The annual Consumer Electronics Show is one of the best looks at some of the best consumer technology that is coming down the pipeline over the next couple of years. Most of the technology won’t be readily available for a few years, and a lot of it may not even come to market, but one aspect of the event that is interesting is that for the first time it is completely virtual.
Every January, massive crowds show up in Las Vegas for CES. Since March of 2020, however, there have been many conferences postponed or moved online in attempts to avoid having massive crowds in one location. Despite the technology available to make this work, it radically depreciates the value of a conference. Today, we will briefly discuss the conference’s role in business, how CES 2021 will work, and some of the tech coming out of an all-virtual CES.
Conferences and Their Role In Business
Conferences have an important role to play in business. Not only does it give multiple businesses the opportunity to show off the goods and services they’ve been working on, it also gives their people the opportunity to see what their competitors are doing, network among their industry peers, and to learn about the new innovations that are happening inside their market. For many businesses, they are some of the only opportunities available to gain the exposure they require to keep going. That’s not to mention the workshops and breakout sessions typically given by industry leaders and experts.
As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has made large gatherings rather tricky (and very risky), so many conferences have tried their best to forge ahead virtually. CES 2021, which is one of the largest conferences attended by technology professionals every year, had to move to the Internet. You may think this would be fitting for an expo of innovative technology, but it has come with some logistical challenges.
How do you get 1,800 companies to coordinate online with 150,000 attendees? Streaming video. Companies from all over the world who normally would have a station in Las Vegas, are instead focusing on introducing their products and services virtually. Here are some of the trends of the three-day exhibition.
Obviously, people are having a hard time getting a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic as infection rates are up across the globe. Not surprisingly, there was a fair share of COVID-related devices. There were smart masks that connect to your phone and monitor your breathing and the quality of air in your immediate area. There were numerous introductions of touchless appliance fixtures using both motion sensor technology and voice recognition. There was a robot designed to use UV-C light to destroy viruses on surfaces, and a wearable air purifier.
TV innovations are always popular with CES attendees and a virtual conference doesn’t change that. One of the most innovative televisions was from LG, which introduced a 55-inch transparent TV that is built into a bed frame. They also introduced a 48-inch bendable display that can curve on demand.
CES 2021 saw two separate companies come out with new rolling displays for smartphones. LG introduced their rollable phone, they are calling LG Rollable as of now, that they plan on launching this year. Chinese company TCL also came out with a rollable phone that extends and contracts the display as you need it.
Everyone knows that 5G is probably the most important technology for 2021 (besides arguably COVID-19-themed tech), and despite what telecoms have been marketing, the technology is just now starting to be implemented. Companies discussed how 5G will improve the speed of society and provide new options for telemedicine and education. 5G is one of the core technologies needed to build smart cities, which is gaining plenty of traction as the technology gets deployed.
Fueled by 5G, one technology that has been emerging for some time, and that had a prominent place in CES 2021 is the driverless car. This is one of those “future” technologies that is very close to happening. There was even an event that explained that the tech is so close that people should start talking about the rules of governing autonomous vehicles.
Despite having to do it over the Internet, CES 2021 went off as planned. It may not be ideal, but it proves that innovation can’t be stymied by a global pandemic. Did you see something interesting from CES 2021? What do you think is the most impressive tech coming out of CES 2021? Comment below and return to our blog for more useful technology content.