The robot, Samsung’s Bot Handy, is the company’s vision for “a better new normal,” as more people work, cook, eat and drown in dishes at home than ever during the global pandemic. As seen in a video shown at the all virtual 2021 CES consumer tech show on Monday, Bot Handy is, well, handy around the house; not only to pick up some unfinished chores but to remind you of upcoming meetings and to stretch your legs if you’ve been sitting for too long.
It’s only in development for now — no pricing or release date has been announced — but Samsung said it’s part of a greater effort to make technology to simplify your life at home. “The technologies in your home need to work harder to help you adjust to this new normal,” the company said in its session description on the CES website.
The pandemic tech theme took a step outside the home, too. Riding on the growth of online deliveries, lock manufacturer Yale announced it’s now shipping its smart delivery box to keep packages safe from porch pirates when they arrive. A delivery person places a package in the storage box, which automatically locks, and homeowners receive a notification.
Meanwhile, a Panasonic hair dryer that you don’t need to move — a built-in oscillator does all the work for you — also generated some buzz, at a time when many people have not gotten a proper haircut or blowout in too long.
People watch CES events to get a sense of where technology is going in the years ahead, but this year’s event is arguably about the industry catching up to the ways the pandemic reshaped our lives in the past year.
With vaccines on the horizon, it’s unclear how much longer we’ll be largely stuck at home, but these tech companies seem to be betting that even if the pandemic ends, our habits won’t entirely change.