World tech show, CES 2021, goes all-virtual

The global stage for innovation is kicking off the week of Jan. 11. The Consumer Electronics Show, now known as CES, has the latest high-tech product launches and demonstrations and for the first time ever, the show is going all virtual.

This move online is in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic and marks the safest way of making sure the event takes place without risking staff, exhibitor and attendees’ health. It also allows for more people to attend and will bring together a global market.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Technology Association, said this past year has been “unlike any other year.” There have been challenges, he said, but the opportunities have meant “we have moved to this digital transformation quicker than ever.”

Smart cities, artificial intelligence, and digital health are just a few of the discussions happening this year at CES 2021. The program is as follows, with the embedded sessions restricted to registered attendees only.

Jan. 11, 2021: Exclusive Media only access
Jan. 12, 2021: Exhibitor showcase and conference programming
Jan. 13, 2021: Exhibitor showcase and conference programming
Jan. 14, 2021: Additional conference programming

The CES Innovation Awards program is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The program recognizes honorees in a multitude of consumer technology product categories and distinguishes the highest rated in each.

In 2020, 464 products received awards, with 31 named Best of Innovation winners. The Colgate Plaqless Pro toothbrush won in Health & Wellness, Outsight with its 3D Semantic Camera won in the In-Vehicle Entertainment & Safety/Smart Cities category, Virsix Games with its St. Noire, an Alexa hosted cinematic board game, won in the Gaming category, and TecPal LTD won with its Smart Kitchen Cooking Machine in the Home Appliances and Smart Home category.

For a complete list of award winners, click here.

As consumers increase their entertainment options, it is expected there will be a surge in TV, audio, and gaming sales in the next year. Products expected to generate a lot of interest at CES 2021 include:

Samsung’s its LSP9T Ultra Short Throw projector, dubbed The Premiere, is likely to be one of many consumer projectors on the market in 2021 as big screen entertainment at home starts to take hold.

The Japanese electronics giant is celebrating its 50th year as an exhibitor at CES. Its virtual press conference is scheduled for Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. EST. Like the other major TV manufacturers, each CES sees an annual update of its TV ranges, so new OLEDs and 8K models are expected to be announced and, now that the PS5 has finally been launched, any new Sony TVs might come with an increased number of HDMI 2.1 ports. The company’s Acoustic Surface Audio, which vibrates the panel itself to produce sound could also find itself in more models.

With solid sales in the United States, (TCL is the number two seller of TVs in the United States) TCL will likely unveil new TV models, especially with its next generation Vidrian mini LED backlights – delivering up to 5,000 dimming zones for better contrast. Potentially, they could offer smaller mini LEDs, leading to more dimming zones, Quantum Dots and AI controlled images on board. TCL will also look to bolster its soundbar lineup, perhaps expanding the 3.1 channel TS9030, which uses reflector based Ray.Danz technology, to 5.1 channels or more.

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