CES 2021: A preview of this year’s consumer electronics show

Those are a few of the numerous brand-new items anticipated to be revealed next week at the Customer Electronic Devices Program, the yearly splashy tech conference that generally sets the tone for the most significant patterns of the year. House automation, health and 5G will as soon as again be buzzy subjects, however numerous business will likewise present pandemic-specific functions to show our increased time in your home.

Each year, press reporters, exhibitors and financiers generally check out Las Vegas display rooms filled with huge Televisions, wise vehicles and robotics repairing martinis, however CES will be online just for the very first time in its 54-year history due to Covid-19.

The Customer Electronic Devices Association, the not-for-profit behind the four-day occasion beginning Monday, stated 1,800 exhibitors from around the globe will fill its “digital venue” this year — a number that’s down substantially from 4,000 in-person exhibitors in 2015. The relocation will permit tech business from nations who have actually never ever participated in before to participate in the online phenomenon, however might likewise make it harder for smaller sized business to get discovered without a physical display room cubicle to come across.

Registered participants will have the ability to stream (and re-watch) keynotes from business such as Verizon (VZ) and General Motors (GM), tune in to breakout sessions — about how, for instance, innovation is contributing in vaccine release — and explore a computer system registry of exhibitors to see brand-new item discussions.

It’ll do not have a few of the signature components of the trade convention, such as hands-on time with the most recent gizmos, demonstrations and networking. However the innovation that makes our lives more linked and hassle-free will still resonate as we continue to browse an international pandemic. CNN Business will be tracking all the big announcements and then some.


5G will dominate discussions at CES 2021 much as it did last year.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg will kick off the show with a keynote focused on what the company has learned from rolling out its 5G network and tease its future plans. And Anne Chow, the CEO of AT&T Business, is expected to do the same in a breakout session. (WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN, is owned by AT&T.)

About 20 sessions, as listed on CES’ website, will dive into how 5G will reinvent various industries, from automobiles and smart cities to healthcare and farming. 5G-linked laptops may also make an appearance, according to David McQueen, research director at ABI Research. Manufacturers, including Dell (DELL) and Lenovo (LNVGF), have yet to reveal their 5G plans, pricing and overall strategies and could use this week to lay it out.

5G is here in many of our biggest products, including the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, but it certainly has not reached what’s believed to be its potential yet. These statements may offer a roadmap for how it gets there.

Health tech

Health gadgets, fitness equipment and wearables have long been popular at CES, but the category will be supersized this year, both because of an increase in demand from the pandemic and the industry gradually moving in this direction even before.

Next-level wearables will go beyond traditional tracking, much like the one that claims to influence your dreams. New fitness services and equipment that keep you connected to others will also surface, and there will be no shortage of gadgets that reflect how we live now.

“Look for a number of health solutions, especially those that claim that they can tell you if you are showing signs of possible infection — raised body temp, elevated heart rate and respiration — or if you are socially distanced enough,” said Ramon Llamas, research director at market intelligence firm IDC. “Or look at different disinfection solutions for the home, similar to the ones that claim they can zap unwanted or dangerous microbes on your phone.”

Digital transformation

Last year’s move to online-everything — telehealth, working from home, remote learning, streaming — will be a main talking point at CES, but so will tech’s role to better support those changes.

Microsoft (MSFT) president Brad Smith is expected to discuss expanding global broadband by using unused broadcast spectrum during the company’s presentation, according to Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. Meanwhile, telehealth visits may get more advanced with new augmented reality tools, and a rumored chip from AMD could help computers better handle multiplayer games. Samsung (SSNLF) already announced new Chromebooks — a cheaper alternative to higher-tier laptops — as millions of students learn from home.

Smart home

With millions of people staying home, companies are hoping they’ll add more smart devices and systems into living rooms, kitchens and elsewhere. Beyond products like smart refrigerators and washers, appliances such as robot vacuum cleaners and air filters may get smarter with voice integration.

According to ABI Research research manager Jonathan Collins, the pandemic helped boost the appeal of home care, social and educational robots, so we can expect a lot more of that this year at CES, too.

Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 launch event isn’t officially part of CES, but the company will use the conference’s last day to unveil three new smartphones. (It typically hosts its annual Unpacked event ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — the first major conference that was canceled in 2015 due to Covid-19). This year, we’re anticipating the lineup to consist of an enhanced electronic camera, a flatter style and a lower beginning rate.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.