“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 innovations and products will span the tech industry, from automotive to digital health, 5G, smart cities and beyond. On Jan. 11, the world’s media had exclusive access to nearly 20 press conferences from global brands. Media Day provided a sneak peek at the expected themes and trends for CES 2021, including a smarter home that creates a home, office and workout space; sustainable products for a longer, safer future; and innovations 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. “Audiences across the globe, many for the first time, will participate in a true broadcast event this week. With more than 100 conference sessions, including special entertainment events, attendees will hear the latest topics impacting the industry. They’ll also interact directly with exhibitors and fellow CES attendees, forming business connections for the future.”
Following Media Day, Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg delivered a keynote focused on 5G. Vestberg shared how the essential qualities of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network have come to life. These qualities include unparalleled upload and download speeds, enormous capacity and ultra-low lag, supporting more connected devices and mobile connection, and providing faster, more responsive service deployment and a new standard for energy efficiency and reliability. Verizon shared updates on the various projects and partnerships enabled by 5G Ultra Wideband, including the Verizon 5G Super Stadium Experience in the NFL app and the transformation of watching and experiencing sports; expanding the museum experience with 5G and an immersive art experiences with the Metropolitan Museum of Art; partnership with UPS and Skyward to support a nationwide drone delivery network; and deployment of 15 Live Nation venues enabled by 5G Ultra Wideband. Also, Verizon provided audiences with an immersive 5G-enabled entertainment experience from the Black Pumas.
Media Day featured a full day of press conferences from top exhibitors who broke news to a media-only audience, just as they would in Las Vegas. Media heard the latest breaking news, product launches and technology trends as a preview to the exhibitor showcase opening.
- Bosch: Showcased commitments to sustainability as the first global industrial enterprise to become carbon neutral and introduced an AI-enabled wearable fitness tracker that recognizes and records any type of fitness activity that is based on repetitive, cyclative patterns.
- Canon: Provided a sneak peek of Canon’s plans for the all-digital CES beyond cameras and printers, including redefining viewing the planet, skateboarding and tackling food waste
- Caterpillar: Shared the first application of command for Caterpillar’s autonomous mining trucks and groundbreaking technology in the most challenging conditions.
- Hisense: Announced the 2021 TriChroma Laser TV line.
- Indy Autonomous Challenge: Unveiled the world’s first autonomous racecar, to be used in the Indy Autonomous Challenge where 500+ university students are developing the technology to drive the racecar and win the competition for a $1.5 million prize.
- Intel/Mobileye: Shared news around the future of mobility for Mobileye, including plans to open deployment centers in Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris and Detroit, and use house-built lidar sensors.
- Kohler: Introduced a ceiling mount kitchen faucet with simple touch control; Kohler whole home water monitor that mounts underneath the cabinets, in partnership with Phyn; new Innate intelligent toilet; touchless bathroom faucets; freestanding soaking bath.
- LG Electronics: Announced next generation of LG PuriCare™ line for high-quality air management solutions; reimagined side-by-side refrigerator, including a wider window, premium interior look and Craft Ice feature; WashTower™ with convenient controls, built in intelligence and advanced cleaning; 2021 OLED evo TV lineup and QNED MiniLED TVs; CLOi UV-C Robot for disinfection; ThinQ App will transform into an open platform for lifestyle innovation.
- Magna International: Launched a joint venture with LG Electronics to manufacture e-motors, inverters and on board chargers and related e-drive systems for certain automakers, to support the growing global shift towards vehicle electrification.
- Mercedes-Benz: Showcased the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Hyperscreen, which uses AI to offer a seamless driver and passenger experience.
- OMRON Healthcare: Announced VitalSight – first remote patient monitoring service designed specifically for hypertension management.
- Panasonic: Announced technology partnership with Illuminarium Experiences to bring the new 360-degree immersive entertainment centers to life; launched newest OLED TV JZ2000; new Technics wireless headphones will launch later this year.
- Philips: Discussed the Philips vision and experience in the consumer and professional health tech space and announced the Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige that is backed by SenseIQ technology and artificial intelligence to intuitively adjust to the need of the user.
- Samsung Electronics: Announced 4-Door Flex Bespoke refrigerator that can be customized for any kitchen; JetBot 90 AI+ uses object recognition technology and sensors to identify and classify objects and decide the best cleaning path; Eco-packaging will be used for all TV products; Galaxy Upcycling at Home program where users can decide how to repurpose the Galaxy as other convenient home devices.
- Schneider Electric: Showcased Square D Energy Center, first-ever Square D connected light switches (X & XD range series) and Acti9 Active product, which together deliver a unique end-to-end energy management solution for homes in response to sustainability, resiliency, efficiency and personalization.
- Skyworth: Presented 2021 TV line up for North America – five series of TVs comprised of 16 different models.
- Sony: Introduced Airpeak, which integrates AI and robotics to enable creators to explore new heights for photo and video; shared preview of a new, immersive reality concert performance from Madison Beer to demonstrate the music showcase that will be available on Sony PlayStation VR, mobile devices, music video streaming platforms and more.
- Taiwan Tech Arena: Previewed some of the 100 startup teams from Taiwan Tech Arena that will unveil innovation at CES 2021. Startups are divided into Smart Living, Tech for Good, Cybersecurity & Cloud Solutions, Healthcare & Wellness and Mobility Tech.
- TCL: Announced OD Zero™ Mini-LED technology that provides viewers with a more realistic and sharper picture and allows for an ultra-thin TV profile; TCL’s first-ever Google TV; NXTPAPER tablet, TAB10s, MOVEAUDIO S600 wireless headphones, MOVETRACK Pet tracker and TCL 20 Series phones, with the 5G and SE phones available this month.
CTA’s Steve Koenig and Lesley Rohrbaugh presented 2021 Tech Trends to Watch during Media Day and gave an exclusive preview of the U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast. They shared the retail sales revenue for the technology industry will reach $461 billion in the U.S. in 2021 – a 4.3% increase year-over-year. And as millions of Americans remain home and rely on tech to stay entertained, connected and healthy during the pandemic, streaming services, 5G connectivity and digital health devices will stand out in the tech sector in 2021. For more, visit CTA.tech/forecasts.
CES 2021 is taking place Jan. 11-14.
- Jan. 12-13: Exhibitor showcase and conference programming.
- Jan. 14: CES Partner Programming.
- Access the digital venue and on demand content through Feb. 15, 2021.
Visit the digital venue to explore CES 2021 and get live updates from the show –including keynotes, conference sessions, product announcements and show floor coverage. Download CES B-roll, access important CES news and view other media assets on CES.tech.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.