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Flying cars, smart beds: 5 things I’d actually buy from CES 2021

  • January 17, 2021

Despite the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place online for the first time in its 54-year history, the all-digital 2021 CES still served as a window to the near future, featuring more than 1,800 exhibitors showcasing their wares – virtually speaking.

Granted, it can be tougher to assess how impressive these products are without seeing them with your own eyes – like the latest TV technologies or self-driving cars – but the show managed to surprise and delight with several innovative offerings.

As an annual tradition during CES, the following is a few gadgets I’d actually shell out money for – even if they’re not available for a long while. 

Samsung's Bot Care and Handy.

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Bot Handy

Teased by Samsung earlier in the week, Bot Handy is a domestic robot that can roam around your home to perform chores – such as picking up clothes from the floor or loading the dishwasher – but my favorite feature is pouring a glass of wine and bringing it to you.

After all, after the year we’ve just endured, who wouldn’t want this kind of high-tech pampering.

While very much a prototype than a ready-to-ship product, the thin and tall Bot Handy is powered by cameras, artificial intelligence (A.I.), and a versatile arm to accomplish its tasks.

Bring. It. On.

Samsung also bowed its next-gen robotic vacuum, the JetBot 90 A.I.+, which uses LIDAR and A.I. to scan a room and obstacles to avoid, before it does its autonomous cleaning.

While only a concept at this point, Cadillac’s aVTOL flying taxi supports GM’s '3 Zeros' commitment to the future: zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.

Cadillac eVTOL

While a flying taxi won’t see the light of day for several years, General Motors CEO Mary Barra pealed the curtain back on Cadillac’s eVTOL (“Electric Vehicle Takeoff and Landing”), a personal drone concept that could help tackle congestion challenges plaguing many urban areas. 

This single-seat quadcopter is expected to reach flying speeds of up to 56 miles per hour (about 90 kilometers per hour) via it’s 90-kilowatt battery pack. While additional details were scarce, the eVTOL marks GM’s first foray into aerial mobility. 

In the short term, GM also unveiled its BrightDrop ecosystem that could disrupt the delivery and logistics industry with a suite of electrified products, software and services, to help get your packages quicker, safer, quieter and better on the environment. With the first solution debuting this spring (an electric pallet called the BrightDrop EP1), GM’s first official partner is Fedex Express.

Due out as early as next month, the TactSuit X40 is billed as the next-generation in haptic wear for those who play computer and video games.

bHaptics TactSuit X40

While virtual reality (VR) hasn’t yet lived up to the hype – especially when many are expecting truly virtual worlds as imagined in books and movies like “Ready Player One” – one 2021 CES product gives us more hope. Shipping in about a month for $499, the bHaptics TactSuit X40 is an upcoming haptic vest that packs 40 individual feedback points, allowing you to not just see and hear immersive content – such as 360-degree video games – but feel it, too.

Compatible with a wide range of platforms (including PC, console and mobile), the TactSuit X40 is also wireless (Bluetooth 4.0) and lag-free, for real-time haptic vibrations. This vest can sync with optional hand, feet, face and sleeves from the same company, for an even greater suspension of disbelief. Playtime is said to top 18 hours.

The Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige is the first ever Philips electric toothbrush that can automatically adapt to your brushing, in real time.

Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige

Receiving a Best of CES Innovation Awards honoree nod, the next Sonicare Prestige is the first ever Philips electric toothbrush that can automatically adapt to your brushing, in real time, such as reducing intensity if you’re applying too much pressure. It also boasts a new all-in-one brush head, instead of having to swap out the “teeth whitening” head for, say, the “gum health” or “plaque” one (as is the case with today’s models).

Out this spring, this product also syncs with an A.I -powered Sonicare mobile app to show where you’re brushing and where you’re not, and can sync reports with your phone even if it’s not nearby.

LG Display showcased a futuristic TV concept that fuses a transparent screen and rollable OLED technology. It has residential and commercial applications.

LG Smart Bed TV

I won’t hold my breath waiting for a shipping date, but how cool would it be to see a 55-inch transparent television glide up from the foot of your bed and start showing you the morning news? Dubbed the Smart Bed TV concept from LG Display, this see-through rollable OLED television can also be used in applications outside of the home, such as in an autonomous vehicles, subways and aircrafts, as well as commercial and retail locations, and restaurants, where you wouldn’t want your view obstructed by an opaque display. 

LG Display says it uses Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO) technology to deliver audio by vibrating the screen instead of using traditional speakers.

As for 2021 launches, LG Electronics did impress with its QNED Mini LED TVs, featuring roughly 30,000 tiny LEDs that produce far superior and brightness compared to traditional LED televisions. LG says these are the first televisions to combine quantum dots, which delivers rich colors, with NanoCell technology. There are 10 models in the works (up to 86 inches), covering both 4K and 8K resolution.

Follow Marc on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. Email him or subscribe to his Tech It Out podcast at

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