All-Digital CES makes an impact

As we had mentioned in our preview, for the first time ever CES (probably the most influential tech event in the world) show is going all-digital. We as regular hosted media (15 years) are truly missing the adrenaline rush as we moved across halls and venues. As we eagerly await to visit Las Vegas in 2022 our editor Chandragupta Amritkar provides an in-depth recap as he takes you through the highlights of CES 2021.

CES 2021 did see a slew of gadgets and innovations as we in media navigated across platforms. As has been the case for the past few years there were lots of auto related innovations, 8K TVs, home theater, 5G smartphones, faster laptop chipsets, gaming chairs, intelligent home appliances, robot vacuums, more powerful drones and certainly the rollable tablets etc. With the ongoing pandemic how can tech companies be behind in innovation - smart masks, disinfecting robots, body sensors that detect COVID-19 symptoms and smart air filtration systems made their presence.

CES 2021 featured 2000+ exhibitors (including almost 700 startups from 37 countries) and more than 100 conference sessions from industry leaders who shared their visions for a better future. CES 2021 innovations and products spanned the tech industry, from automotive to digital health, 5G, smart cities and beyond. “The pandemic forced us to take a step back from a traditional CES, throw out the playbook and transform how we’d bring the tech community together,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “CES looks different this year, but the foundation of the show – innovation, connection, collaboration – remains strong and consistent. The digital transformation will continue for years, even as we return to Las Vegas in 2022. We have seen the value of connecting digitally and we can welcome even more people from around the world.”

CES 2021 kicked off Jan. 11 with Media Day, featuring 19 press conferences with companies including Bosch, Canon, Caterpillar, Hisense, Intel, LG Electronics, Mercedes-Benz, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and Sony breaking news and launching products. Trends from Media Day focused on “the home” with innovation that personalizes work, health and entertainment at home, as well as advancements in transportation and mobility. “Media Day offered an exciting preview for what’s to come at CES 2021, yet only scratched the surface of this groundbreaking CES experience,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, CTA.

Almost 2000 companies launched products during the all-digital CES 2021 Exhibiting companies included tech giants, such as Intel, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and Sony, as well as non-traditional tech companies, from AARP to Bridgestone, Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge, John Deere, L’Oréal, Moen and Procter & Gamble. New companies exhibiting at CES 2021 included ASUS, BioIntelliSense, Bose, Sono Motors and Volvo Penta.

“The industry came together digitally at CES 2021. This was a medium for companies to make announcements, launch products and connect with their audiences,” said Karen Chupka, executive vice president, CES. “The all-digital format brought new voices to the tech conversation.”

Keynote Announcements

With more than 100 conference sessions it was quite an attraction. Industry leaders took to the all-digital CES keynote stage to make major announcements, including:

Verizon: Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon, demonstrated the immersive 5G experience across sports, education, connected communities and live music, and announced partnerships with the NFL, UPS, Live Nation Clubs and Theaters, The Met and the Smithsonian.

General Motors: Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors (GM), launched new product lines from GM, including the Cadillac eVTOL, a concept air taxi; and a new business unit devoted to electrifying the goods delivery market.

AMD: Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD, revealed the new Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors with two categories – the H-series, for laptops intended for gaming and content creation and the U-series, for ultraportable notebooks.

Walmart: Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, discussed ways 5G, AI and robotics will change the business; how Walmart pivoted to keep employees healthy and customers satisfied; and the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Microsoft: Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, gave his vision on ensuring cyber security and customer privacy protection, and discussed the tech industry’s responsibility to exercise our conscience.

Content can be accessed on demand through Feb. 15, 2021.
CES 2022 will take place in person in Las Vegas, and digitally, Jan. 5-8, 2022.

Do visit our Gadgets@CES 2021 section