By Joo Kyung-don
SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean firms, anchored by Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., wrapped up their four-day journey at the world's largest tech expo Thursday after introducing their innovations for the new normal era of the pandemic.
This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) went all-digital for the first time due to the novel coronavirus.
The number of exhibitors for CES 2021 was only 1,960, which was far less than last year's 4,500 attendees, as many Chinese firms decided to skip the show following the U.S-China trade war.
Against this backdrop, South Korea was represented by 341 exhibitors at CES 2021, the second largest after the United States, which sent 566 firms. China only had 202 exhibitors at the U.S.-organized event.
Samsung and LG again spearheaded South Korea's tech prowess at the show, with both highlighting products and technologies that can be useful to consumers amid the pandemic-induced stay-at-home trend.
Samsung showcased artificial intelligence (AI) powered services and robots at its press conference, introducing its AI-powered vacuum cleaner, the JetBot 90 AI+, for the first time.
The Samsung Bot Handy also made its debut. The new robot can pick up objects after analyzing their sizes, shapes and weights through advanced AI technology.
It introduced the SmartThings Cooking service, which manages people's meal plans from recommending ingredients to sending recipe instructions to Samsung's cooking devices, as well as the Samsung Health Smart Trainer, an at-home fitness service using smart TVs.
Samsung also promoted its customizable home appliances under its BESPOKE brand and its new 2021 TV lineup, including the new Neo QLED TV that utilizes Mini LED technology, at CES 2021.
LG created a buzz by teasing its first smartphone with a rollable display at its press conference. The LG Rollable smartphone is expected to be launched within the first half of the year.
The company also featured a virtual human, Reah Keem, at its press event to showcase its AI and deep-learning technologies.
LG emphasized its vision of open innovation at CES 2021 and explained its partnership with global partners, including its joint venture agreement with auto parts maker Magna International Inc.
It unveiled a plan to expand its LG ThinQ ecosystem, introducing the "scan-to-cook" feature in collaboration with food-tech firm Tovala and adding that such food technology will be compatible with products from global household makers Nestle and Kraft-Heinz.
When it comes to electronics products, LG promoted its customizable home appliance line, LG Objet Collection. It also unveiled the 2021 TV lineup that includes the QNED Mini LED TV and upgraded OLED TV.
Its affiliate LG Display Co. unveiled various solutions related to OLED panels, from the industry's first 48-inch bendable cinematic sound OLED display to transparent OLED.
A slew of non-traditional electronics firms, including Hyundai Motor Co., were absent at this year's virtual CES, but some South Korean companies made their debuts.
Among them, GS Caltex Corp., a major refiner in South Korea, showcased its future concept of gas stations and its services related to drones and electric vehicles.
Local auto parts maker Mando Corp. also participated in CES for the first time and promoted its advanced auto parts and solutions.
Hundreds of South Korean startups also showcased their products and services at CES 2021 in various sectors including pet care, entertainment and education.
Of the 386 CES 2021 Innovation Awards given, South Korean companies won 100, according to the Korea Information & Communication Technology Association.
The CES Innovation Awards is an annual event that honors outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products across 28 product category.
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