Even if you weren’t hoofing it all over Las Vegas this year, there was still plenty happening “at” CES 2021. Companies vied for attention for their product debuts, and some pulled out all the stops with virtual exhibits and presentations. Sony hosted avatars performing concerts on a virtual stage, and P&G’s LifeLab, a VR experience, brought a new kind of exhibit to the show. As for products, LG’s Rollable Phone wowed attendees and press, but there were other areas that captured attention as well. Unsurprisingly, home tech was hot, as were other products that reflected the world of 2020, such as tele-health and mask tech. You can still catch many of the exhibits and talks through the first week of February. We recommend starting with these.
Now that the show’s official dates are past, plenty of media have weighed in with their “best of” lists and round-ups. Here’s our round-up of their round-ups.
A Different Kind of Experience
How do you cram hundreds of events and exhibits into a small screen experience? CES and sponsors attempted it, with mixed reactions. Wired’s editors recapped their experience as attendees and press, longing for a return to the in-person of schmoozing and “the serendipity of discovery.”
Read more: Virtual CES Was As Surreal As We All Suspected It Would Be (Wired)
Best of, According to Engadget and Its Readers
As they do every year, Engadget editors and readers named the top tech of CES in several categories, from Best Accessibility Tech to Best Digital Health and Fitness Product, Best Transportation Technology and Best Connected Home Product. Winning the day: LG Rollable phone, Samsung’s Smart Trainer system, Sony Airpeak drone, Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, and more.
Read more: Presenting the Best of CES 2021 Award Winners (Engadget)
Just As Weird and Wacky As Ever
CES is where you find robots that will do your laundry, talking refrigerators and smart toilets, all in one place. This year’s event was no different. CNET highlighted some of the more unusual and surprising products, such as GM Cadillac’s eVTOL flying taxis, John Deere’s VR farm gear, a robotic cuddle buddy, and more.
Read more: The Weirdest New Gadgets at CES 2021 (full coverage of the event at CES 2021 on CNET.)
A Mirror on 2020
Navigating across VR platforms and Zoom events, the editors at PC Magazine took in the whole show and dropped their findings into a handful of buckets: Covid-19 tech to cure us, home tech as we spend more time at home, CES as a TV show, mobile products, the return of the PC platform, and more.
Read more: Pandemic Tech, the Importance of the PC, and More: The Top 7 Takeaways From CES 2021 (PCMag)
Home Tech May Have Led the Day, But Along With It, Anxiety and Stress
“This year’s all-digital event was rife with anxiety and stress, both the everyday variety and the kind specific to the current health crisis. … There was the wearable for the ears that claims its gentle vibrations regulate stress; the small smart storage box with a fingerprint scanner to lock up your pill supply or credit cards; the bigger lock box that keeps porch pirates from stealing your Amazon packages; a pad for the car seat that sends an alert if you forget your child in the backseat; and the robot that loads your dishwasher. And …the masks.”
Read more: — CES is a fantasyland of futuristic products. This year it was dominated by our bleak present (CNN)
CES Tech You Can Buy Now
It’s usually the future you see on display at CES, but a handful of this year’s debuts will be available soon enough. Lenovo will roll out a couple of new laptops, Anker Soundcore will start to market its new earbuds, Samsung will have a new TV, and GoSun will make its solar-powered coffee maker available in 2021.
Read more: CES 2021 products you can actually buy this year (CNET)
The Business Angle
As its name suggests, CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is focused on consumer tech. But there are always important takeaways for business. ZDNet put a focus on the themes that will be important for leaders to think about as they navigate through the coming months, including machine learning and AI advancements; healthcare via personal health, devices, and remote care; environmental themes emerging around sustainability, circular economy, and climate
Electric and autonomous vehicle innovations; consumer and enterprise adoption of extended reality (MR, AR, VR), and more.
Read more: What’s Hot and Useful in the Enterprise (ZDNet)