Technology is in one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments right now. New developments arrive so quickly and in so many forms that it can feel impossible to keep up with. In any given year, there’s no telling what kinds of miracles will arrive packaged in an electrical enclosure.
If the big tech launch announcements we’ve seen at big electronics events like CES 2021 are any indication, the coming months will provide a bonanza of innovations. As businesses reopen and tech gets back to the business of change, what can technology enthusiasts expect from the rest of the year? We’ve lined up seven planned releases that could shake things up.
1. Virtuix Omni One
We’ve been waiting for a technology that truly masters the intersection of VR and fitness, and the Virtuix Omni One could be it. This “VR treadmill” successfully raised over $19 million in startup funding, and it’s poised to challenge companies like Peloton for their dominance of the red-hot IoT fitness market. Strap on the Omni One’s special vest and shoes and you’ll be treated to one of the most immersive VR experiences yet designed. You’ve got a full 360 degrees of movement at your disposal, thanks to the omnidirectional pad, and an attached robotic arm keeps you balanced safely. Time will tell if the Omni is the major breakout technology VR has been waiting for, but Virtuix is certainly making a statement with their first offering.
2. LG Autonomous Robot
A robot that’s skilled in sanitizing is a great fit for our hygiene-obsessed times, and LG is here to deliver one. This monolith-like robot is equipped with an ultraviolet sanitizing light that’s designed to blast away germs in public spaces like hospitals, schools, restaurants, stores and more. It’s also built to be simple to command on the job, with a connected app that workers can use to alter the robot’s duties and monitor its progress. If the technology takes off, it could be a boon for public health far into the future, even when the COVID pandemic is finally behind us.
3. Sony Airpeak S1 Drone
Sony’s new drone is on its way this year, and it could create a revolution in the market for professional-level camera drones. The Airpeak S1 is rated for stability in winds of up to 44.7 miles per hour, and it has a blinding 0-to-50 speed of just 3.5 seconds. Its control systems are highly versatile, with the option for one person to control the camera in flight while the other steers or even to create a fully programmable and repeatable automated flight path. Plus, it sports an automatic return to home (RTH) function when its battery is low or it loses signal—a must-have for a drone that’s expected to cost $9,000.
4. TIDAL for Bugatti Royale Speakers
These speakers are billed as “the Bugatti of home audio,” and for once, that isn’t hyperbole. They’re exactly what they sound like: all-in-one home speaker systems, built by a top-end sports car company and aimed at those who demand the ultimate sonic luxury. These audio giants stand nearly five feet tall and come designed with all the signature Bugatti curves, and each one contains four separate subwoofers. The price tag? If you’re asking, you probably can’t afford them—but for reference, they start at $318,000 and ascend to north of $600k with additional features.
5. Samsung 110-inch MicroLED TV
Your home theater experience can reach its greatest heights—and widths—yet with this massive 4K TV from Samsung. What’s more, it will actually offer a split screen mode that allows multiple users to watch their programs simultaneously, which is a great feature for families. But most of us will be there for the picture quality, and that’s where this high-tech TV delivers most of all. The secret lies in its true LED display, which replaces the LED-lit LCDs that many TVs have billed as LEDs for years. The result is a quantum leap in picture quality and color fidelity, and the nearly bezel-less design certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
6. Roland Verselab MV-1
We’ve come a long way from when portable music recording studios had only basic functions and were housed in an electronics project box that weighed a ton. Now, we’re in something of a golden era for home-based and portable music production tools, and the Roland Verselab MV-1 is here to set a new benchmark. This all-in-one digital music production is designed to do it all—from sequencing beats to recording vocals using a high-quality onboard mic preamp. Its streamlined controls are designed for maximum flexibility and simplicity, and it comes with over 1,000 onboard loops so tunesmiths can get started creating right out of the box. In a world where some of the biggest new artists got their start making beats on a laptop, the MV-1 could be the latest leap that inspires a new generation of musical creativity.
7. Razer Project Hazel
Finally, we’ve gotta give credit to one of the more creative tech projects recently announced: the Razer Project Hazel, a smart face mask with some eye-opening features. First, there’s the filtration: N95 standard, with active disc ventilation. But it’s the communication features that really wow you: built-in voice projection to make the wearer easy to understand, plus a transparent design that allows your full face to be seen. Then, of course, there’s the built-in RGB lights beloved by many in Razer’s gamer fanbase. And if you were worried that the flattening COVID curve in many countries would mean Project Hazel never sees the light of day, fear not: Razer has confirmed that it is indeed pursuing full production.