CES 2021: the Tech show in Las Vegas wants to remain the go-between for innovators, even virtual
The annual Mainstream Tech High Mass, which is usually held in Las Vegas, hopes to remain a major meeting place for innovators and investors, even if it will take place entirely remotely due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will welcome fewer exhibitors than previous editions and will be dominated by Covid-19: innovations linked to technologies in the new organization of work, health services and education are particularly expected.
But the show, which runs Jan. 11-14, will be without the big-screen product launches, the chance encounters with creators, and the interactions with robots that have attracted thousands of attendees and visitors in recent years. . ” We were forced to adapt ”, explains Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes the show, ensuring that the virtual format “Will illustrate how (technological) innovation paves the way for a better tomorrow”. There will be the traditional presentations of new gadgets – some 1,700 exhibitors had already registered at the end of December, against 4,000 for the 2020 edition – interventions by figures of Tech and round tables on themes around influence technologies in everyday life.
Some events will be broadcast live, including for the general public, and presenters will guide participants to the events in real time. The most important thing is that the exchanges can take place, underlines Jean Foster, vice-president of the Consumer Technology Association: “ so we really designed the event so that people could interact with each other ”. Despite these efforts, the virtual format has discouraged more than one participant, analysts say. Bob O’Donnell, of Technalysis Research, notes that companies and startups looking to generate “buzz” will prefer to host their own virtual event to avoid being drowned in the crowd of online CES presentations.
But the show has an important card to play as a showcase for technologies made ultra popular by the pandemic. “People are using technologies in proportions they never imagined, to find new ways of living on a daily basis”, develops the expert. The health crisis has shone the spotlight on technological innovations in health, leading to a widespread adoption of telemedicine: remote medical consultations, via specific applications or by videoconference, have exploded because many people are reluctant or cannot get along. physically go to the doctor. She also gave importance to technological tools for distance learning, many schools still not having resumed face-to-face lessons.
Video streaming and video games have taken over the daily lives of more people because households are forced to stay at home due to travel restrictions and cultural establishment closures. Interest in gym equipment, such as exercise bikes, and the latest household appliances has increased dramatically. “Technology works – our virtual lives have been made possible by social networks and cloud platforms” (cloud computing), underlines Robin Murdoch at Accenture.
If the giants of Silicon Valley have been the big winners, opportunities have also multiplied for young shoots, who can now give way to their innovations. “We have observed a more than rapid evolution than in the past in the (development of) products”, says Murdoch. ” CES demonstrates the fact that technologies are now the basis of all industries ”. In particular the health sector, where the needs are exacerbated.
“Seniors are more and more isolated (…) because of the physical distancing imposed by the pandemic”says Arthur Jue, whose startup, LiveFreely, will unveil a personal assistant app for Fitbit items in an effort to keep families in touch with the elderly. Humetrix, a health technology company, will unveil software to manage patient medical records in particular, a response to the increasing number of consultations outside the framework of the attending physician.