CES 2021: Rapid Response – Day 1 Debrief

The all-virtual CES kicked off without a glitch. The schedule included press events from industry leaders such as LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Kohler and Sony. And, closing out the day, Verizon’s keynote highlighted what’s next for 5G.

Emerging themes reflect our pandemic life. Robotic disinfectant solutions, advanced LED screens and air care, lead the innovation conversations as consumers prioritize wellness and at-home entertainment.

CES panel discussions begin today. For now, please enjoy the debrief below of yesterday’s events.

Verizon Showcases 5Gs Impact Across Industries

As the premier CES 2021 keynote presenter, Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg discussed the transformative impact 5G plays in entertainment, learning, and connected communities.

Vestberg focuses on how 5G is being used today. It’s stated that 14.2 billion connected things are currently in use. This number is expected to reach 55 billion by 2025. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband technology is being marketed to support this growing demand for connectivity.

“The future of work, learning, telehealth, retail and streaming are very much our current realities. And we are just getting started. 5G isn’t just another tech innovation, it’s the platform that makes other innovations possible.” — Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon.

Several Verizon 5G partnerships were announced that include the NFL, UPS, Live Nation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian. Click here to learn more.

LG Rollable Phones Are Closer to Becoming Reality

By: Emma Stephens, Associate Manager, Integrated Media Planning

Currently grouped in with LG’s “Explorer Projects” experiments, the LG phone with the expanding screen made another CES appearance yesterday. Now branded the LG Rollable, the phone has what the company calls a “unique resizable screen” that scales the phone up to the size of a small tablet.

More exciting than the technology is the official naming of this project, which indicates LG intends to move it forward to the consumer marketplace sometime soon. They are not alone in this space, as TCL and Oppo have also shared concept devices like LG’s.

The decision to brand this device makes it real to consumers. A rollable screen would alter consumer content experiences, and change the ratio aspect for display and video content.

LG Launches New Line of Air Care Products with an AI Robot

By: Joseph McKenna, Associate Director, Data and Technology Consulting

LG’s new line of UV-C robots was introduced by a virtual “influencer” with 6k followers. Now one of many infiltrating the newfound competition of virtual influencers like Miquela Sousa.

With the heightened attention to health and wellness this year, LG launched a new product line dedicated to “air care” with its new robot that disinfects high traffic areas with just ultraviolet light.

Innovators like LG are taking notice of the pandemic and launching products that promote health and wellness. Unveiling a new product category dedicated to air care for a clean and safe home. With the emerging trend of working from home and a growing focus on hygienic solutions, consumers want the peace of mind of purified air and a clean environment.

Kohler’s New Bathroom Designs Go Touchless 

By: Kelly Kresin, Associate Planning Director

Kohler’s 2021 focus is on products that enhance the experience of relaxing at home, and minimizing touch surfaces to reduce the spread of germs.

Their Stillness Bath uses light, fog and aromatherapy to transport users to the spa from home. Taking a note from the Japanese practice of forest bathing, water fills from the bottom up creating an infinity pool effect. Pricing ranges from US$6,198 to US$15,998.

More touchless bathroom faucets and toilets are being introduced in the name of hygiene.

As consumers spend more time at home, the rate of spa like products adapted for at-home use increases. Touchless products have been seen in public bathrooms for years, and are now coming into homes as consumers focus more on health and cleanliness.

Panasonic Adapting, Giving Back, and Continuously Moving Forward

By Emma Stephens, Associate Manager, Integrated Media Planning

Panasonic’s Live Stream walked the line between people and technology, delicately touching on what we lost in 2020 and how we adapted.

First up, Panasonic’s NanoeTM air purifier technology: they have verified the inhibitory effect of the hydroxyl radicals contained in water on the novel coronavirus, but no word yet on the new tech’s application.

Panasonic found new use cases for smart lockers for keeping food fresh for pickup. Panasonic’s showcased their HomeCHEF 4-in-1 inverter microwave/air fryer/convection oven/broiler combos, and more.

While they did not claim to have all the answers, they were optimistic about the value their technology could bring to those whose lives have changed over the last year.

Samsung Robots Pour Your Wine and Do the Dishes too

By: Joseph McKenna, Associate Director, Data and Technology Consulting

Like prior CES conferences, Samsung introduced a new robot appropriately named “Handy.”  It’s one of their most humanlike robots. Handy cleans up after you and can even pour you a glass of your favorite Cabernet, using AI technology to understand an object’s shape and weight.

With the new realities of work from home, Samsung is leading the forefront in smart homes. Delivering on more useful bots like Handy and their line of smart vacuums. While advanced, Samsung has yet to weave together all of their product lines into a unified rich experience.

To see Robot Handy in action click here.

Samsung Aims to Enhance at Home Technology Experience

By Kelly Kresin, Associate Planning Director

Samsung is innovating product lines to better their at-home technology experiences.

The Bespoke 4-Door Flex refrigerator is now more customizable in style and function, and includes a beverage center, ice options and an automatically filled water pitcher.

This year in screens, Samsung featured a self-lit inorganic LED panel with a nearly bezel-less Infinity Screen to blend in and create an immersive experience. It touts a four-way viewing option and 160+ free channels.

Samsung is also showing their AI and robotics capabilities to help consumers make everything from cooking to cleaning more efficient.

Samsung is creating technology to make menial tasks more time efficient, and sustainable for the environment.

As their robotic technologies become accessible, consumers will have more time to focus on skilled labor and leisure.

Holograms: The Future of Meetings

Beam me up Scotty! Imverse, an Australian based startup, has designed software that allows real-time capturing, editing and streaming of Live 3D holograms. Application for this technology is being considered for remote collaboration, teleconferencing, gaming, telehealth, online learning, live entertainment and more.

Imverse is the winner of the CES 2021 Best Innovation Award.


About Author

Leave A Reply