CES 2021 wraps up tomorrow and we’ve already been given several truckloads of weird, wonderful, and wild tech goodies. Here’s our pick of the lot.
And CES 2021 is off! For anyone unaware, the Consumer Electronics Show is a yearly spectacle where tech giants come out to play. It has a place in history as the spot where a huge number of world-changing products were debuted – think CDs, DVDs, HD TVs, and the Xbox as a small glimpse into what’s been presented there in its time.
This year the event shifted to a digital edition, as is the COVID custom, but that didn’t mean the reveals were any less spectacular. We’ve sifted through the overwhelming output from CES 2021 to bring you ten of our favourite items.
The bHaptics TactSuit
A world-first consumer-ready haptic suit is what the TactSuit promises to be. This is a suit that’ll touch you back as you play around with it. bHaptics, the producer, showcased their brand-new wireless haptic vest series for VR, PC, console, music and movies at CES 2021.
A huge step in the connection between digital and analogue worlds, the TactSuit is being touted as able to provide the sensation of a hug with friends, family members, or anyone else through the internet.
Of course this comes alongside uses for optimised haptic feedback for video game events including punches, gun recoil, heartbeats, explosions, waves, and more. It also links in with audio in a way that I genuinely don’t understand to provide a full, multi-sensory experience.
Square Off Smart Chess
Square Off blew up at CES 2019 with a robotic chess set that played like the boards out of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – you tapped the board and the pieces moved themselves. This year they graduated beyond the gimmick as the makers of the world’s smartest chessboard; a first-of-its-kind robotics and AI-integrated automated board.
They doubled down on creating history this year with a secondary announcement of the world’s first-ever rollable chess computer. Beyond the buzz words, this means there’s now chess boards that’ll move their own pieces, think for themselves, and thrash you everywhere you want to take it. We truly are in the future.
Razer’s Project Hazel
Razer did something exceptional with what they claim to be the world’s smartest face mask. Project Hazel looks like a dystopian future, but also looks kinda sick – it’s confusing my animal brain and tickling my love for insane tech.
There’s a clear transparent plastic covering over the mouth to allow for lip reading, Razer VoiceAmp Technology speakers to make sure you’re heard, N95 medical-grade respirator protection, and, of course, RGB lighting.
It’ll link up to an app to do all the things you could possibly want to with a smart mask: change colours, play music, or switch from your outside to inside voice. As a classy final touch, the charging station douses the whole thing in UV light to sterilise it between your bouts into ‘the outside’.
XPG Gamer Gum
At some point in the last decade brands started repackaging any and everything containing caffeine as being ‘gamer’ specific. Which, as a community, gaming has lapped up like so many serves of nondescript letter-fuel.
XPG’s gamer gum is the latest step in this direction and could potentially be a positive one. Now instead of having to supplement yourself with litres of sugar water, pop a couple of these boys and you’ll be good to go.
The lip smacking and chewing noises of every open-mouthed streamer is already in my mind. Surely the sign of a successful product is if you can see how annoying it’s going to be before it’s even released? It just wouldn’t be CES season without something a little bit ridiculous.
ASUS ROG Strix G15/17
This CES, ASUS brought the heat for the gaming laptop world. If you’ve got cash burning a hole in your pocket, or you’re due for an update, check out the Strix SCAR 15 and 17 models.
The SCAR 17 brings a world-first 360Hz refresh rate to the laptop world. Expect Ryzen 5000-series mobile processors and GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs on this little monster.
Both laptops will have USB-C charging, quad speakers with Dolby Atmos, and Two-Way AI Noise Cancellation. They’ll come with optical-mechanical keyboards and represent an improvement of the screen-to-body ratio, battery size, and footprint compared to the previous generation.
Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060
Nvidia have continued to lead the pack of GPUs by using CES 2021 to finally announce their entry-level GPU for the 30 series generation. The 3060 is expected to ship in late February and will probably have a similar roll out to the 3080. Expect them to be sold out in half a second.
This is all for good reason though. Nvidia have long been the royal family of the GPU world and with the 3060 they’re bringing their second Generation RTX architecture, Ampere, out to every gamer. With it they promote twice the rasterisation performance and ten times the ray tracing performance of the GeForce GTX 1060.
They’ve announced at $430 AUD MRP, but don’t @ me when they go for $1,000 on eBay.
Samsung Bot Handy
The Samsung Bot Handy is the first step towards us being the chair people from Wall-E, and I can’t wait for it fast enough. It’s a roomba with a body and single arm designed towards helping people complete domestic tasks in their home.
Samsung have promoted its use as a general house helper, cleaning dishes and doing laundry, with a specific push for its usability by the disabled community. All of which sounds incredible, and in some cases life-changing.
However, they also showed that it knows how to open and pour wine. Alongside an AI that promises to learn at an accelerated rate, I can already see the Bot Handy being put to a multitude of other uses. How soft are its hands? Surely its not called the Handy for nothing.
TCL Wearable Glasses
The TCL Wearable Glasses seem set to provide what Google Glasses failed to deliver a few years ago. TCL are saying that they’ll recreate the effect of viewing a 140-inch display from four meters away, with a density of 49 pixels per degree. They’re also 3D capable, so dust off your Blu-ray of The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D.
However, the glasses require a wired connection to a device that’s equipped with USB-C video out, which seems to be the major setback. Rather than a free-running experience where you lose track of the real world, you will still need to be tethered to reality. For now.
LG used CES 2021 as a springboard for their rollable screen tech. The LG Rollable shows off a screen with an adjustable size, starting as a full-size phone with the ability to extend into a tablet, all while continuously playing video. It’s not quite the fruit rollup elasticity I was expecting from the name Rollable, but it’s damn impressive.
Beyond showing off what it will do LG, were surprisingly quiet about other details. Beyond a promise to deliver it this year, their lips were shut.
Vanguard Industries Moflin
Saving the best for last, the Moflin is CES 2021’s gift to adorability. It’s a ridiculously cute AI pet. It’s a chonky ball of fur that makes some incredibly cute noises, moves around, and learns.
It’ll continually adjust to stimuli; the Moflin will respond to affection with affection and generally attempt to be the best version of a pet possible. Instead of needing to be wired for recharges it’ll ‘sleep’ in its ‘nest’, a wireless charging pod. During its sleep cycles it’ll even twitch and murmur like it’s dreaming.
The product of an incredible Kickstarter with just over $700,000 already pledged, you can expect to drop about $400 for the absolute honour of owning one. You’ll never have to explain how Fido’s gone to the farm ever again.