New year, new tech. “New” is a relevant term in the tech world, and there’s always something on the horizon, no matter how incremental the update may be.
You’re probably playing with the toys you got over the holidays. While you’re at it, you may want to take a new approach towards tech for the new year. Take care of your old devices, keep your new ones updated and get rid of some annoying distractions. Tap or click here for more on these simple tech resolutions.
A new year also signifies the arrival of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This week it was a hybrid event between live and virtual presentations. Read on for some highlights.
Bigger, brighter TVs (and one for your face)
- LG’s 2022 G2 series adds the world’s first 97-inch OLED model. This 4K TV is powered by a new processor and is brighter than ever. Deep learning upscales performance to give a more three-dimensional quality to what you’re watching. Mirror your mobile device screen to the TV or share what you’re watching with other TVs in the house. Pricing is expected to be in the $40,000 range.
- TCL’s 98-inch QLED 4K TV is powered by Google and also works with Alexa. You can cast your TV with built-in Chromecast. A new learning engine enhances pictures as you watch, adjusting clarity, color and depth. This TV features an edge-to-edge glass design and goes for $7,999.99.
- The TCL NXTWEAR AIR wearable display glasses let you watch what you want while on the move. Stream content from your phone, computer, laptop or tablet and watch it in the dual 1080p Micro OLED displays. You can listen via the dual speakers or connect your wired/wireless headphones.
Smart home gadgets
- The Labrador Retriever assistive robot moves around your home and acts as an extra pair of hands. It has a self-adjusting height and can carry up to 25 pounds. Control the robot from your smartphone or tablet (using Labrador’s app), with a voice assistant, an available Bluetooth wireless button or set your own schedule. Reserve yours for a $250 refundable deposit.
- The Icon.AI Sound Mirror is a voice-activated acoustic mirror. Stream from your mobile devices using Bluetooth. The mirror comes with Alexa built in and has smart home capabilities. It can also function as an intercom or timer. Set it up with the Sound Mirror app and adjust the EQ to your liking.
- Kohler’s PerfectFill is a drain system that includes a smart drain, app and bath filler. It can draw a bath to your preferred temperature and depth with a voice command or through the Kohler Konnect app.
Computers and tablets
- Dell’s updated XPS 13 has a new Plus model that houses a more powerful processor and larger fans that promote better airflow. Charge your laptop to 80% battery life in less than an hour. An improved quad-speaker design gives better sound for whatever you do. Pair the XPS 13 Plus with the UltraSharp 4K Video Conferencing Monitor for the ultimate conferencing experience. This is 31.5-inch 4K monitor with an intelligent 4K webcam that automatically adjusts lighting and framing.
- Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 laptop has 17.3-inch 3K display, a powerful processor and up to 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage. The real story here is the second 8-inch multitouch display by the keyboard. It supports productivity apps, phone syncing and content mirroring.
- The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a 17.3-inch foldable 2.5K laptop. It shrinks down to 12.5 inches for portability. It has four speakers, a 5MP webcam and an HD IR camera. It can be used as a tablet, book, tiny laptop or even a makeshift PC if you add the available Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad. Check out our review of a similar product from Lenovo.
- Liteboxer VR is a home workout system that combines boxing and virtual reality. You need an Oculus Quest 2 and can use optional controllers or just the app. The system tracks your hand movements as you punch virtual pads to a beat, lights and rhythmic music. Choose from hundreds of workouts and let the built-in trainers guide you.
- The Withings Body Scan smart scale gives your weight, body composition and heart health. It can distinguish body parts such as your torso, arms and legs to give you information on fat and muscle mass for each. Health management features give you personalized plans, lets you share data with healthcare professionals and more.
- Sengled’s Smart Health Monitoring Light is a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth bulb that monitors your health. It can track your sleep patterns, heart rate, body temperature and more. It can even detect if someone has fallen and send for help.
- Shiftall’s Mutalk is a Bluetooth microphone that keeps outside sounds out while also keeping your voice in. This is good for privacy and gaming, when your expletives could disturb those around you. It has 10 hours of battery life and charges with USB-C. Pricing will be around $200.
- Combine an air purifier with noise-cancelling headphones and you get the Airvida E1. The company claims that Airvida removes 99.7% of coronavirus from the air. “Airvida will produce negative ions around user’s face which rapidly attach the coming virus and particles and turn them into bigger and heavier chunks to fall into the ground.” The battery will last 8 hours when using both the air purifier and earphone functions and 30 hours using just the former.
- Amagami Ham Ham can best be described as a robotic cat that nibbles your finger. It simulates the feeling you get when a pet or baby does the same. This is meant to provide comfort and reduce stress.
Do we need CES?
Is CES all that relevant anymore? Tap or click here to hear Kim’s take.