The year 2020 was so full of changes and disappointments that it is no wonder we began 2021 eager for things to return to normal. That certainly was not the case for my CES experience in January. The annual international electronics show has become a regular activity on my calendar at the start of each year and I was especially looking forward to this year’s convention for several reasons. First, it would be my tenth CES in Las Vegas. Second, I had to miss the 2020 event because I had to travel to Phoenix to officiate a bar mitzvah.
While I was able to attend this year’s CES, it was certainly a change from past experiences. The Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES, made the difficult decision of making this year’s show fully virtual. I am glad they were able to still convene the world’s best tech showcase, but virtually attending from home was vastly different than actually being in Las Vegas and being able to touch the cutting-edge tech gadgets and futuristic electronics. Surprisingly, this was one of my favorite CES experiences yet. That must sound surprising since it lacked the sights, sounds and feels of a typical CES. However, the tech gadgets and cutting-edge consumer electronics were awesome!
Below is a roundup of some of my favorite tech products from CES this year that I had a chance to test out. Everything reviewed below is now available to consumers.
Lupe Pure Cordless Vacuum – This fully recyclable vacuum cleaner actually has two times the power of its leading competitor and it’s now available in the U.S. Developed by former Dyson engineers, the Lupe Pure Cordless is the vacuum of the future cleaning significantly more between charges than other vacuums. This vacuum cleaner will actually make you enjoy cleaning your home or office. I’ve been using it all the time and with no annoying cord, it’s making the chore more simple. The battery life is pretty good, but I’d recommend keeping it charged when not in use. lupetechnology.com/
Urbanista Miami – The Swedish lifestyle audio brand recently released their latest awesome headphone concept — the Urbanista Miami. This active noise canceling wireless over-ear headphone is available in four stylish colors. Combining a comfortable fit and crystal clear, isolated sound with simplicity and reliability, Urbanista Miami allows listeners to either completely block out the outside world or hear their surroundings without interruption to their listening experience. I was just as impressed with this Urbanista model as I’ve been with their other cans. They’ve really figured out how to create an active noise canceling headphone that also impresses with its ambient sound mode. Boasts 50 hours or more of total playtime, and the operating time with ANC on is 40 hours. It also works well with Google Assistant. www.urbanista.com
BeHear ACCESS – Designed in Israel by Wear and Hear Line, BeHear ACCESS eliminates the obstacles of the current solutions to hearing loss like the high cost, stigma, unmet expectations, and the reliance on others. This assistive hearing headset is comfortable, affordable and multi-functional. Best of all, the user is able to fit it appropriately on their own. BeHear ACCESS looks and functions like a typical Bluetooth stereo headset, but also provides an enhancement for all-around hearing when in live conversations, mobile phone calls, music play, and ambient hearing. 1 in 7 people worldwide has some level of hearing loss, which when left untreated can lead to poor performance at school and work, isolation, depression, cognitive decline, and even dementia. This amazing device provides a disruptive solution that challenges the current, unsuccessful method (hearing aids) used by less than 5% worldwide of those who could benefit. www.wearandhear.com
AduroSmart Eria – ERIA Colors and White Shades Smart Wireless Lighting Starter Kit A19 LED 60W Equivalent CRI 90+ (2 Bulbs, and Hub). Add colors to your life with ERIA smart lighting!
