The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 took a closer turn into its digital roots as the showfloor moved online. CGMagazine explored the most cutting-edge tech of tomorrow with the annual expo’s countless booths. From new to familiar companies showing off their latest inventions, there’s been a special quality-of-life pattern for this year’s consumer electronics. Of course, we also stumbled on some of our favourite gadgets and other appliances which do more to improve the extra time at home. Spanning smart masks, AR/VR peripherals for productivity, a commercial water recycler and smart perfume (which exist now), CGM’s own choices aren’t limited to the cool or strangely fascinating.
Razer Project Hazel
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has become a contributing factor for tech companies like Razer across 2020 and 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Project Hazel mask is a different focus from a company specializing in high-end gaming hardware. But the company has also kept an open mind to producing beyond the RGB-soaked offerings through other lines including its latest Productivity Suite. Of course, Project Hazel extends safety, security and even varying degrees of productivity for front-line workers worldwide. This is where its World’s Smartest Mask concept focuses on making the top N95-type masks even better. Its leading and CDC-certified N95 filters can be replaced. Each circular filter is also boosted by electric ventilators to block out COVID-19 droplets or other harmful particles by 95 percent.
But in true Razer fashion, the sleek ventilators are also lined with Chroma RGB rings for customizable effects. Under low-light situations, the mask interior also lights up for others to read lips in important verbal and nonverbal communication. Project Hazel also comes with a built-in microphone to clear up vocabulary for listeners, eliminating muffled speech under the mask. The mask also comes in an air-tight seal with all-day battery for constantly fresh breathing. In an attention to detail, we also admired Project Hazel’s charging case which comes with UV lights in the ceiling for sterilization. It’s still unknown if the mask will be commercialized or limited to essential workers when released. In a product which takes great considerations to help users amid the pandemic, CGM gravitated to Razer‘s stranger but well-meaning creations.
Razer Project Brooklyn
Razer double-dipped in their unorthodox CES 2021 entries by tapping into their gaming beat. Project Brooklyn is an all-in-one concept for gamers at home. The RGB-infused gaming chair comes at face value. But its level of comfort also follows a tried-and-true formula of back support. This is where Razer‘s gaming chair offers all-day comfort for long playthroughs or work shifts. The direct optimization for a gamer-centric back support comes with reclining options. As a chair, users can also keep all of Project Brooklyn’s true power hidden and work in any setting. But wasting the chair’s real features for a retractable table and 60″ surround screen would be a shame. Brooklyn features the mentioned screen as an ultrawide OLED monitor which connects to PCs and other HDMI devices. Of course, users can be creative with the deployable screen for any tasks they want to perform beyond the extra gaming benefits. If things get too intense, Project Brooklyn can also selectively retract the flexible display behind its seat.
Project Brooklyn hides another surprise quite literally under your nose. The chair’s armrests come with a retractable table that can hold virtually anything. Obviously, PC gamers can set their favourite mouse and keyboard peripherals as part of the all-in-one PC battle station. According to Razer, hiding the table will let players switch to console gaming. Without the table, users can rest their arms and use a controller on their lap with the 60″ screen. Just when Project Brooklyn couldn’t become more jam-packed, the chair itself has haptic Hypersense vibration. Players can feel different sensations on their back, thighs and sides against different in-game effects. This comes with zero latency, letting players sense attacks from different directions in a 360-degree benefit. The chair also contains its beefy hardware under a carbon-fiber frame, letting users relax without worrying about damaging and internals. Unfortunately, the chair doesn’t come with wheels and instead is supported by a flat blade. In the prospect of maximum home comfort, Razer‘s Project Brooklyn struck an RGB nerve with us as a welcome CES 2021 product.
Lenovo ThinkReality A3
Lenovo has slowly, but boldly experimented with AR and Mixed Reality (XR) across the mid-2010’s. Its ThinkReality headsets slowly worked out the kinks with holograms to help engineers, architects or every kind of office employee do more. The ThinkReality A3 was CGM’s fondest choice for headsets at CES 2021 for its potential to amaze ahead of AR’s big moment. Of course, its direct no-nonsense focus for work is strong. As we previously wrote, the A3 is directly integrated with Windows 10. This lets wearers turn entire rooms into their own desktop with expanding windows and other programs running outside of their single screen. Thanks to inside-out tracking and depth, windows can also be fixed like paintings in any part of a room. This gives other users and visitors in an AR meeting a gallery or holographic slideshow for information. The built-in GPU from its processor enables A3 users to generate full-sized models for CAD engineering which can include mechanical solutions, fully-sized vehicles and other factory-based items. In an added bonus, Lenovo has also included a few quality-of-life improvements from their A6 glasses. Swappable batteries and expandable SD card storage are in.
ThinkReality A3’s refined and upgraded features are all powered with a simple USB-C cable to any computer. The A3’s computing power is also boosted by its own built-in Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 chip. This lets the A3 use a 1080p 8MP camera to produce video calls for at-home or remote meetings. A standalone version lets users plug their A3 into a few Motorola smartphones for fully-wireless freedom. For mobile-based users, they can also keep their holograms, essential information and HUD with them across different hands-on workplaces like factories, laboratories, CAD design spaces and the hospitality sector. Though we would have wished all devices would be supported for a 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) experience like the VR-based Oculus Quest. But CGM’s interest in AR is only peaked by the ThinkReality A3’s potential to nail the formula before mass adoption. Thanks to VR development, Lenovo also carries a benefit of packing the S3 into a sleek but powerful glasses frame which is a wire cut away from stylish. This is easily our pick for a handy, but brand new AR gadget at CES 2021.
A worldwide interest in cycling has increased traffic and infrastructure, particularly across city centers. The Wheelswing-VOLT is just one of the solutions which meet a cyclist’s needs, literally as a self-powered engine which automatically spins the front wheel. This lets the VOLT attach itself to any kind of bicycle for a pedal-free experience. The most impressive feature comes from the VOLT’s eco-friendly and self-sufficient power. As an engine, it continually powers itself while using friction as seen in hand-cranked radios or flashlights. But at the high-speed velocity of riding a bicycle, this electric power is generated exponentially. In other words, the VOLT could (in theory) give any kind of bike an unlimited renewable energy source and engine. Of course, a second VOLT can be attached to the front or back for a complete usage with any bicycle.
This is enough for the VOLT’s spinner to move any bike’s wheel without pedaling (and supporting a rider’s weight). It’s a non-sequitur choice for CGM at CES 2021, but the VOLT’s compact size and magical efficiency were enough to steal our staff’s adventurous hearts. Because the VOLT can generate so much power at a constant, it’s even high enough to charge a phone or small device via. USB in rides. Like a gadget which keeps on giving, cyclists can conserve their e-energy while keeping their phones topped up before arriving at work. The attachment is also highly-accessible for all bikes. From its promising features in a small body, we also hope its price would also give worldwide riders equal access to the VOLT. Another question comes from how riders could stop with the engine continuously spinning wheels (though there should be a brake feature). In CGM’s eyes, the Wheelswing-VOLT is one of this year’s more special device to grace the showfloor and is already a CES 2021 Innovation Award Product honoree.