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CES wrap-up: Top consumer tech trends in 2021 Updated: 2021-01-15 13:37:03 KST

The world's largest electronics trade show that went all digital for the first time ever in its over half century history finally its wrapped up its four-day run.
An entirely virtual CES 2021 meant rather than hundreds of thousands flocking to Las Vegas millions experienced it from their own homes.
For South Korea startups, it was a better opportunity to take part.

We have our Kim Jae-hee in the studio with us, to give us a wrap up of this year's event.

Right, Conn-young. This year's CES was undoubtedly a unique experience for both exhibitors and those attending.
The massive event was held not in Las Vegas as usual but virtually.
Here, the highlights from this year's event.

From bendable television screens to dish-washing robots the size of humans, some two thousand exhibitors from around the world display their eye-catching products.
Smart homes, digital health, and AI dominated CES this year, as spending trends have shifted to people's home lives amid the pandemic.
Aiming squarely at gamers, LG Display showed off its bendable 48-inch OLED TV that generates sound without speakers.
Futuristic transparent panels for use in restaurants, or at the foot of the bed also got plenty of attention.
As well as promoting its micro LED and Neo QLED TVs, Samsung Electronics unveiled its new smart home devices ranging from AI-powered robotic vacuum cleaners that can spot and avoid obstacles, to human-sized Bot Handy robots that can do daily chores like pouring a glass of wine, or placing dishes in the dishwasher.
Another buzzing trend: digital health.

"Partly because so many doctors had to start practicing telemedicine, therefore there were more technologies coming to be able to check for vital statistics from patients, and things like that remotely."

OMRON launched a remote patient monitoring system, for monitoring blood pressure at home.
South Korean startup, M2S debuted its VROR EYE Dr., using AI and VR techniques for eyesight checkups at home.
Whatever the device may be, the common technology was AI.

"You see AI built into everything that we do. It's in phones, it's in those kitchen gadgets, it's in our cars, and is transforming everything. I think that the true impact of AI on our lives hasn't even fully been embraced yet."

Remember "NEON?"
Samsung's artificial human is back - this year, more life-like than ever before.
But, LG is not lagging behind with its own virtual human, Reah Keem already a popular influencer with thousands of Instagram followers.

"Hey y'all. I'm Reah, a song writer and DJ. Being a musician, you know, travelling is a big part of my life, and inspiration."

The digital venue of the expo remains live until mid-February, for anyone who wishes to further explore the state-of-the-art products on display.

So Jae-hee, this was the first-ever all-digital CES.
Tell us what was different this year? The pros and cons of a virtual CES, if you will.

Well, first of all the most disappointing thing would have to be the fact that it was smaller this year.
Around 4,500 companies participated in the event last year, but this year that figure more than halved.
The U.S. had more than 1,900 exhibitors in 2020 but this year it was down to just over 560and only around 200 from China.
Although South Korea saw the smallest decrease, it was still down to around 340.
But, with a more active role in the event this year, Korea won numerous awards, Samsung Electronics picked up more than 170, including 44 CES Innovation Awards and LG Electronics near 140, including 24 Innovation Awards.
And CES being online created opportunities for start-ups to participate thanks to reduced costs.
Of the 640 startups at CES, around 130 were from South Korea.

We also saw some high-tech gadgets and mind-blowing technologies this year.
Tell us more about some of the unique products that stood out the most.

What stood out this year was that there were a lot of products focused on making life easier amid the coronavirus.
The new CLOi UV-C Robot from LG, for instance, is equipped with UV lamps that can destroy viruses.
And a temperature screening robot from Misty Robotics enables healthcare institutions and workplaces to operate safely.
There was also a kidney-shaped pillow robot that helps you fall asleep, by monitoring your breathing rate and synchronizing its movements with this rate to encourage relaxation.
And a smart toothbrush that can clean your teeth in just 10 seconds.

In terms of mobility, Hyundai Motor Group and SK Group were both out of the picture this year, but there was definitely some buzz over the latest tech from IBM, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors.
We now see that autonomous driving is being used to not only cars, trucks, and buses but even in ships with IBM's solar-and-wind-powered autonomous ship.
South Korean oil company, GS Caltex, made its CES debut this year offering a glimpse of next-generation gas stations with charging points for electric and hydrogen vehicles.
Make sure you keep an eye out for its drone delivery service

Sure will. Thanks, Jae-hee for that.

Thank you for having me.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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