Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Bucket Tech: CES 2021


Consumer Technology Association CES is hosting their annual global show, this time virtually and going with the current times we're seeing some interesting devices and concepts that form part of the "new normal". With the worlds landscape changing dramatically over the past year, it forced people to work remotely and also adapt to new ways of living, brands have noticed this and have acted accordingly to bring through technology into their products that will help us adjust to the new way of living. Of course the show isn't just about what will help us live in a pandemic and some pretty cool new devices have been launched too, so here's our picks so far. 


Gaming accessories manufacturer Razer unveiled their "Project Hazel" N95 facemask protoype, which they call the first ever "smart face mask". Razer did launch their own variant of reusable cloth masks last year which featured cool designs and patterns, but Project Hazel takes it up a notch with a dual filtered ventilation system that allows cool air in and hot air out. These cylindrical vents also featured LED halo lights which Razer says has up o 16.8 million colours, so there's a colour for any occasion. The mask also features a soft silicon guard which fits over the cheeks and nose, promising an airtight seal as well as comfort for your face. The main design feature is the transparent plastic of the mask, which allows anyone to see the mouth of the mask wearer. Razer say this design feature was critical as all masks make it difficult for individuals to understand each other with the mouth being hidden and thus will allow users to read the lips as well as hear them perfectly. The Razer Project Hazel comes in a pretty cool box which serves as a wireless charger for the mask as well as a built-in ultraviolet disinfectant case for the mask. Is the future for masks? 


Smart glasses were a big talking point over the past two years and then it sort of died off but Lenovo have resurrected the topic by launching their ThinkReality A3, which they say is the most versatile smart glasses ever designed. the ThinkReality A3 is a lightweight smart glasses offering to deliver intelligent transformation in business and bring smarter technology to more people. From customized virtual monitors and 3D visualization to Augmented Reality assisted workflows and immersive training, the ThinkReality A3 helps transform work across many levels of the enterprise. The ThinkReality A3 fits like sunglasses and can be enhanced with industrial frame options for safer and more durable use, its powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform for high-quality performance and feature stereoscopic 1080p displays presenting the user with up to 5 virtual displays. An 8MP RGB camera provides 1080p vide for remote expert use cases while the dual fish-eye cameras provide room-scale tracking. This is some serious Sci-Fi movie stuff and something that will be put into good use for the right industries. 



One of the biggest talking points so far has to be about LG's rollable smartphone, for years we've seen brands tease the concept of a screen that you could roll up like a piece of paper but since then we've only seen folding screen technology, LG have gone one up and given us a glimpse of their latest smart device which has a rollable screen, the video teaser shows a tablet device being reduced in size to that of smartphone but my a method similar to that of a rolling garage door. LG insist that this isn't just another teaser but and actual device will be made available to purchase this year. This is massive in-terms of screen technology, as maybe we'll finally see it being adapted to other areas, like TV's and so forth. 



Technology in cars, Mercedes-Benz showed off their MBUX Hyperscreen which will be debuting on the EQS electric luxury sedan, it's the brands first all-electric production vehicle. The massive 55.5-inch widescreen display spans the entire dashboard and is made up for three haptic OLED touchscreens under one continuous piece of Corning Gorilla Glass. The driver and front passenger each get a wide 12x13 inch screen with and 18inch screen in the center for general controls such as ventilation, entertainment and navigation. The passenger can display video and the drivers side has all your general gauges and instrument cluster. A cool feature shown in the press briefing was a UFO graphic that zooms around the display to demonstrate the g-force the car is undergoing in real-time. Not quite sure why Merc is giving the option to display G-Force in an electric luxury sedan but hey, its there if you want it. 


Some other noteworthy gadgets that were worth a mention are, L'Oreal's smart shower head which not only regulates the amount of water you use per shower but also uses a technique called "fractioning" that forces water droplets to collide and reduce in size, while simultaneously accelerating their speed. Lenovo showcased their ThinkBook Plus 2 which is a normal laptop but with an added 11inch black and white E-Ink display on the top. Giving you a Kinde like display on top for you to work from when the device is closed. Dell launched their 40inch Ultrasharp monitor, its the biggest model for 2021 from Dell and has an astonishing 5,120 x 2,160 pixel resolution. 


There's still a lot more to lookout for at CES in these upcoming days, including news from Samsung which many are presuming is the new Galaxy S Series flagship device, the S30, but we are going to have to wait till tomorrow for that. 


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