Before the start of the all-virtual CES 2021, we detailed the notable trends to look out for at the mega consumer tech event. We had mentioned then that the event will be overly dominated by technology to fight the coronavirus pandemic we are living with for over a year now. During the CES thus, there were a plethora of technologies focused on ways to protect people from the COVID-19 using tech-infused masks, germ-killing air purifiers, wearable sensors to check for vitals, and touchless home essentials to mention a few.
As the virus continues to disrupt our normal lifestyle, these novel approaches on display are chiefly inclined to get our lives back to normal – where work means traveling out of the confines of our home – and eventually to make mass gatherings such as the CES possible in the near future. Even though, this time was a blessing in disguise for consumers like yourself, to follow the CES like a pro. If you have still missed what technologies designed to fight COVID-19 made headlines this past week, here is a roundup of the best of the best that is made to keep you safe in the year to come.
LG Autonomous robot with UV light
Let’s get down to business with a robot that’s actually conceived to keep public spaces safe and disinfected. A part of LG’s CLOi family of robots, the company’s autonomous robot will use UV-C light to disinfect “high-touch, high-traffic” areas in schools, hotels, restaurants, and any other such place you can think off. To be available in the US soon, the LG robot will likely enable a new standard of hygiene by disinfecting touch-prone surfaces without human intervention.
Being completely autonomous, the robot can move around tables, chairs, and other obstacles. Humans can control and monitor its progress remotely so there’s minimum exposure to UV rays.
Luft Duo by Luftqi
There are many air purifiers that we have seen – particularly in the year of the pandemic – which focus on cleaning the air indoors. What happens when you move out, travel in the car, for instance. Fret not, the Luftqi has a solution in the battery-powered Luft Duo – a portable, yet powerful air purifier you can take just about anywhere you go. Designed to clean the air around you throughout the day, the Luft Duo instead of more commonly used HEPA filters packs removable and washable filters and uses UV LEDs and Titanium Oxide/Zinc Oxide to trap pathogens, pollen, dust, and other impurities in the air.
Razer Project Hazel mask
Razer is more to do with gaming than with offering alternatives to protect humans from viruses. But then it’s the pandemic dominated era, no wonder then, Razer has dropped a porotype of a face mask in tunes with N95-like medical protection at CES and its dubbed Project Hazel. Expectedly, the mask is directed toward gamers primarily with RGB lighting but it comes with a clear façade making it easier for people to see your mouth while you talk or smile. Featuring rechargeable and removable ventilators and Smart Pods to regulate airflow for breathability; the waterproof mask also has microphone and amplifier for slight voice amplification of the user.
Ettie video doorbell
It’s become a new norm at public places to welcome a customer by sticking a temperature scanner in their face. Before that becomes a custom in our homes, Plott brought to CES the Ettie – first video doorbell that takes a guest’s temperature before allowing them to enter the house. Additionally, the Ettie provides real-time alert based on the guest’s temperature recording to the dedicated app on homeowner’s device. The app also keeps temperature reading, arrival time, and picture of the guest saved for future reference, in case contact tracing is required, for instance.
The name gives it up to an extent but it’s not a phone in a mask or vice versa, instead, it’s a filtered face mask with Bluetooth headset built-in. So much of a utility, this mask gives you hands-free access to the phone in your pocket still protecting you against the virus. The earphones and a microphone integration in addition to ensuring hands-free calls, also ensure that you are heard clearer even in face-to-face conversations. Featuring medical-grade N95 filters, the MaskFone is available for $50 and comes solely in black color for now. More color options could roll out soon.
A coin-sized BioButton claims to be a cost-effective wearable solution for COVID-19 symptoms monitoring. Smartwatches such as Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 now come with heart rate monitors and SpO2 blood oxygen level sensors that vouch to do something similar. But this new FDA-certified medical-grade wearable device can continuously monitor temperature, heart rate, and respiration for up to 90-days on the trot. The single-use, disposable BioButton can check for early signs of COVID-19 more precisely and it’s compatible with your mobile device using BioMobile app for ease of installation and vital monitoring.
Kohler touchless toilet seat
Wave your hand and the toilet flushes itself – arguably this is required in every public toilet more than the homes in 2021. Kohler has been at the forefront of designing touchless toilets for a while now, but most of these options have been overly priced. The company now plans to introduce affordable touchless models that cost between the $600 and $1000 price point.
These seats will feature a motion sensing lever on the side – circled with customizable LED light – just wave over the lever and the toilet will flush. These Kohler touchless toilets are expected to hit the market in March this year. Kohler is also adding an affordable Innate intelligent toilet to the burgeoning collection. This will feature auto opening and closing lid, a remote, heated seat, and a built-in bidet.
It’s fitting to close this list of pandemic-fighting tech-infused devices with a smart mask. Meet AirPop Active+ Smart Mask which will set you back $150. When a mask costs you so much it better do something special to make up for that premium, for this, the AirPop mask with Halo sensor connects to a dedicated app to provide a range of data including insight on wearer’s breathing habits and the type of pollutants it has filtered out.
Halo sensor placed in the little knob on the front of this fabric-style mask is powered by a coin-cell battery to ensure it remains connected to an Android or iOS device over Bluetooth. Interestingly, the AirPop app can keep track of the filter performance and notify when it’s time to change it.