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CES 2021: 5 show-stopping smart home tech innovations

One of the most exciting times of the year for tech geeks is when the Consumer Electronics Show rolls around. This annual event, which is held in Las Vegas, has been showcasing the newest gadgets from innovators’ minds since the late 1960s — and it’s still going strong. Unlike previous years, though, this year’s show is completely virtual, making it the first digital CES ever.

CES 2021 is happening online right now — and we’re expecting to see tons of cool and surprising new tech toys showcased over the next few days. You never know what these tech companies are going to come up with. During CES 2020, we saw some awesome and strange new products roll out — including a high-tech smart visor for your car and a foldable PC.

So what’s on the docket for this year? Well, this is just the first day of the four-day show, but there have already been some interesting new products unveiled. Five new products have caught our eye, and there will likely be more shortly. Here’s what you need to know about these new gadgets.

1. Super high-tech bathroom

(Source: Kohler)

Ever wondered what your bathroom would be like with some smart technology added to it? Kohler has you covered. This company just unveiled several new app-controlled products that use high-tech features to make your bathroom smarter.

One of the coolest products is the Stillness Bath, which offers all the features you’d want to turn your bathtub into a full spa experience. That includes full-spectrum lighting, fog features and even essential oils you can add to your bath via the app. The Innate Intelligent Toilet has just as many interesting features, including a heated seat, auto open and close, intuitive remote and personal bidet functionality.

The Touchless Bathroom Faucet offers hands-free activation for washing hands, brushing teeth and other daily tasks — which means there is no dirty faucet handles to worry about.

The Phyn collaboration, on the other hand, is voice-activated and touchless. This faucet offers a “wash hand” command that walks consumers through the recommended steps for proper handwashing. It also activates the water for wetting and rinsing and offers audible guides for lathering and cleaning.

2. Perfect for all pet lovers

Pet lovers, take note. This Chamberlain myQ Pet Portal is an automatic door for your dog. This $3,000 pet door is not your average doggy door, though — it’s way more high tech.

What’s interesting about this new pet portal is that it’s a fully-automated, Wi-FI-connected pet door that lets you or your dog control their access to the outside world. This pet portal is built with twin 1080p cameras, IR and light-touch safety sensors, microphones and speakers, and an encrypted Bluetooth Low Energy beacon for your dog to wear.

These high-tech features give you the ability to talk to your pet from a remote location, monitor them via video or track your pet’s habits in the app. Sensors ensure there are no trapped tails when the door automatically shuts behind them, and there are other safety features, too — like a waiting time between your pup approaching and the door opening to be sure your dog wants to go out.

3. Samsung reveals some impressive new tech

Samsung has already unveiled a ton of new gadgets and CES has just gotten started. Some of the noteworthy products include the Samsung Bot Handy, the Samsung JetBot 90 AI and the new Samsung AI washers and dryers.

Samsung Bot Handy is a helper robot that’s currently in development. It’s going to rely on advanced AI to recognize and pick up objects of varying sizes, shapes and weights — which will be helpful with a ton of different household chores. AI technology will help Bot Handy recognize the object’s composition, the amount of force it needs to grab and move the object around the house. 

Samsung JetBot 90 AI+ is a new vacuum cleaner that will hit the U.S. shelves this year. It uses object recognition technology to identify objects and decide the best cleaning path. LiDAR and 3D sensors also allow it to avoid cables and small objects. It even has a built-in camera that lets you monitor your home.

The new Samsung front-load washers and dryers that were just announced at CES are also worth noting. These new machines use artificial intelligence to cut down on the time it takes to clean your clothes.

Sensors inside the washer can determine the amount of dirt and grime on the clothes as they’re being washed. It uses that info to adjust detergent, rinse and spin cycles automatically. The SuperSpeed Drying feature that comes with the new dryers considers how damp clothes are to speed up the process.

4. OLED TV of the future is here

Mounting the TV on your bedroom wall is so 2020. The new LG transparent OLED TV that was just announced at CES is a much better option. Rather than requiring a stand or a wall mount, this TV sits at the foot of your bed and has a transparent display that can slide in and out when necessary.

Not only can you hide your TV when it’s not in use, but you can also change the aspect ratio and sizes depending on how much you want to extend the TV from the base. You can slide it out just enough to show music playback options or the time and date — or you can fully extend it to watch your shows from bed.

The 40% transparency of the display also lets you look through the TV while watching it. It also comes with built-in speakers, so you don’t have to worry about hiding speaker cables.

5. New video doorbells

There are tons of video doorbells on the market currently, and two more were just added to the lineup: the TP-Link Kasa Smart Doorbell and the Touchless Video Doorbell.

The Touchless Video Doorbell automatically rings when a visitor stands on the accompanying doormat, placed at a safe distance. This keeps it easy to social distance during deliveries or home visits. When the doormat activates the doorbell, it triggers the chime and sends a mobile alert to begin recording a video clip.

You’ll be able to see and speak to your visitors through the Touchless Video Doorbell’s live HD video and two-way audio. That means you won’t have to go to the door to answer it — which keeps contact to a minimum.

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Doorbell is the first for the Kasa line, and it comes with some interesting built-in features. They include 1080p video that can distinguish between people and other moving objects. This doorbell can also save video footage to either a microSD card or the cloud.

This new video doorbell is paired with an indoor chime that alerts you when someone is at the door. The TP-Link Kasa Smart Doorbell should be available sometime this year, but it hasn’t hit shelves yet.

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