The most interesting tech reveals of CES 2021 so far

From Sony’s first drone to a rollable phone, the world's biggest tech show returns in true form.
12 January 2021

This undatde handout photo released on January 11, 2021, courtesy of Consumer Technology Association(CES), shows behind the scenes on the set of the all-digital CES 2021. – Digital health care is in the spotlight at the tech industry’s big event this week amid a pandemic that has highlighted the importance of remote services, with a potentially lasting impact on medical delivery. The most interesting tech reveals of CES 2021. Source: AFP

  • From Sony’s first drone that can carry its own cameras to rollable phone and housekeeping robots,  cutting-edge products and high-tech advances from around the world are on display at the annual CES which is being held virtually for the first time ever.

Every year, the world’s biggest brands gather in 3 million square feet of exhibition space at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the most influential tech event in the world. The event is known as the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. 

This year’s CES though is different from its pre-pandemic incarnations. The event takes place as usual with full access to everything including 2,000 over exhibitions, conferences, and networking ground – but it is only accessible through your laptop screens, which is where you see pretty much everything else these days.

The circumstances haven’t put a hold on innovation, however. In fact, the amount of creative automotive technology and innovative apps, cutting-edge products, and high-tech advances from around the world left quite an impression on the first day of the virtual event itself.

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting innovations revealed thus far.

Buckle up DJI, Sony’s out with its first drone

Remember when Sony teased the AirPeak late last year, signaling that the consumer electronics giant was finally getting in the drone business? Well, at the CES 2021, Sony has formally unveiled its own drone. Airpeak was shown in flight chasing a speeding car.

Sony says it’s going to be the smallest drone on the market that can be equipped with Sony Alpha cameras – indicating it is marketing to existing customers. The release is considered timely as the dominant force in the industry DJI has found itself subject to US sanctions.

Foldable aside, we will soon have rollable phones

Korean company LG teases its Rollable smartphone at its CES 2021 press conference and apparently, the company will release the phone later this year. A brief glimpse of the phone, being held in landscape mode as the display expanded and contracted, bookended the press conference. But LG isn’t the only one, even Chinese electronics company TCL followed on Monday with two rolling designs. 

One was a 6.7-inch phone that “with a tap of a finger” could extend out to 7.8-inches. The second looked far more futuristic with a 17-inch printed flexible OLED scrolling display. The accompanying concept video showed the screen unfurling like a scroll, though it looks more like a proof-of-concept than an actual product. The tech can be “widely applied on flexible TVs, curved and foldable displays as well as transparent commercial display screens,” said TCL innovation head Tiago Abreu. The company said it would be releasing a phone with a “flexible” display in 2021.

Robot housekeepers? Samsung flaunts it

Seems like a part of The Jetsons was brought to life with Samsung’s own lineup of robot housekeepers. During its CES 2021 keynote, the company unveiled new robots — JetBot 90 AI Plus, Bot Care, Bot Handy — which can help around the house by keeping up with your daily schedule, chores, and even pour you a glass of wine

The first of Samsung’s new robots, the JetBot 90 AI Plus, does double duty as both a smart vacuum and a security camera for the home. Samsung said it’ll be available in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, Bot Care, an updated version of a robot Samsung showed in 2018, which is a companion and assistant, can answer your questions, learn your schedule, and send you reminders. 

Rounding out the trio is the Bot Handy, the aforementioned wine pouring machine, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to figure out how to hold different-sized objects and with how much force it should hold them. It’s smart enough to help clean rooms and sort dishes, too.