push things forward, with mega-accessories maker Belkin throwing this svelte MagSafe iPhone charging stand into the fray to spice things up. At a reasonable $100, the Boost Charge Pro can charge two devices at the same time — your iPhone via the MagSafe pad, which you can twist to portrait or landscape, and a Qi charging pad at its base for your AirPods (or other devices).
Wondercise Multi-Point Motion Match exercise system
With home-workout equipment and systems exploding during the pandemic, we expected to see a ton of exercise tech at CES this year. With a focus on tracking your form to not only ensure you’re getting a great workout but that you’re safely executing the movements to prevent injury, the new Wondercise Multi-Point system uses a wristband and a newly-added leg band, paired with a third point, for three-point movement measurement. Your form is matched with your instructor’s, and the closer you mimic their movements, the more points you get. The system also monitors your heart rate, cardio burn, and more.
Nobi Smart Lamp
Health and wellness tech that safeguards seniors is quickly becoming a major industry as our population ages. The Nobi smart lamp is one such piece of medically-focused tech. A stylish-looking, ceiling-mounted lamp that can be networked throughout the home, the Nobi uses motion-sensors and A.I. to offer several functions, including movement detection, which can trigger lights to come on automatically to reduce disorientation and light the way. It also sports intelligent fall detection, which can notify caregivers if there’s a problem.
ColdSnap rapid freezing appliance
Every year there’s at least one “Keurig of…” appliance at CES, and this year is no different. Promising to whip up everything from soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt to smoothies and frozen cocktails, the ColdSnap rapid freezing appliance is, indeed, the Keurig of soft-serve ice cream, using pods to serve up made-to-order tasty frozen treats in under 120 seconds.
Petpuls A.I.-powered dog collar
If Gary Larson’s Far Side comic is to be believed, a dog’s bark is just them shouting “hey!” at basically everything. Not so, according to Petpuls, an A.I.-driven smart collar launched at CES 2021 that uses voice recognition to decipher up to five different emotions (happy, anxious, angry, sad, and relaxed). Being touted as a Fitbit for your doggo, the Petpuls works with a smartphone app and also tracks your dog’s activity and sleep, so you can make sure your best friend is happy and healthy.
Samsung JetBot 90 A.I.+
Each year Samsung moves the needle a little with its robot tech at CES, and this year is no different, with its robot vacuum game getting pretty tight thanks to the JetBot 90 A.I.+. Efficiency is the idea here, with the JetBot using A.I. and lidar to scan the room for even the most minuscule of obstacles, allowing it to identify them so it can steer clear, therefore getting the job done faster. Paired with the Samsung SmarThings app, you can set cleaning timers, no-go zones, and even get a bot’s-eye view of your pets (and spouse?) with the onboard camera. Check out what else Samsung has cooking at this year’s show.
Lenovo ThinkReality AR glasses
If you’d tried to find gear like a sit-stand desk, office chair, or a second monitor when quarantine started, forget about it. And now, as the market has adjusted to us being at home, it’s an understatement to say that the work-from-home segment is booming. Tech-driven solutions like the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses are still pretty untested in the wild, but with the promise of projecting up to five virtual desktops with augmented reality, that could mean one pretty mean home office setup, whether you have a physical monitor or not. The ThinkReality glasses “fit like sunglasses,” and will work with Motorola smartphones and PCs via USB-C.
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Samsung JetBot 90 A.I.+ is a mini tank-like robot vacuum with a camera