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CES 2021: The best of new tech

As is custom at CES nowadays, a flying car captured the most attention during last week’s expo, but that didn’t prevent “real” tech from claiming centre stage, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK



The Mercedes-Benz Hyperscreen, showcased at CES 2021
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Best health tech: Razer’s Project Hazel face mask 

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Razer is best known for its gaming technology, including some of the coolest gaming machines and accessories available. It may sound weird that it has applied its cool innovation to a facemask, but it makes sense in competitive gaming settings, where teams need to be in the same location, and effective communication is key to success. It includes a microphone and amplifier to boost one’s voice; it is transparent, with lights automatically illuminating one’s lips when one talks, and it’s rechargeable. Its application in other communication-intensive settings is obvious but, sadly, it is still just a concept, and not yet ready for market.

Best robot: Samsung Bot Handy 

We were spared the usual CES procession of cute and creepy robots tripping up visitors to the show floor, which left the field open to serious contenders. Most serious, although still questionable as a consumer purchase, was the Samsung Handy Bot. It promises to take over numerous household chores, from picking up laundry to setting the table to pouring a drink to loading the dishwasher after the meal. The real problem with such robots is that, for most chores, it takes more time to set them up in the right position than it would to do the task oneself. The fact that it doesn’t shoot lasers, or similar, means that its functionality is limited to task-time, when it could so easily have become an entertainment companion. In future, however, it could well become an indispensable assistant for the infirm.

Best automotive tech: Mercedes-Benz Hyperscreen 

Forget the flying Cadillac eVTOL air taxi from General Motors, which is really just a glorified drone. It caught the attention of CES virtual visitors, but probably did not excite them as much as the Hyperscreen, based on the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system. Unlike the eVTOL, which will probably remain just a concept, the Hyperscreen is in production, and will debut in Merc’s flagship EQS electric vehicle to be unveiled later this year.

The Hyperscreen consists of three large displays: the instrument cluster for the driver, main infotainment screen in the centre, and passenger display for those in the front passenger seat. The displays are covered by a single curved piece of Gorilla Glass, spanning 141 cm. 

The displays use OLED, which results in them remaining clear in bright sunlight. They will feature aggregated content from the MBUX system and related services. A map uses the car’s position to provide information about the area the car is in, meaning the car acts as a travel guide.

The best of the rest 

There was much more at CES. Do dig deeper, visit Gadget’s comprehensive CES 2021 coverage here:  

  • Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee
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