CES Takeaways, Part Three

Ed Wenck | Jan 19, 2021


A number of products that caught Your Humble Blogger’s eye at CES 2021 fit into the “wellness” bucket. These all won Best of Innovation awards at this year’s virtual show. In no particular order:

Airthings Wave

This company’s “Wave” packages monitor indoor air quality for radon, mold, and other impurities, and integrates with smart home platforms (IFTTT, Alexa, and Google Assistant) to help run climate controls. There’s a phone app, natch, and also a function that gives the devices their name: Wave your hand, and you get a summary of the air quality in your home (good, fair, or poor) with an indicator light.

The BioIntelliSense BioButton

Developed with speedy funding as the pandemic overtook the globe, “The BioButton is a coin-sized disposable wearable device that continuously measures temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate at rest and analyzes statistical changes that may indicate the signs and symptoms of an early COVID-19 infection,” according to the press release. “As a scalable health screening and contact tracing solution, the BioButton enables safe return to work, school, travel, conferences and entertainment.”


Voice control doesn’t always work like it should – especially for those with non-standard speech. The firms says that “Voiceitt’s app identifies and adapts to the individual’s unique impaired speech patterns like breathing pauses and non-verbal sounds so that individuals with severe speech impairment can use it to communicate. Voiceitt does not need internet connectivity for usage and can be used everywhere.” The app integrates with Alexa.

OrCam Read

Forget audiobooks for the visually challenged: this little device “reads text aloud from any printed surface (newspapers, books, product labels) or digital screen (computers, smartphones) – in real time. Pen-sized, wireless, lightweight, intuitive point-and-click operation.” The company says its laser guidance creates an “AI reader that captures a full page or screen, or the user targets where to begin reading. High-intensity LEDs automatically illuminate reading in dimly-lit environments.”

myQ Pet Portal

What was the worst part about the classic doggy door? It never knew what other critters might be getting into the house besides your labradoodle. A remote-control pet door with two-way communication is the solution here: It’s a “smart panel” that can be opened and closed while the hoomans aren’t home.

Other Segments

As far as audio was concerned, it’s unfortunate that virtual shows disallow the actual experience, but the Harman Radiance system looks pretty interesting. The form factor here is intriguing: two slim, tower speakers with a subwoofer, plus streaming via a Wi-Fi hub. Touting their “Beamwidth” technology, this rig looks like it provides quite an immersive experience disguised as a sleek 2.1 system. (As we learned at ISE 2020 when we stumbled upon the K-Array booth, big sound is being delivered by smaller and smaller devices.)

Samsung rolled out a new phone line, the S21, which apparently ups the game on picture and video quality. LG picked up a CES Innovation trophy for their latest fridge with a bigger window and voice recognition.

And in a non-residential (but really important) development, the Filo team emailed us this “why-hasn’t-anyone-thought-of-this -before” message on the Filo Srl Tata Pad and Tata Band: “We have developed the first baby car seat reminder alarm to save children from accidental abandonment in the car and have successfully launched in Italy the past year, selling more than 1 million devices and partnering with some of the biggest car seat manufacturers in the world.” The Pad goes on the child seat (like a cushion), the Band option wraps around a seatbelt, and each delivers alarms in stages: if a child is left in a car for three minutes, the phone app alerts with a continuous 30-second sound, after four minutes, a call is placed, after seven minutes, emergency contacts – up to five – are notified.