A lot can happen in a year.
Especially in our world of technology where every week Apple is coming out with a new phone, and kids these days can figure out how to solve their laptop issue by googling the answer. Since the world of technology does move so fast, we thought it would be a great idea to highlight some of the tech highlights of 2021 in case you missed it.
Wired is a fun IT website that we like to browse and earlier this year they put out an article of the “CES 2021 Highlights: 79 Gadgets and Glimpses Into the Future.” We took five of the eighty products and posted them below! Check out the nifty and unique gadgets you may have missed in 2021.
Afraid of Leaving Your Kid in a Hot Car? There’s a Device for That
Every year we hear horrific news stories about babies left in hot cars, so it’s no surprise that tech companies are trying to prevent that tragedy. The company Filo is one of them. In 2020, it launched the Tata Pad safety pad for older children. This year, it debuted a small band meant for infants that attaches to the car seat’s seat belt, called the Tata Band.
Both devices have capacitive sensors to detect the presence of a child, and they connect to your phone via Bluetooth. When that connection is lost (because you’ve left the vehicle), but it still detects a child, the parent is notified with three levels of alarms. The first is a notification, the second is a call, and the third alarm sends calls and messages to predetermined emergency contacts who can access the GPS location of the Tata. If your phone is off, it will still notify the emergency contacts.
Tata is not currently available in the US, but the company says it hopes to be soon. We have covered other baby safety products before that are available. There is also the eClip from Elepho, though we haven’t tested that yet.
PopSockets Get Magnetic
PopSockets are a great way to maintain a firm grip on an oversized smartphone, but leaving them on the back of your phone all the time can be annoying, and it can even disable wireless charging. Thanks to the iPhone 12’s MagSafe system of magnetically attachable accessories, PopSockets has a better solution. The iconic PopGrip is now MagSafe-compatible, so you can easily pop it on and off your phone. It has a nonslip rubber bottom that makes it longer than usual, but this is to prevent it from detaching from the phone when you put it in a pocket.
It also has a few more new accessories like the PopWallet Plus with MagSafe, a wallet with a grip that sticks to the back of your iPhone that can fit up to three cards, and PopMount, a series of MagSafe mounts that let you stick your iPhone 12 to any surface or to car vents.
These new accessories only work with the new iPhone 12 models. PopSockets says these accessories will launch this spring and summer, though it didn’t share pricing.
It’s a Keurig-Style Ice Cream Machine
Among the most outlandish kitchen accessories on virtual display this year is the ColdSnap, a Keurig-like device that instantly freezes everything from ice cream to frozen margaritas. Plop in an aluminum pod and 90 seconds later you’ll be tucking into an ice-cold treat.
ColdSnap claims that because its pods (which look like Red Bull cans) are 100 percent recyclable, and because its confections can be stored and transported at room temp before they’re instantly frozen, it saves on ice-cream-related emissions. I’m not sure every can will end up being melted down, but I do like the idea of ice cream on demand. One thing’s for sure: You’ll want a sturdy place to plop the 50-pound behemoth.
A Fully Stocked Soundbar
I always recommend people hook up a subwoofer and surround speakers to their televisions if possible, but sometimes an all-in-one soundbar is all you can fit in your space. That’s where new bars like the JBL Bar 5.0 are really breaking new ground. This single soundbar uses JBL’s proprietary technology to bounce sound around your TV room, and it’s able to simulate true Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound without a single extra speaker. It’s even compatible with Alexa, Google Chromecast, and Apple AirPlay, for all your streaming needs. If you’ve been trying to better enjoy films in a tiny quarantined apartment, this might be the best option around.
Ampere’s Bluetooth Shower Speaker Is Powered by Water
Have you ever wished your showerhead could pump out water and tunes at the same time? No? Well, accessory-maker Ampere’s Shower Power does exactly that. The shower head is compatible with most plumbing, and the affixed speaker pairs with your phone over Bluetooth. Don’t worry, there’s no need to plug the shower head into an outlet. The whole thing is powered by the very water that moves through it. As a bonus, the plastic parts are made from recycled ocean plastic. It was funded on Indiegogo in late 2020 and is expected to ship this May for $100.
This Fridge Makes Ice Spheres
LG showed off a new side-by-side refrigerator at CES this year. The thing most people are talking about is the glass panel on its main door, and you can knock on the glass to turn on an interior light and see what’s inside.
But that’s not the true innovation. The only thing you need to know about the new LG fridge is that it includes a mechanism that makes spherical “craft ice.” Yes, the freezer’s ice maker can pump out boring cubes and pedestrian pebbles, but it can also make slow-melting ice balls that you can put into your glass of whiskey or bourbon for a more delicious beverage that’s less watered down. The ice balls don’t drop out of the dispenser nozzle. That sounds too dangerous. You just open the door and reach into the bin where they appear … automatically. The march of human progress.
And this is where we decided to stop. Just to give a taste of what you may have missed in 2021. If you want to check out the rest of the gadgets go to https://www.wired.com/story/ces-2021-highlights-liveblog-whole-show/
If 2021 had all of these cool gadgets. Imagine what is to come in 2022!