From smart pillows to COVID tests, tech products address pandemic

Consumer Electronics Show goes virtual for first time

Not only is the Consumer Electronics Show all digital for the first time ever, many of the products being shown focus on health and home, relevant to pandemic times.

SAN ANTONIO – If the pandemic has you stressed out and unable to sleep, how about a smart pillow to soothe you into personalized comfort?

It’s just one of the products wowing the audience of the Consumer Electronics Show, which ditched the giant Vegas showroom this year for an all-digital exhibition.

“It was the only way we could convene the tech companies safely,” said Sarah Brown with the Consumer Technology Association.

This year, in addition to dazzling innovations surrounding 5G, 8K televisions and rollup phones, the industry took on a pandemic relevance with products focuses on health and home.

Abbott is out with the first virtually guided COVID test kit, available by prescription for $25.

“Not only does the app guide on how to administer, but it also authorizes the results,” Brown said.

It is a rapid nasal swab test, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

About that pillow - the Air Cozy smart pillow automatically adjusts its height according to whether you’re sleeping on your back, side or stomach.

“It actually connects so you can get your music streamed through your pillow, and it has five different white noise sounds,” Brown said.

Also on digital display, Olive Union’s new product that looks like ear buds.

“They actually are not,” Brown said. “They are assisted smart hearing devices. You can stick them in your ear and they help with mild to moderate hearing loss.”

The Olive Pros list for about $300, but a quick check showed them at $200.

Lessons have been learned from home-schooling.

Asus is showing a new laptop designed for kids and the classroom. The laptop has a rugged exterior, a screen with lower-emitting blue light and 10 hours of battery life.

“The keyboard is built to be spill-resistant as our children do work virtually,” Brown said.

Technology has seen record sales since the pandemic began. As the reliance continues, companies are working to innovate to meet the need for a better normal.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.