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Published on January 11th, 2021 | by Emergent Enterprise


CES 2021 Preview: 5 Biggest Trends to Watch

Emergent Insight:
The pandemic is not only impacting the way the annual CES Conference is being held in 2021 (virtually, of course) but also what is being offered at the now online event. This post at Tom’s Guide shares some trends at CES 2021. Not surprisingly, health-related devices are at the forefront as people look for ways to use technology to survive in the “new normal.” Would CES 2021 look different if there had never been a COVID-19 outbreak? Of course. The innovation that was slowed down due to teams being apart and reduced budgets would have progressed unabated to unveil shiny new devices at CES. Congratulations to the companies that have offerings at this tear’s show and we can only hope that the year ahead will produce a tidal wave of innovation and tech wonder.

Original Article: Photo courtesy Shutterstock

This year’s CES 2021 is going to be unlike every other one in its 50-plus years of existence. That’s because, rather than hundreds of thousands of people descending on Las Vegas for a week of conferences and meetings, they’ll all be watching from their homes around the world.

Still, Covid or no, the pace of technological advancement continues. From devices that will help detect and help prevent illness to micro-LED TVs you can afford — and fit in your home —to voice assistants, we expect to see more than a couple new innovations at CES 2021. We talked to a few analysts to see what they expect to see at CES 2021, and what trends will have an impact on the year to come.

Personal health takes over in a Covid world

The global pandemic affected a number of tech sectors, rapidly accelerating the adoption of at-home gym equipment, networking technology (think mesh routers), voice-enabled door locks, and more. And just because there’s a vaccine doesn’t mean that’s going to change any time soon.

“People aren’t suddenly going to get rid of their Peloton once the crisis is over,” said Koenig. “These things are going to stick around because they’re super convenient.”

Other types of smart home devices that relate to environmental health should also be trending at CES and through the rest of 2021. Smart air purifiers, water filtration systems and UV disinfecting lights will be in abundance, as companies look to fill demand. “People are paying a lot more attention to their personal health and wellness, and the health and wellness environment of their home,” Koenig said.

Carolina Milanesi, a tech analyst for Creative Strategies, agrees, and said that we should also see more wearables beyond watches and ones that more actively monitor a person’s health over time. Both she and Koenig pointed to devices such as the Oura ring, which came out last year, and measures a person’s heart rate, sleep, temperature, and more. It was given to NBA players last year to help monitor them for signs of Covid.

While these devices won’t necessarily need FDA approval, “they’ll tell you more than the average fitness tracking device,” Milanesi said. “More wear-it-all-the-time, collect-the-data kinds of devices.”

She also predicts a proliferation of masks of all kinds. “LG that had a prototype a few months ago called the smart mask [the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier] which was more for pollution than Covid, but I’m sure we’re going to see a bit of those — helmets and things like that that purify the air.”

In keeping with the emphasis on home hygienics, you can also expect to see an emphasis on home appliances and fixtures that you don’t need to touch to use. This can range from faucets that respond to a hand wave to larger appliances, such as ranges and refrigerators, that can be controlled using Alexa or Google Assistant. While this isn’t particularly new for 2021, there will be much more of this integration.

Voice assistants move into wearables (and beyond)

Some of the biggest innovations in 2021 will be artificial intelligence, which will manifest themselves to consumers through voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Alexa.

And, we’ll see these assistants show up in places other than phones and smart home devices. Expect to see more smart wearables like the Amazon Loop ring and Amazon Frames, which provide a direct link to Alexa without you having to pull your phone out of your pocket.

“They’ve really become a sidecar to our digital lives,” Steve Koenig, the VP of research for the Consumer Technology Association, said.

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