Roundup: World's largest consumer electronics show goes digital in 2021

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-11 19:57:39|Editor: huaxia

Photo taken in Los Angeles, California, the United States on Jan. 10, 2021 shows a video of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), displayed on a mobile phone. (Xinhua)

"Our all-digital CES is going to provide a safe and meaningful way to gather the tech industry," says Karen Chupka.

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world's most influential and largest annual technology event, kicks off today and runs through Jan. 14 -- but this time with a twist amid the pandemic.

Instead of flooding 2.9 million square feet of exhibit space in Las Vegas with over 170,000 attendees and 4,000 exhibitors from all over the world, CES 2021's programming is all moving online, the first time in the CES' over five-decade history.

"Our all-digital CES is going to provide a safe and meaningful way to gather the tech industry," said Karen Chupka, executive vice president of CES.

To port such a data-heavy platform online, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes the event, had to confront some major challenges including bandwidth issues and the capacity to handle such large-scale traffic volume. To pull it off, the CTA partnered with Microsoft.

To further enhance the accessibility of the online programming, all CES content will have captioning and be translated via AI technologies into 16 languages in addition to English.

People visit the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the United States, Jan. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

"It will be the first time CES content will be able to be viewed worldwide by people from all over the world in their own language," Chupka added.

Though the online event will be paired down to about 1,700 exhibitors and 150,000 attendees, it will still be the global launch pad for what is new and exciting in high tech and consumer electronics.

With the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, the CTA anticipated that digital health and streaming technologies would be key themes in 2021.

COVID-19 catalyzed exponential growth in home entertainment, connection and automation for multi-national electronic companies like LG, Samsung, and Panasonic, said CTA sales and business development Vice President Brian Moon.

"More consumers at home have helped global brands and this will continue," Moon said. "We will see more of that home entertainment announced at CES 2021."

People visit the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the United States, Jan. 8, 2020. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaoling)

This year, the expo is also featuring a lineup of new products in 5G, AI, the Internet of Things, smart cities, transportation, contactless technologies and much more.

In the laptop arena, the planetwide move to working from home blurred the line between a work computer for business and a home laptop for recreation. Demand is high for devices that can serve multiple functions, fueling new development cycles geared toward the demands of pandemic life: better webcams, microphones and security features.

With every family member needing to stay connected at home for work or school, demand is also high for low-cost, high-reliable laptops.

Moreover, with so much to see and the added convenience of not having to travel to Las Vegas to attend the Expo, CTA hopes to enable greater participation and easier networking.

"The digital aspect allows us to bring new attendees that would have never gotten to visit CES," Brian Moon said. "Also, for the first-time attendees can meet each other via platforms -- you will be able to chat with attendees and exhibitors by setting up instant meetings."