Touchless tech defines CES as pandemic stamps its mark on innovation
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Normally this week would involve hundreds of thousands of tech industry workers and journalists descending on Las Vegas for the world's biggest annual trade show - CES.
But the party in Vegas was cancelled this year as CES went virtual to avoid becoming a Covid-19 suer-spreader event. The Consumer Electronics Show, which I’ve been to half a dozen times, is always a logistical nightmare. Spread across a sprawling series of convention centres and hotels, the show is crowded and features a bewildering agenda of events.
So it has been nice this year to lean back in my chair and take in the virtual sessions from the comfort of my office. While the usual flurry of product announcements have emerged spanning everything from flat-screen TVs to PCs, smartphones to streaming services, the pandemic has spawned its own significant product category touchless tech.
Hence, we have Ettie, the touchless doorbell from Plott that can take the temperature of a visitor at the door before they are permitted entry to the premises. Alarm.com’s video doorbell allows a person to virtually knock, simply presenting their face to the resident without having to press any doorbell button and potentially passing on the virus.
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Peter Griffin has been a journalist for over 20 years, covering the latest trends in technology and science for leading NZ media. He has also founded Science Media Centre and established Australasia's largest science blogging platform, Sciblogs.co.nz.