We're two days into this year's virtual Consumer Electronics Show, and we've already seen big tech announcements from companies like LG, Razer, and even Yves Saint-Laurent and L'Oreal. From a "rollable" smartphone and transparent TVs to a $299 lipstick mixer, here are the highlights from the tech trade show so far.
Home entertainment, gaming and home office
Increasingly, we're seeing the category of home entertainment intersect with work-from-home technology.
Enter the surprisingly sleek Acer Predator Triton laptop, which is built for both gaming and working from home. "Normally to get a fast gaming laptop ... they're pretty big, pretty fat and pretty noisy with the fans," said Acer Pan America President Gregg Prendergast.
Also getting buzz in the home-office space: phones, TVs, desktops and watches.
Even though we're still years away from 8K resolution being mainstream, TV manufacturers are doubling down on the ultra-high-resolution technology.
TCL, known for value products, announced a full lineup of smart Roku TVs that support 8K. There's no word on pricing yet, but if TCL can make its new lineup more affordable than the $2,000 to $50,000 that 8K TVs have so far gone for, that could help push content creators and game makers to adopt 8K as well.
TVs are also going see-through in 2021. LG revealed a transparent 55-inch TV on Monday that resembles a sheet of glass. It's a trend that's picking up among TV makers like Xiaomi and Panasonic, though early products are still expensive and rare. LG did not announce pricing and didn't say if the product will be commercially available.
LG also showed off a a phone, called the LG Rollable, whose screen can roll up to make it a tablet. It will go on the market later this year, presumably aimed at people who want to stream Netflix on the go but also want a tablet that can fit in their pockets. "This rollable device is an exploratory look at what the future of smartphones may bring," LG wrote in a press release. Few other details about the phone were available, but the company told CNN Business in a statement that LG Rollable "will launch this year."
Samsung will release more phone news later this week, when it announces its Galaxy S21 lineup.
Sony also announced a new drone brand called Airpeak, aimed at professional photographers and videographers. It's coming this spring.
Some of the best parts of CES each year are its kooky gadgets for lifestyle and beauty. This year, ColdSnap has a product that serves up ice cream in a pod, and L'Oreal has a $299 lipstick mixer called Perso that uses artificial intelligence to identify color and mixes it at home for you.
Perso uses three lipstick cartridges (purchased separately for an additional $100) and works with an iOS and Android app. It previously debuted at CES in 2020 but the news this year is that it's launching this quarter, and instead of the skincare solution it was supposed to be, Perso pivoted to lipstick, a less saturated market.
L'Oreal is also touting a showerhead that it says saves 80% more water at the hair salon by by shrinking the droplets to be more efficient. Salons can attach this showerhead to their pre-existing systems and use it to save water and to produce "cloud foam" out of their shampoo, conditioner and powder products.
Of course, not everyone is wearing lipstick and going to the salon amid the pandemic. "We are also building solutions at home, with a goal to create sustainable tech anywhere consumers use our haircare products," said L'Oreal Tech Incubator global vice president Guive Balooch. "People are celebrating more milestones and occasions at home, and wearing lipstick remains to be a beauty ritual that makes them feel good."
What is pandemic-friendly is a new face mask from Razer.
Razer, known for its colorful gaming accessories, announced a concept design on Tuesday for an N95 face mask, which caught attention on social media for its glowing lighting effects -- it can flash different colors and vent air out. It also includes a disinfecting UV-light. The company also debuted a gaming chair concept.
For now, the two products are just ideas that Razer is considering for community feedback, and it hasn't announced any plans to bring them to market.