The Most Memorable CES 2021 Tech Inspired by the COVID-19 Pandemic
CES this year migrated online as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis tinged the event throughout, with innovative, useful, and occasionally silly products created or pitched as a way to ease life during the pandemic. We’ve pulled together a few of the best examples, some of which may long outlast the actual pandemic and others that probably won’t be as popular once the vaccines are widespread.
Maskfone – Created by smart tech developer Binatone, Maskfone combines wireless earbuds with an N95 mask, using the in-built microphone to eliminate the muffled sounds all too common when speaking on the phone or to a voice assistant while wearing a mask.
Project Hazel – A mask created by gaming accessories maker Razer, this smart mask augments an N95 medical mask with active ventilation from removable disc-shaped ventilator units. Also inside is a microphone and amplifier to make the wearer’s voice audible to those around them. When not in use, the mask can be charged in a box that also sterilizes with ultraviolet light.
AirPop Active+ – This smart mask uses an in-built sensor to track the wearer’s breathing. The affiliated mobile app then compares that information with public data on air quality in the area to figure out when the filter inside needs to be replaced.
PuriCare – Created by LG, the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is exactly what the name suggests. The mask comes with an air purifier that runs on a rechargeable battery and can last for as long as eight hours.
Wearing and Cleaning
Ubtech Adibot-A – An autonomous cleaning robot, the Adibot-A glows with disinfecting ultraviolet-C light. The robot is designed to go into rooms where people will soon arrive and shining its light, and destroying germs wherever it goes. The robotic AI is a good tool for prepping classrooms, hospital rooms, and other environments to keep people going to those rooms safe.
BioButton – Small but full of sensors, the BioButton is designed to be worn on the chest upper chest using medical adhesive tracks temperature, heart rate, sleeping time, and general activity. According to developer BioIntelliSense, the BioButton can identify potential coronavirus infection within a few days, even if the symptoms are so faint as not to be consciously noticeable.
Ettie – A video doorbell by tech startup Plott, Ettie adds infrared sensors to take visitors’ temperature. Visual and audio notifications let the guest and host know if the visitor is possibly running a fever, a symptom of COVID-19, and other infectious diseases. The data is also available for contract tracing if needed. The app can also be set to track how many people enter a home to make sure there’s no accidental overcrowding, especially in locations where there are strict rules on how many people can be in a space at once.
U by Moen Smart Faucet – Another way to minimize touch, U by Moen, provides voice control over a kitchen faucet via a smart home system or smart speaker. The connected mobile app can create presets, a bit like an Alexa routine so that a short voice command would set the flow and temperature of the water to whatever the user wants. Voice commands can also simply start, pause, or stop the flow.