Everything You Need to Know from CES 2021

EXCERPT MISSING

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January 18, 2021

CES 2021 has come and gone but with one dramatic difference. This year marked the first-ever, all-digital version of the usually bustling in-person conference in Las Vegas. As one might expect from innovative companies, the pivot to all digital was pretty seamless. They also can be credited for hosting the largest virtual tech-industry event ever, with nearly 2,000 virtual exhibitors and over 100 programming hours.

In terms of guest experience it was about choosing what keynote to stream or choosing what company logo to click on to find vendor specific chats and videos. Of note is the extended Digital Venue that they are making available to registered attendees until February 15. For connecting, collaborating and doing business as you normally would in person they employed Microsoft Teams. Our team noted that virtual events are hard if you don’t block your calendars and inform people that you are attending a conference so you can actually focus as if you were there.

Here are some of the announcements and trends:

Entertainment Industry Highlights

  • Lucasfilm’s use of AMD Threadripper Pro processors for render farms
  • Disney+ receives dedicated button on new LG remotes
  • Advancements in displays including Mirco LEDs offering better contrast, faster response times, and energy efficiency and brighter OLEDs from LG
  • Verizon’s plans for new augmented reality (AR) entertainment capabilities built on 5G that offer viewers a VIP experience. They predict a 5G-enabled future where audiences design their own viewing experience
  • Sony announces Sony Immersive Music Studios focused on immersive listening including 360 VME technology, which reproduces large scale soundstages in a pair of headphones, making the listener feel as if they’re onstage with the performer. Immersive Reality concert experiences coming to Playstation VR and Oculus later this year
  • Panasonic announced partnership with Illuminarium Experiences to create 360-degree immersive entertainment centers. The first location, a 30,000 square foot space encased with floor to ceiling screens, is set to open in Atlanta this year and will premiere with Wild, a virtual safari

 

Keynotes

Verizon

  • 5G Ultra Wideband coming to 28 NFL Stadiums in 2021
  • The Met Unframed: A new digital collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
  • LA’s Wiltern to be the first 5G Ultra Wideband-enabled music club as well as brining 5G to 15 other Live Nation venues across the US

GM

  • BrightDrop: New business unit focused on electric-powered logistics
  • Unveiled a Flying Cadillac Concept: The eVTOL, an electric, autonomous personal air taxi
  • Cadillac also showed off Halo, a new stylish self-driving car concept

Microsoft

  • Powered CES with Microsoft Teams
  • Brining Kinect peripheral to Windows on Feb 1
  • Focused on perils of tech (privacy, cyber security, digital safety and loss of control experienced by individuals and countries) and responsibilities of technology companies

AMD

  • Lucasfilm confirmed it went exclusively with AMD for its render farm when it built up its new facility using the AMD’s Threadripper Pro processors
  • More disruption with new Ryzen 5000 Series mobile processors highlighting improved performance and energy efficiency
  • Promises up to 4K gaming on mobile notebooks

PERSONAL HEALTH

  • Razer’s Project Hazel (prototype): Smart Mask with active ventilation and auto-sterilization. Charges wirelessly and features transparent design to reveal facial expressions, RGB interior lighting for facial cues as well as voice amplification/projection
  • Nobi Smart Lamp: discrete sensors that can alert trusted contacts if you fall and do not get up for a period of time. Targeting seniors and caretakers
  • iSyncWave: Portable brain-mapping helmet that can detect early signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, ADHD, depression and other neurological issues

TRANSPORTATION

  • GM’s Flying, Self-Driving Cadillac: GM’s first foray into aerial mobility with a four-rotor aircraft powered by a 90-kWh battery to deliver speeds of up to 56 mph 
  • GM’s BrightDrop: A new EV business unit targeting delivery companies launches two products: an electric van called the EV600 with an estimate range of 250 miles and a pod-like electric pallet dubbed EP1 
  • GHSP Grēnlite: This ultraviolet light tech promises to automatically kill 99.9% of pathogens on vehicle surfaces — including coronavirus

TVS AND DISPLAYS

  • Samsung MicroLED: 110-inch MicroLED is the monster of the show with a street price of $156,000 with 99 and 88 inch versions targeted to roll out this year
  • LG’s Rollable Phone: A foldable phone alternative, with edges that extend to create a small tablet, launching later this year
  • Samsung’s Eco Remote: A solar-charging remote for Samsung’s latest TVs, each made from 28% recycled plastic
  • LG’s Rail & Pivot TV: The Rail and Pivot OLED can slide onto the scene across a rail and then pivot between landscape and portrait mode

HOME AUTOMATION

  • Samsung’s Bot Handy: This robot can do household chores, like put dirty dishes in a dishwasher or pour a glass of wine
  • Ubtech’s Adibot: The company claims its bot is capable of hospital-grade disinfection and can clean a 900 to 1,000-square-foot room in 70 to 100 seconds
  • Kohler’s Stillness Bath: The tub uses a combination of fog, lighting, and smells generated through essential oils to “relax the mind, soothe the body, and renew the spirit,” according to Kohler
  • Plott’s Doorbell Ettie: A video doorbell that combines temperature tracking, image recording, real-time alert, and capacity management

IMMERSIVE AND XR

  • Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, Stereoscopic 1080p displays, Dual fisheye cameras for inside-out 6DoF tracking, Weighs <130 g, Enterprise-focused product available mid-2021
  • Black Box VR: Level up your own body instead of just your on-screen characters with resistance training via an electronically-controlled cable pulley machine
  • Panasonic’s VR Glasses: Updated design from CES 2020, 2.6K micro-OLED panels for each eye with high-dynamic range (HDR) capability, employing acoustic technologies from Panasonic’s Technics audio products, USB-C tether and 6-DoF inside-out tracking
  • InWith Smart Contact Lenses: Advanced platform for computerized applications in soft contact lenses, stretchable electronics enables integration with soft hydrogel contact lenses vs. uncomfortable Scleral Lenses, more of a development platform than functional display