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.
While these latest products are exciting in their promises of faster technology and potential answers to getting around safely, I can’t help but think about Cyber Safety. Tech innovation is great, but you shouldn’t jeopardize your digital privacy and safety for the sake of convenience and speed.
Also top of mind: The rollout of these new tech products happened against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several new gadgets address consumer health and safety during this challenging time. Other products make your smart home smarter, which might help when so many of us are homebound. Still other products make good use of advances in 5G wireless network technology.
What’s my take on CES 2021? I’ll share some notable tech trends coming our way that relate to new devices, gaming, identity, and home and family. Keep in mind that advances in technology may bring new cybersecurity issues. I’ll look at those concerns, as well as share our own product solutions that help you keep their devices and personal information private and secure.
As Microsoft President Brad Smith said in his CES keynote address, it’s critical that industry leaders strive for greater protection of privacy and digital safety. Cybersecurity is particularly important as companies and consumers have greater reliance on artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and machine learning.
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.
Move forward and stay secure
The gaming industry and other industries continue to grow. For our part, we’re always coming up with new ways to help protect your devices and personal information.
NortonLifeLock had a virtual presence at the conference, with our expo booth sharing Norton™ 360 and Norton™ 360 for Gamers, which helps provides protection against malware, viruses, webcam takeovers, phishing attempts, and more. You can find out more by visiting our Virtual Hospitality Suite.
With the launch of our Norton 360 app in January 2021, we’ve created an easy and seamless way for our Norton 360 customers to access and manage their Cyber Safety tools from a single portal. You no longer need to visit different apps to implement all of your device security, online privacy, and identity features. This one app does it all for you.
Yes, it’s a challenging time, but it’s also an exciting one. And while it’s great to see the latest cool tech products, it’s smart not to lose sight of privacy and security. That’s why I’m so proud of the growth of our own portfolio with our “Think consumer first” mindset. We’re helping to ensure your devices and identity remain private and secure.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
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