CES 2021 will be an online-only event due to safety concerns

The organisers of CES 2021 have said the next tech gathering will be an online-only event. Held annually in Las Vegas, this will be the first time in its 54 year history there won’t be a physical gathering.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

It was necessary, of course, because of the current coronavirus global pandemic. This year’s CES manage to squeeze in just before the coronavirus spread. However, organisers are playing it safe for the next one and have already said the event, which is held in early January, will be online only.

CES stands for the Consumer Electronics Show. It has been the launching ground for many thousands of products since it first took place in 1967, including some that have changed our lives.

It is typically held across a 2.75 million-square-foot convention. This year it hosted some 4,500 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware and content. This was accompanied by a conference program featuring more than 1,000 speakers.

wearables and fitness technology to expect at ces 2020 1 - CES 2021 will be an online-only event due to safety concerns
Image source: CES

But in 2021 it will all be different and we definitely won’t be seeing the scenes from the picture above. The event will be held between January 6th and 9th but it will be an all-digital format. We’ll be able to follow it from our homes rather than travelling to Las Vegas.

“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it’s just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA.

“Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic — and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences.”

The CTA added that they’re planning to returning to Las Vegas in 2022.

Wearable tech typically makes a strong showing at CES. In 2020 we saw the launch of Huami’s Amazfit Bip S and T-rex, the unveiling of Muse S, Withings Scanwatch, Suungo 7, UrgoNightband, Diesel On Fadelite, NURVV Run, Skagen Falster 3, Mobvoi Ticpods Pro 2 and much more. It remains to be seen how many companies take advantage of the new format in 2021.

Most tech events in recent months have gone down this route. The Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona was cancelled, and Apple held an online version of its Worldwide Developer Conference in June. London’s Wearable Tech show did take place in early March but it was a much smaller affair this year.

IFA 2020 in Berlin will be a virtual event combined with some live gatherings. This is Europe’s largest tech gathering due to be held in early September.

It is unfortunate, but understandable considering the circumstances, that events are changing format. Let’s hope that things return to normal soon.

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