pandemic products at CES

(CNN Business) — An almost human-sized robot grabs a plate from the full sink with its grabbing arms and carefully places it in the dishwasher. Then he sets the table, leaves a flower in a vase, and pours a glass of red wine.

The robot, Samsung’s Bot Handy, is the company’s vision for “a better new normal,” at a time when more people than ever are working, cooking, eating and drowning in dishes at home during the pandemic. As seen in a video shown Monday at the CES 2021 consumer tech fair, which is held completely virtual this year, Bot Handy is, well, useful around the house. And not just to get out some to-dos, but to remind you of upcoming meetings and to stretch your legs if you’ve been sitting too long.

For now it is in development and no prices or launch date have been announced. However, Samsung said it is part of a larger effort to make technology simplify your life at home. “The technologies in your home should work harder to help you adjust to this new normal,” the company said in the description of its session on the CES website.

Facial covers with accessories

CES 2021: Smart masks in times of covid-19 1:28

Companies large and small showcased their innovations at the technology fair that began Monday, many of them with functionalities related to life during the pandemic. This MaskFone, a face cover with a built-in N95 filter, headphones and microphone for making calls. Also an ear accessory called Cove, whose gentle vibrations, they claim, regulate anxiety and stress.

For the kitchen, the manufacturer Kohler showed voice control functions for its sinks and other accessories, so that people can open the taps without touching them. UK entrepreneurship Handsteco touted lavatories with built-in artificial intelligence to guide people through hygiene techniques in hospitals, offices and public spaces.

Technology linked to the pandemic also took a step outside of homes. Taking advantage of the growth in online delivery, lock maker Yale announced that it is now shipping its smart delivery box to keep packages safe from porch hackers when they arrive. The clerk places the package in the storage box, which closes automatically, and the owners are notified.

While some of the products like the Bot Handy may seem a bit gimmicky, ABI Research analyst Jonathan Collins said that there is definitely money to be made from items that help automate household chores. The market research firm he found that the smart home market grew 6.7% in 2020 compared to 2019, to $ 88 billion. However, that figure is $ 11 billion below pre-pandemic expectations.

TVs at CES

Check out LG’s new transparent screen TV 1:11

Even products that were not specifically related to the pandemic can take advantage of the way we live now. Eye-catching new televisions, a mainstay of CES events, seemed more appropriate this year in which we are stuck at home, glued to the TV and increasingly aware of our surroundings. LG, for example, generated excitement with its new 55-inch transparent TV. LG is the latest company to introduce screens through which you can see when they are off.

Meanwhile, a Panasonic hair dryer that you don’t have to move – a built-in oscillator does all the work for you – also generated some buzz, at a time when many people haven’t cut their hair properly or blown it off. long time.

People watch CES events to get an idea of ​​where technology is heading in the next few years, but this year’s event is possibly about the industry catching up on the ways the pandemic changed our lives. last year.

With vaccinations on the horizon, it’s unclear how much longer we’ll be locked up at home, but these tech companies seem to be betting that even if the pandemic ends, our habits won’t completely change.

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