Every January, OATS/Senior Planet sends a staff member to CES, the gadget-laden annual trade show of the Consumer Technology Association. We were able to attend the conference remotely this year and found even after months of lockdown, innovation refuses to slow down.
We attended CES 2021 searching for creativity, not specifically in the aging space, but in the technology stratosphere at large – to find technologies that incite wonder while adding tangible benefit to our lives as we age.
Unsurprisingly, this year, pandemic-friendly tech was the theme this year, as multiple vendors introduced hot tech items to make post-COVID-19 life more safe and fun. N-95 facemasks that light up, touch-free doorbells, and a friendly, cleaning robot show how fast tech companies can adapt to serve the rapidly changing world. But don’t worry, there are also plenty of fun gadgets on the horizon that will be just as useful in the post-pandemic world!
Here are our top picks from CES 2021:
- Razor Project Hazel N-95 Mask
- Do you miss the days of seeing someone’s full face instead of just their eyes and a facemask? While it’s user-changeable colored lights are cool, we think the selling point of this re-usable N-95 mask is its clear-plastic face covering, allowing you to finally see people’s genuine facial reactions while out in the world. Not only that, the mask includes audio processing to make you sound clearer!
- Alarm.com Touchless Video Doorbell
- With our reliance on delivery services in lockdown, it’s natural to be worried about just how many people end up touching your doorbell on a given day. Alarm.com’s new invention can sense when a visitor arrives and send a notification to your phone. From there, you can talk to them through the app and safely maintain social distancing.
- Samsung’s Bot Handy
- Stuck at home and feeling lonely? Or just sick of doing chores more often to keep up with how much time you spend in your house? Samsung’s Bot Handy is a sleek new robot helper that can clean up messes, fold laundry and even re-arrange items in your home. The robot can do all this using a combination of built-in cameras and cutting edge artificial intelligence.
- Oticon More (hearing)
- This futuristic hearing device uses a neural network to process hearing more like the human brain. One of its key features is the ability to focus on speech in a noisy environment, putting it a far step above traditional hearing devices that can’t tell speech from background noise.
- Mantis Q40 (vision)
- The Mantis Q40 is a braille keyboard like you’ve never seen before – this device combines a traditional QWERTY keyboard with a refreshable Braille display
Health and Fitness
- Fluo Labs Flō
- A tech device that replaces allergy medication? Flō uses NIR (near-infrared) light to stop your body from releasing histamines when allergens enter the body. This quick and easy over-the-counter treatment will happily save you from the side-effects of traditional allergy medicines
- Tatch Sleep Sensor
- Having a bad night sleep and don’t know why? Tatch sensors can be worn overnight while you sleep, and will both track your body positions and how they affect your quality of sleep.
- Want to work out more, but worried about hurting yourself with bad form? The Wondercise app introduces Live Motion Matching and supports Apple Watch and other popular wearables. Essentially, the app can track your movement tell you exactly how to correct your form for the safest results.
- Panasonic Automotive AR HUD
- This augmented reality heads-up display can help you drive safe with data! Using a system of cameras and advanced artificial intelligence the display will alert you to hazards and calculate your distance from other vehicles and objects on the road. It can also use eye-tracking features to tailor the display perfectly to your viewpoint.
- Petpuls A.I.-powered dog collar
- Have a furry companion in your home? This may be the closest we get to a dog translator! The AI-powered collar can use voice-recognition technology to decipher your dog’s mood as well as monitor their sleep and activity.