CES - one of the biggest events in the tech industry - kicked off at the start of 2021, but this year things were a bit different. Instead of being held in Las Vegas, CES 2021 marked the first ever all-digital CES. Taking place completely online over the course of 4 days, registered members could log on from the comfort of their homes to enjoy an exclusive first look at the latest innovations in tech.
With almost 2,000 exhibitors attending, including many of the biggest and brightest names in the industry, it's safe to say there was plenty to discover. We've narrowed down the best bits to keep you up to date with the latest and greatest of CES 2021.
Foldable phones stole the show at CES 2019, but something else is coming in 2021. Positioned as an alternative to foldable handsets, rollable smartphones are finally on the way.
The technology was showcased by LG in a teaser for its new handset: LG Rollable. With the same goal as foldable technology, the idea is to give users a choice between a regular smartphone-sized screen and a larger tablet-like display. While the exact details on LG's technology are still a secret, from the preview it appears that the screen will expand and retract using a mechanism contained completely inside the device. To help you envision it, think about how a projector screen unravels and then rolls back up inside itself. Even better, there are no hinges or folds in sight.
Hinted to be released sometime in 2021, the specifics of LG's rollable technology are expected to be revealed very soon.
Lenovo NEC LaVie Mini
An exciting concept unveiled at Lenovo is the NEC LaVie Mini. Designed to be a modern-day revamp of the once popular netbook, this miniature laptop will be affordable, portable and packed with power. There's a twist however, with the right accessories the LaVie Mini will also double up as a handheld gaming device - think something similar to the Nintendo Switch.
As the LaVie Mini is still in prototype stage, there's no guarantee that it'll definitely be released, but it's an interesting look into the future of multipurpose tech. With added gaming controllers, users are expected to have access to their full Steam library on the go. There'll also be a LaVie dock available for at-home gaming, just attach the device to the dock to play on your TV.
The LaVie Mini has been rumoured to have an 8-inch touchscreen, an Intel 11th generation i7 processor and two USB-C ports for at-home connectivity. Instead of a trackpad, there'll be an optical touch sensor, and you can attach a keyboard to the device for speedy typing too.
Moflin Pet Robot
Robots at CES are always a big hit, but Moflin has to be the cutest robot yet. An AI Pet Robot with "emotional capabilities", Moflin has been designed act just like a real pet. Not only will it learn and form an attachment to its owner, thanks to its unique algorithm this creature will even develop its own personality. Depending on how you care for Moflin, it'll display certain traits to let you know how it's doing. Essentially, it can let you know when it's feeling happy, sad, anxious, excited and so much more.
Moflin will let you know what it's feeling through numerous sounds - that imitate real-life animals - and movements. Microphones, touch sensors, accelerometers and more make this all possible, and somehow creators Vanguard Industries have managed to squeeze all this tech into one tiny, grey fluffy robot that resembles a guinea pig. Moflin is also Bluetooth enabled, and Vanguard Industries has announced that this AI robot will be accompanied by an app for both iOS and Android.
LG Transparent OLED Smart Bed
LG certainly didn't hold back at CES 2021. Another prototype, there's still a long way to go until this one becomes a reality, but from the preview the LG Transparent OLED Smart Bed looks like it’ll be worth the wait.
The LG Transparent OLED Smart Bed actually isn't a bed at all - it's a standalone unit that can sit at the end of any bed (meaning you don't have to give your existing one the boot). Stored away inside the unit is a 100-watt audio system and a 55-inch display with 40% transparency - simply tap a button and it'll appear.
You can even interact with the screen while it's enclosed inside the unit. It'll show you the date and time at a glance, and if you extend it a little, you'll have access to even more features. From LG's preview, it appears you can see the latest weather forecast, control music and even view your sleeping patterns and habits.
LG has hinted heavily that its transparent OLED technology won't be limited to homes either, with the concept expected to be used in a number of public settings like stores, hotels and restaurants.
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