The continuing coronavirus pandemic forced this year’s CES to go virtual, making the 2021 edition of the massive trade show unlike any other in its 53-year history. But while the online setup gave the show a vastly different feel than in years past, there was one way it was just the same: a long line of jaw-dropping gear, gadgets and appliances. From robot chefs to rollable phones or smart glasses that you might actually want to wear, each day of CES was chock full of surprises. Here, 10 standout items from this year’s show.
Asus’s Zen Beam Latte L1 Projector
With the possible exception of the TV, no piece of home theater tech has advanced as much over the last decade as the projector. For proof of this, just look at Asus’s new Zen Beam Latte L1, a full-featured projector that’s about the same size as a travel coffee mug. Despite coming in a very small package, the device can still produce a more-than-respectable 300 lumens of brightness and has a projection range of 40 to 120 inches. As a welcome bonus, the built-in Harman Kardon 10-watt speaker can be used even when you’re not watching Netflix.
Arcade1Up’s Infinity Game Table
We know, part of the charm of board games is the fact that they’re analog, but hear us out. Arcade1Up has just unveiled the Infinity Game Table, a tabletop gaming console of sorts that lets you play all your favorite board games with a few taps of its touchscreen surface. Classic titles like Monopoly, Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land and Yahtzee are already there, and more will be added in the near future. The system also lets you compete with fellow board game addicts in the same room or online, so you’ll never struggle to find someone to play with.
Bodyfriend Quantum Massage Chair
As a rule, CES never lacks outlandish debuts. At this year’s edition, no appliance was quite as over-the-top as Bodyfriend’s Quantum massage chair. The South Korean company’s latest offering looks more like the captain’s seat on a futuristic spaceship than a recliner. The high-tech chair has AI voice control functionality (so you can help it learn your body’s pain points), a Bang & Olufsen sound system, a screen for binge-watching, and a power reserve so the next blackout won’t interrupt your much-needed massage.
Razer Project Hazel N95 Mask Concept
It may not be 2020 anymore, but with the coronavirus still ravaging the planet, face masks remain a necessity. Enter Project Hazel, a new high-tech N95 mask concept from Razer, a company best known for its over-the-top gamer gear. The concept features an active ventilation system, a built-in mic and amplifier, a semi-transparent panel (so people can see your lips) and colorful LED lights that indicate power status. It also comes with a dual-purpose fast charger that sterilizes the mask at the same time.
Vuzix MicroLED AR Smart Glasses
It’s taken awhile, but a tech company has finally built a pair of smart glasses you might actually want to wear. In fact, Vuzix’s next generation model doesn’t look all that different from a stylish pair eye glasses. But the chic look isn’t the only way this pair differs from its predecessors. They also utilize the company’s waveguide tech and microLED displays to map images and information onto each lens. Additionally, the glasses feature WiFi connectivity, gesture control, stereo speakers and a noise canceling microphone.
Sony Airpeak Drone
Sony took a long time to get into the drone game, but the company’s first offering was worth the wait. The new Airpeak will allow photographers to quite literally take their art to new heights. Rather than relying on a built-in camera, the drone’s payload can be equipped with one of electronics giant’s popular Alpha mirrorless cameras, allowing hobbyists and pros to capture high-quality, full-frame images and footage from the air.
LG Rollable Smartphone
Folding smartphones haven’t gone mainstream just yet, but LG has already moved on to the next thing. At this year’s CES, the company unveiled its latest phone, the Rollable, which features a screen that—you guessed it—rolls up. While details are still scarce, the phone will feature “unique resizable screen” that can be unrolled so that the viewing area grows to the same size of that of a small tablet. LG hopes to release the Rollable later this year.
Samsung Bot Handy
It may be 2021, but the household robots that science fiction books and movies have been promising for decades aren’t hear yet. Samsung, though, is doing what it can to speed up the process. Meet the South Korean electronics giant’s Bot Handy, a cute little robot that will help pick up the slack around your home. Though it’s far from the most visually impressive robot, it can do a lot of annoying but necessary tasks, like picking up laundry, loading the dishwasher and setting the table. But our favorite feature, without a doubt, is that it can pour you a glass of wine and bring it right to you.
Kohler Stillness Bath
There are few more soothing ways to end the day that with a nice long soak in the tub. But Kohler thinks it can make the experience even more relaxing with its new Stillness bath. Inspired by Japanese forest bathing, the minimalist tub includes a Hinoki wood moat, RGB mood lighting and an “experience tower” that emits fog and calming aromas. What’s more, there’s also a corresponding app with a “Smart Soak” mode that lets you set the temperature and depth of the water from your phone.
Moley Robotics Kitchen
No robot at CES caught our eye quite like the Moley Robotics Kitchen. The London-based company’s ceiling-mounted, two-armed contraption can cook up some 5,000 recipes—and then clean up after its done. You’ll have to do some prep work—mainly chopping and peeling vegetables—but that’s a small price to pay for meals you might otherwise find at top-tier restaurants. Of course, all that automated cooking expertise comes at a cost: The robot chef will run you a cool $335,000.