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4 Takeaways Tied To Consumer Tech And Cyber Safety

Gagan Singh, Chief Product Officer at NortonLifeLock

Virtual event showcases products ranging from smart face masks to rollable phones

The Consumer Electronics Show — the normally in-person trade show in Las Vegas that the Consumer Technology Association made virtual this year — delivered innovation and a lot of buzz. CES 2021 made history as the largest digital tech event, and its featured tech gadgets promised everything from enhanced gaming experiences to smart face masks.

Here are my four takeaways from CES 2021:

1. COVID-19 safety technology takes aim at the pandemic

Several new tech concepts address what’s on consumers’ minds right now: staying safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies are leading the way with the so-called Artificial Intelligence of Things —AIoT, for short — in the way of smart face masks, disinfecting robots, smart air filtration, and body sensors that can detect COVID-19 symptoms.

For instance, Bosch is focusing on pandemic-related technology with its rollout of three products: a rapid COVID-19 home test, a sensor that measures air quality and humidity, and security cameras that use AI analysis to measure body temperature anonymously and without contact.

Razer, known for its gaming products, shared a concept design for a new N95 mask with several safety-enhancing features: auto-processing pods that heighten the clarity of your voice; adjustable, rechargeable ventilation; auto-sterilization, and a UV sterilizer that doubles as a mask case. Razer’s mask also brings comfort and ease-of-use to consumers, with adjustable ear loops, silicone edging for an airtight seal, and a transparent face so the wearer’s mouth can be seen.

2. Smart-home technology raises its IQ

Advancements in smart home tech also were a CES theme. With so many people homebound, the latest smart home products might seem quite attractive.

One example is the Lockly Duo smart door lock. This product uses biometrics to lock and unlock your door via your voice or fingerprint. Remote integration with Alexa and Google Assistant also enables consumers to operate the door lock remotely and check on its status in real-time.

As with other devices using biometric authentication to confirm a user’s identity, it’s essential these products also protect consumers’ privacy and security. Without protection that keeps up with advances to a tech gadget, it’s easy to see how biometric devices could be impacted by a privacy or security breach.

3. Rollable phones roll into view

Another highlight was a focus on new devices. Most notably, the rollable smartphone. Yes, you read that correctly.

In a press conference before the event, Korean tech company LG revealed its work on a rollable device: the LG Rollable. If LG fulfills its promise, this device could be the size of your average smartphone while you’re on the go, with the ability to expand into a larger tablet when you need it.

An offspring of LG’s rollable TV, this product could be a gamechanger for the phone of choice in years ahead. The cybersecurity takeaway here? It’s a good idea to make sure all of your smart devices are set up with the latest security solutions — especially when they’re connected to all of the other devices in your home.

4. Gaming tech includes the need for speed

There’s plenty of new gaming technology on the horizon. One gaming product shared at CES was the new ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 laptop. With a 260Hz refresh rate, it’s purported to have the fastest gaming monitor display.

Gaming tech and the security that surrounds it is more important than ever, as more people become part of the gaming community. A Facebook gaming survey conducted in July 2020 shows the surge in gaming since lockdowns began in March 2020. Since that time, Facebook found there are 28 million new gamers in the United States, 8.6 million in the United Kingdom, 9.4 million in South Korea, and 6.5 million in Germany.

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