Control lights with your voice or through your smartphone/tablet. Works with ERIA, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and ZigBee. Sold at Home Depot for under $80. adurosmart.com
Trova – TROVA is a lockable discreet storage device that prevents inappropriate audiences from accessing personal, recreational, or otherwise private objects. Precisely manufactured out of CNC finished Aluminum Alloy, TROVA unlocks via the mobile app and a phone’s native biometric authentication allowing only paired users access to your secrets (or valuables) inside. Intentionally designed to be overlooked, providing privacy and security in plain sight, TROVA redefines a traditional lockbox for daily use at home or with you on the go. Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth (all models) and Wifi (home only) provides smart notifications, including tamper resistance and left open alerts adding additional peace of mind. www.trovaofficial.com
iRig Pre 2 – iRigPre 2 delivers great professional sound that users are accustomed to while adding direct monitoring, auto-switching wiring for use with digital cameras, and much more. Whether it’s recording a podcast or a new album, shooting an interview or an action sequence, iRig Pre 2 is the easiest way to connect any type of XLR microphone to an iOS or Android device. And its new, auto-switching circuitry lets iRig Pre 2 instantly adapt to work with the input on most digital cameras too. www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpre2
WBM Smart Air Purifier and Bluetooth Speaker – With seasonal allergies, I’m always looking for a solution to improve the air quality in my home and office. The WBM Smart Air Purifier creates a purified ambiance and healthier life. Air Purifier sanitize, ionize, and purify your breath and area. This purifier removes more than 99% of airborne particulates, and it eliminates odors and toxic gas. Pair a phone through Bluetooth with the purifier and you can enjoy the music with its spectrum mood lamp. It boasts a 4-speed fan to help achieve rapid purification. WBM-Smart-Hepa-Purifier-Bluetooth
Cricut Joy – “So long, scissors. See ya later, label maker” is the motto for this unbelievably fun and creative tech gadget. With the Cricut, you can cut any shape to perfection. With its precision blade, Cricut Joy cuts lots of materials in any shape, from vinyl and iron-on to cardstock, peel-and-stick label paper, and even that construction paper. I created customized labels for my laundry room, but you can use it for just about anythying. Simply choose the color, line weight, and your favorite font and then you can personalize whatever you like. Additionally, you can upload your own designs for free or access thousands of premium designs for a small monthly subscription. cricut.com/cricut-joy
Typewise 3.0 App – No surprise that Typewise won a CES Innovation Award because this app is a gamechanger when it comes to a mobile phone typing experience. Typewise 3.0 features an AI-based autocorrect that outperforms Gboard and SwiftKey on benchmarks. It handles multiple languages at the same time, and even learns exotic dialects and slang. Typewise is a Swiss tech company that has made this mobile app, which combines smart autocorrection and text predictions with a multi-language capability, and a dynamic hexagonal keyboard designed for two-thumb typing. If you’re like me and like to type quickly, this app will save you precious time. Your typing will increase in accuracy and you’ll be more productive. Typewise is available for download on iOS and Android, with PRO features available to enhance the typing experience. typewise.app
Catalyst – I’ve been trusting Catalyst phone cases for years now and the reason is obvious. Catalyst is now expanding the depth of their product line with style options and accessories that complement the protection. With the Total Protection cases for iPhone 12 series (waterproof cases), users have seen great value in the ability to wash the case with soap and water as well as alcohol solutions that sanitize the case without degrading the material or putting the device at risk of damage. www.catalystcase.com
Roybi Robot – ROYBI Robot is the world’s ONLY AI-powered educational robot that tutors young children in languages. It comes with over 500 lessons, 70 categories, and over 70,000 vocabularies in English and Chinese. Through play, children can learn a second language, practice language arts, explore scientific topics, and develop communication and analytical thinking skills. This toy has been featured twice on the cover of TIME Magazine as one of the best inventions in education (2019 and 2020). For only $149, you can’t find a better educational robot toy. roybirobot.com
Shifu Tacto Classics – Tacto Classics transforms your tablet into an interactive board and uses real figurines to drive the gameplay on screen converting screen time into fun family game nights. Favorite board games from your childhood will come to life. These brain-teasing strategy games help develop planning skills and foundational math. There are multiple strategy games for each game set with rich visuals, animations, and storytelling. The game set comes with 4 player figurines and 2 dice figurines. You can start playing the game by downloading the Tacto App from App Store or Play Store on a compatible device that interacts with physical figurines. www.playshifu.com/tacto
Axiom Armor ScreenFilm – This anti-microbe screen film is a glossy, flexible hydrogel screen protector perfect for phones, tablets, wearables, handheld game systems, and more. It actively fights virus-causing germs and protects against premature wear, scratches, and damage. It is fully compatible with curved screens and in-screen fingerprint readers. It provides great impact protection in an invisible way. ScreenFilm is very easy to apply with the included squeegee. It is only $29.99. axiomarmor.com