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The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced its CES 2021 Innovation Awards honorees, marking the first time its winners will be recognized in an online-only format.

The annual awards are normally announced about this time of year, and then the winners are hosted at a media reception in Las Vegas at CES. But this year, the big tech trade show will happen virtually. The honorees represent 28 product categories, and they signify outstanding products, upcoming trends, and how tech companies are changing life for the better. I would typically attend that reception and interact with the tech.

The first-ever all-digital CES 2021 will take place online from January 11 to January 14. Audiences from around the world will be able to participate — many of them for the first time. The CTA will do its best to get people excited in their own homes as exhibitors host live demonstrations. It will be a test for whether online trade shows are worth it.

The CES 2021 Innovation Awards received more than 1,200 submissions and those designated as honorees, including product descriptions and photos, can be found at CES.tech/innovation. A panel of industry expert judges — including members of the media, designers, engineers, and more — reviewed submissions based on innovation, engineering and functionality, aesthetic, and design. I haven’t seen the full description of these products or what they look like, but some of the descriptions from Sony, Samsung, and others are pretty exciting. It gives me a good feeling that, despite the pandemic, the march of tech isn’t halting.

The full list of Best of Innovation and all honorees will be revealed during CES 2021, on January 11, 2021. Registration is now open. Best of Innovation honorees include the following:

Sign at CES 2019.

Above: Sign at CES 2019.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

In-vehicle entertainment and safety

1st Mate Marine Safety and Security System, Brunswick

Computer hardware and components

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series desktop processors, Advanced Micro Devices

Wearable technologies

BioButton medical grade device and data services, BioIntelliSense

Smart cities

EES (Electromagnetic Engineered Surfaces), E2IP Technologies

Health and wellness

Epsy, Epsy

Headphones and personal audio

Galaxy Buds+ BTS Edition, Samsung Electronics

Mobile devices and accessories

Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G/Galaxy Note20 5G, Samsung Electronics

Vehicle intelligence and transportation

IBM and The Mayflower Autonomous Ship and The AI Captain, IBM

Streaming

Imverse Live3D rendering engine and volumetric holograms, Imverse

Robotics

John Deere X-Series Combine, John Deere

Computer peripherals and accessories

Lumi Keys 1, Roli

Accessibility

OrCam Read, OrCam Technologies

Software and mobile apps

Origin Health — remote patient monitoring, Origin Wireless

Home appliances

P-Next3 InstaView Door-in-Door with Voice Recognition, LG Electronics

Computer hardware and components

Spatial Reality Display, Sony Electronics

Vehicle intelligence and transportation

The Fifth-Generation Waymo Driver, Waymo

Home appliances

U by Moen Smart Faucet, Moen

Digital imaging/photography

Vespera, Vaonis

Health and wellness

VROR Eye DR, M2S

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