What The Tech?: CES Preview

CHARLOTTE – The largest technology conference in the world kicks off in Las Vegas this week. CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show begins Thursday at several locations including the Las Vegas Convention Center, Mandalay Bay, and The Venetian Expo Center.

There was no CES in 2021 due to COVID and last year only about 45,000 people were in attendance as many companies chose to back out and debut their new products over digital platforms.

In 2020, some 178,000 people attended CES, and this year over 100,000 people are expected when the doors open on Thursday including over 3,200 exhibitors. CES Spokesperson Allison Fried said there’s palpable excitement as CES approaches and that in the 17 years, she’s been part of the show, it’s noticeable how every company can be considered a tech company these days.

“We have the latest in digital health, therapeutics, and remote monitoring. We’ve got the building blocks of the metaverse, you name it it’s going to be here,” said Fried.

“The most exciting category is digital health for sure, sustainability is one that keeps coming up, and companies looking for ways to advance technology responsibly and sustainably.” John Deere will present a keynote this year and other companies will introduce tech products in the horticulture category.

CES has evolved from a show featuring TVs and computers to robot luggage, virtual reality, and typing on a device without a keyboard. And curiosities such as a mirror that could tell you if theoutfit you’re wearing is one you wore the last time you saw your friend by using artificial intelligence and Google Calendar events.

Another mindblowing product from 2020 was a digital projector that could display two movies or TV shows to people in the same room. People sitting on one side of the room could watch a ballgame while people on the other side of the room could watch a Netflix movie.

One of the more interesting categories this year is the metaverse.

“Everyone is still trying to figure out what that is and what it means and I can’t wait for you to talk to all of the companies on the show floor to figure out where we’re going with the metaverse,” said Fried.

Also, this year is a race between fully autonomous Formula One race cars at the Las Vegas Speedway.