CES always plays host to a ton of, shall we say, â€œinnovativeâ€� products, and this yearâ€™s digital iteration is no different. One of the constant themes is the slew of weird and wonderful devices, giving us a refreshing take on technology.
What stood out from the pack for pure innovation or sheer wackiness at CES 2021? We take a look at some of the best tech innovations of the expo so far.
Amazon Dash, but for routines
Amazon Dash buttons are pretty handy, as tapping them automatically orders a given item via Amazon. But what if you had a button for routines? Thatâ€™s where the Flic 2 smart button comes in.
The Flic 2 lets you tap, double-tap, or hold on a button to conduct a variety of routines. Examples include playing a specific Spotify playlist, turning on the lights, or starting your morning smart home routine. In fact, the button supports the likes of Appleâ€™s HomeKit, IFTTT, Philips Hue, Slack, and more services.
Flic 2 is currently available to purchase for $30.
A cutting-edge gaming chair experience
Razer isnâ€™t one to shy away from concepts, as it previously showed off a racing simulator concept and a Project Linda laptop shell powered by a smartphone. Its latest high-profile concept is the Project Brooklyn gaming chair.
The concept incorporates a 60-inch curved OLED display that can be rolled back into the chair. It wouldnâ€™t be a Razer product without chroma RGB lighting either, and itâ€™s present and accounted for here.
Unfortunately, this is just a concept for now, so donâ€™t hold your breath for an imminent release.
LG bendable display and rollable phone
LG showed off an interesting 48-inch bendable OLED display at CES. It flattens for movies and TV shows and bends for immersion in games. Itâ€™s a rather interesting concept and produces audio by vibrating the screen itself.
The Korean company also briefly showed off its upcoming rollable smartphone at its CES event, giving us a quick look at the device screen shifting between smartphone and tablet sizes. A release date canâ€™t be far away now.
A transparent OLED screen in a bed frame
LG also had some interesting OLED panels to show off at CES 2021. Those included a rail-mounted TV that can be quickly stowed away, and transparent screens mounted on train windows or at sushi restaurants. But arguably the most innovative one was a transparent OLED TV for your bed.
Yes, the electronics manufacturer stuck a 55-inch transparent panel into the foot of a bed frame, allowing it to pop up on demand and slinking back into the frame when youâ€™re not watching. Even when not in use, the panel can still show notifications and other details (e.g. time and date, sleep quality). And yes, the bed frame has built-in speakers.
Ampere is no stranger to quirky gadgets, as it showed off a fanny pack with wireless charging capabilities back at CES 2020. The firm is back at virtual CES 2021, this time showing off the previously announced Shower Power.
The Shower Power is a Bluetooth speaker thatâ€™s actually powered by the water flow from your shower. This means you donâ€™t need to remove it to charge it up, as itâ€™s ready to go as soon as you turn on the shower.
The gadget is expected to ship in May 2021 and has a regular retail price of $100. However, itâ€™s currently available to early birds for $79 on Indiegogo.
Wi-Fi for motion sensing
One of the more interesting innovations touted at CES was the $180 Hex Home security suite. The brainchild of Origin Wireless, the Hex Home uses Wi-Fi radio waves for motion sensing.
The Hex Home consists of a command device and a plug-in sensing unit, with the tech detecting people moving through the aforementioned Wi-Fi waves. By calculating how the waves bounce, break, and bend around people, the security suite is able to dish out â€œmeaningfulâ€� motion-sensing information.
It all sounds rather intriguing, and Origin Wireless promises 10 adjustable sensitivity levels (apparently using AI tech) that can filter out motions from pets. The company is also advertising the ability to cover up to 1,500 square feet with two plug-in sensing units. However, you probably still want a security camera so you can pick up identifying information and the like. Nevertheless, this seems like a handy addition to the home security space.
A smart toilet?
Talk about the internet of shit, right? Anyway, Toto demonstrated its so-called Wellness Toilet at CES, and itâ€™s indeed a smart toilet. More specifically, the concept scans your body and feces in order to detect any health issues. It therefore might tell you to eat more fiber, for example.
Toto says the Wellness Toilet is only a concept for now and will only come to consumers in a few years. Hopefully, the company works to improve security, as smart home gadgets have become a major target for hackers. After all, do you really want your bowel movement details in the hands of hackers?
The best tech innovations at CES 2021
These are some of the most innovative tech products at CES this year. Want more CES goodness? Check out our CES 2021 Top Picks Awards below, as well as roundups for the best new wearables, smart home gadgets, and more.