20 January 2021
Like so many other things over the past year, the world's largest consumer electronics show, CES, looked very different in 2021.
The popular conference usually takes place in Las Vegas with thousands of people attending. But the physical conference was cancelled this year because of the coronavirus crisis. CES organizers, however, decided to hold a virtual CES show for the first time.
Here are some of the top technology trends presented by companies at this year's online event.
Many new technologies created to help fight the coronavirus were found at this year's virtual show. Several companies demonstrated new disinfecting robots. The South Korean manufacturer LG introduced a self-moving robot that sends out ultraviolet light designed to kill viruses on heavily-touched surfaces.
LG also presented a wearable air purifier and a device that can be carried around to purify air in a car or office. A German company called AirPop showed off its Active+ Smart Mask. The device measures breathing movements and tests the quality of surrounding air.
Several companies are also now offering "touchless" appliances and other products for the home. Kohler and Toto both showed touchless sinks and toilets that can be controlled by hand movements or by speaking to voice assistant technology.
Each year at CES, major television manufacturers present the latest industry technologies that could one day be included in everyone's home TVs. In addition to the yearly offerings of bigger, brighter and sharper TVs, LG Display showed off a "smart bed."
The product includes a see-through TV that rises up from the bed structure. Another version of that TV is designed for use in restaurants. It would permit guests to look at the list of available foods while watching food being prepared behind it. LG has also announced a bendable TV version that can change its shape on demand, a creation designed for gamers.
Companies showed several 5G products in 2021 after years of promises that the wireless technology would connect devices in new, superfast networks. Verizon chief Hans Vestberg gave the main speech to open the show. He spoke about the next generation of high-speed wireless technology and what it can offer for telemedicine, distance learning and other uses.
On the last day of CES, Samsung presented its latest 5G-ready Galaxy phones. Throughout the show, other companies held discussions and showed the uses for 5G in phones and other products.
Future of work
Many people across the world have now had almost a year of experience getting used to working at home. During that time, people have had the chance to see what things work and what things do not. Companies are offering a series of devices and products aimed at improving the home office.
For example, computer maker Dell showed off a video-conference monitor that is easy to move around to get to the best position for video calls. The American company Shure presented a microphone for the home office designed to improve speech audio quality for video conferencing. And Targus is offering a product designed to disinfect desk electronics, as well as an anti-germ backpack for carrying around work computers and devices.
This year's CES provided an early look at the latest in electric and self-driving vehicle technologies.
Mercedes-Benz showed off its artificial intelligence-powered "Hyperscreen," which stretches across the entire width of the car. The device can answer voice commands and lets the driver and front seat passenger do things like make a phone call or activate seat settings.
Fiat-Chrysler offered interactive, three-dimensional, or 3D, virtual tours of its cars and technology. The company also worked with Google to create an augmented reality model of its Jeep Wrangler 4xe electric and gas vehicle that people can see on their phones.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for Learning English. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.
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Words in This Story
virtual – adj. taking place online or through computers, not physical
trend – n. the general direction of change
disinfect – v. to kill germs
appliances –n. (pl.) machines such as dishwashers, ovens, microwaves that are electric and carry out a job in people's homes
bend – v. to change shape by using force
monitor – n. a device, like the screen of a TV, that lets a person see computer activities or listen to programs and sound
artificial intelligence –n. an area of computer science dealing with giving machines the ability to learn like humans
three-dimensional (3D) – adj. involving something that has width, depth and height
augmented reality – n. using computer technology to increase a person's experience of reality