Cool Tech for the New Normal at CES 2021 Virtual

Touchless devices, touch minimizing UIs, and fashionable face shields are just a few

AMD delivers keynote touting new mobile processor, virtual CES highlight cool techs for the new normal

Normally in January, people flew into Las Vegas, NV, for the annual the CES (consumer electronics show). However, this year, with traveling restrictions from the pandemic, the show turns completely virtual.

The show’s keynote speakers include Intel’s Executive VP Gregory Bryant, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su, Microsoft President Brad Smith, and other big names in the telecom, entertainment, retail, and high-tech sectors.

AMD Keynote at CES 2021

“For all of us the tech industry, although we have had our challenges, 2020 was perhaps our most productive year. From how we work to how our kids learn to our entertainment, we’re accelerating the pace of digital transformation,” said AMD's Dr. Su in her keynote.

The pandemic seems to have created a new demand for PCs for working from home. “In 2020, approximately 300 million desktops, laptops, and chromebooks were sold. That's the highest number since 2014,” Dr. Su pointed out. 

In the rest of her talk, Dr. Su announced the AMD Ryzen 5000 Series mobile processors, with partners HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft.

Dr. Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, delivered her keynote highlighting the new AMD Ryzen 5000 Series mobile processors, along with partners HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft.(Image from press video of CES.)

Touchless and touch-minimal UIs on the rise

During the pandemic, autonomous vehicles and smart devices continue to make new advances. What’s noticeable are the various ways UIs have evolved to accommodate touch-less or touch-minimized interactions using gestures and computer vision.

AI-driven IOT devices that can remember user’s preferences and histories are also a highlight of the show, with healthcare products and toys that keep track of the users’ comfort level and react to gestures.

Wireless Bluetooth temperature checker Gatedoc is one of the products featured at CES 2021. Image courtesy of Gatedoc.

Fashionable COVID-wear

The new normal has also opened up new markets for face shields that are not just functional but fashionable, optimized for audio communication while protecting you from virus exposure. (Check out the airsafe helmet here.)

Computer-vision technologies are also playing a role in identifying and detecting risky behaviors and safety violations. (Check out Gatedoc, the wireless Bluetooth body temperature scanner.)

For routine security and maintenance tasks, drones are set to play a larger role.

No going back

News and products at CES anticipate the new normal will not swiftly revert back to the old normal just because vaccines are on the horizon. Quite the opposite, the behaviors, from sanitation to gesture-driven UIs, will likely endure because they make sense in general for safety. Tech leaders at CES are betting on it.

Functional and fashionable? The airsafe helmet featured at CES 2021 fits into this category. Image courtesy of airsafe.

About the Author

Kenneth Wong's avatar
Kenneth Wong
Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. He contributes to Robotics 24/7 too.
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