CES always promises innovation and this year’s virtual only event did not disappoint. Startups brought cutting edge innovations in Health, Tech, and Entertainment, while big tech focused more attention on ethics and privacy.

The conference kicked off with acclaimed author Thomas Friedman sharing his thoughts on humanity's latest Promethean moment. His revelation is that tech has made everything we touch “fast, fused, and deep.”

In a fast world, skills need to be learned “just in time" not "just in case.” Education must be a fusion between traditional schools, apprenticeships, and workplaces. Humanity and machines must share values. Deep state, Deepfake, Deep research. "Deep" emerged in our everyday language without a “global lexicographer.” Friedman continued “We’ve seen technology going deep inside us, deep inside our systems, deep inside our bodies.”

Apps INSIGHT CES2021 Thomas Friedman1

Moving Fast

When the pandemic hit, we adopted lifestyle changes some said would take years to get to. What tech does this new world have in store for us?

It’s no surprise that Clean Tech was popular this year. Razer, the gaming company, debuted a smart mask concept that includes voice amplification and a transparent front to help improve communication. The advancements ensure we can keep 6 feet between us during a conversation.

Apps INSIGHT CES2021 Smart Mask2

As life returns to normal, people will crave in person experiences like never before. Illuminarium, an immersive event space, uses projectors and 3D sound to envelop audiences. The event space can easily change itself via content. During the day it serves up immersive theater experiences. In the evening it transforms into a bar and lounge with beautiful celestial sequences. The first Illuminarium opens in Atlanta this year with "Wild: The World’s First Virtual Safari. "

Apps INSIGHT CES2021 Illuminarium3

Health and Tech spaces continue to converge. Akili Interactive showed off the first video game approved by the FDA to treat ADHD. EndeavorRX is a digital treatment for kids aged 8-12 with ADHD. Medications as part of a therapeutic program. In Akili Interactive’s studies, they found that 68% of parents saw an improvement in their children’s ADHD after two months of use.


Dreem was another fascinating piece of Health Tech shown. It uses an app paired headband to report and analyze user’s vitals. It can then make recommendations to improve the person’s sleep.

Apps INSIGHT CES2021 Dreem5

Fusion: Shared values between Humanity and Machine

Microsoft President Brad Smith’s keynote was a highlight of the show. He spoke against the recent SolarWinds cyber attack and called for guardrails on AI. He only had one Microsoft specific agenda item. He demonstrated how their server farms are moving to sustainable energy. It was a great example of how companies should address consumer values.

Apps INSIGHT CES2021 Brad Smith Microsoft6

Brian Deese, the new Director of the National Economic Council, was interviewed. In it, we learned of the Biden’s administration's plans for the Tech Sector. He said that companies have an obligation to serve consumers, not just shareholders. He called for tech companies to be ethical about data use and to take care of their workforce.

Somer Simpson, VP of Product at Quantcast, spoke of her ideas to keep the internet free and open. She sees consent management platforms becoming the new norm. Consumers will feel empowered meaningfully managing their data, instead of blindly clicking “Yes” on cookie consent forms.

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