CES 2021 has tech’s answers to COVID, including smart masks, touchless doorbells and more


Tech companies offer air purifiers, disinfectant and more.


This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended lives around the world over the past year, forcing changes in how we live, work and even eat. At the annual CES show this week, tech companies are discussing a variety of ways to fight back against COVID-19 through masks, disinfectants, air purifiers and touchless technology.

The companies understand that no one technology can win the battle against the virus, which is why many of them are positioned as part of the new normal that life’s turning into. One such company, Alarm.com, created a Touchless Video Doorbell in an effort to cut down on transmission of bacteria and viruses that we otherwise often leave on places we touch. 


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It’s “another way we can stay vigilant and protect one another,” Alarm.com said.


The BioButton, by BioIntelliSense, claims to be FDA-cleared, wearable for up to 90 days and the size of a silver dollar coin.


There are robots that radiate ultraviolet light to disinfect high-touch, high-traffic areas in a corporate office, retail store or restaurant. There are sensors that stick to your body to detect flu-like systems with near-hospital-grade accuracy. And there’s a mask that has a built-in microphone so you can still take a call and be easily heard when you keep your mask on. Its name, appropriately, is MaskFone. “The MaskFone is a daily essential that protects you and anyone you cross paths with from harmful bacteria, viruses and pollution.”

These new coronavirus-fighting products are just the latest way tech is becoming a key part of modern life. Over the past year, countries around the world have instituted health lockdowns, pushed workers to telecommute and asked families in different households to stay apart. As many people have followed those guidelines, they’ve turned to videoconferencing, social networking and messaging apps to help stay in touch. 

They’ve used phones powered by Apple and Google software to help warn one another when they may have been exposed to the virus. And governments have created websites to help people avoid getting sick, and identify when they might be.


You don’t ring an Alarm.com doorbell. You stand on a welcome mat.


Many tech companies see this moment as an opportunity to prove their value, despite years of privacy and political scandals that have hurt their reputations and eroded trust among their customers.

Armed with more power and cash than almost any industry in history, the tech industry says it sees a calling to help.

“Our mission is to create products that play a meaningful role in people’s lives,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at one of the company’s livestreamed presentations in November. For 2021, he proclaimed Apple will do even more.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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