CES 2021 preview: 5G, TVs and yes, masks


CES 2021 will be a virtual event this year as the latest in tech vies for attention, while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic impacting the globe.

“Masks of all kinds, voice assistants mature, 5G will power everything, more 8K TV sets, [and] robots…for more practical purposes,” Greg Kahn, CEO GK Digital Ventures and the Internet of Things Consortium, told Fox News.

Fox News has compiled a list of some of the technology that could be front and center virtually starting Jan. 11.

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8K AND MINI-LED TVS

With roughly 33 million pixels – four times that of mainstream 4K – pricey 8K TVs are still out of reach for most consumers. That fact won’t stop manufacturers such as Samsung and LG from pushing these at CES.

Mini-LED display tech, which provides better brightness, color, and contrast compared to current LCD TVs, will also be a theme. LG will show off its own spin on mini-LED with something called QNED.

Samsung is also expected to reveal new Micro LED TVs.

5G FOR REAL

The fast cellular network made a splash at CES in 2020 but it wasn’t widely available then. Expect more this year as the latest phones, such as the new iPhone 12, are equipped with 5G now.

Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg’s will be hosting a live keynote on Jan. 11 with 5G as a theme.

The promise of 5G is future gadgets like smart glasses with augmented reality. Major carriers are also beginning to offer home 5G internet.

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MASKS, AIR FILTRATION

Masks are now a fashion trend but with a very practical purpose amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

High-tech masks with proprietary antibacterial, antiviral, filtration and breathability technologies are expected to be unveiled at CES, as are smart air purifiers and UV disinfecting lights, according to media reports.

LG announced its PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier this summer. It’s equipped with HEPA filters and includes a respiratory sensor that detects the cycle and volume of the user’s breathing in order to adjust the speed of built-in fans.

INTERNET OF THINGS AND HEALTH MONITORING

Consumers should expect a range of health monitoring devices and apps as well.

Wearable devices and apps that allow more independence for the elderly are also likely, said GK Digital Ventures’ Kahn. “Several pill bottles, for example, are now Internet-enabled and contain sensors that send data to the cloud regarding time of cap opening, closing and medication removed to avoid errors.”

OTHER TECH, INCLUDING ROBOTS AND VOICE-ENABLED GADGETS

Some other technology to watch out for is ever more practical robots. And more intelligent voice assistants offered on more products such as Amazon Echo Loop Ring and Amazon Frames as well as voice-enabled door locks.

Also, electric cars and self-driving tech have been prominent at CES over the past several years. This year, GM is expected to have a lot to say about its future electric vehicles, with CEO Mary Barra the keynote speaker on Jan. 12th.

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