Let's Get Digital: Consumer Electronics Show Withdraws From the Real World for 2021

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
lets get digital consumer electronics show withdraws from the real world for 2021

Via a Google search, an old press release floated up from January of 2019 that, in hindsight, foreshadows current events. You see, because of the shutdown, organizers of last year’s Consumer Electronics Show warned attendees that they might see some changes to programming.

That shutdown was the byproduct of typical partisan wrangling. Fast-forward to 2020 and all programming, everywhere, is impacted by an altogether different shutdown, one which stands to turn next year’s CES tech extravaganza into an online-only affair.

CES announced Tuesday that the upcoming trade show will move to an “all-digital experience” come January, with the virus-defeating move serving, hopefully, as a single-year change.

“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 of the Consumer Technology Association.

“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 organizers ended on a hopeful note, stating, “We plan to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, combining the best elements of a physical and digital show.”

Growing in importance year over year, CES kick-starts the year’s trade show circuit, allowing automakers and suppliers to show off their latest advancements in electric propulsion, safety nannies, and autonomous driving tech. Attendance at the show is now viewed, at least by some, as more important than traditional auto show appearances — especially if you haven’t yet brought a product to market.

The move to an all-digital experience for CES comes as the L.A. Auto Show still maintains a late-November 2020 event date. That’s a show destined for cancellation.

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Eggsalad Eggsalad on Jul 28, 2020

    CES, along with every other convention held in Las Vegas, is how I make my living. Apparently at age 56, it's time for me to learn a new trade.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jul 28, 2020

    I would love to comment on this article, but the power to my home is out at the moment...

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Auto insurance renewal every six months. Ten year old car, good driving record, own my own home, excellent credit score, no teenagers on the policy, etc, etc, etc.Yet, I pay thru the nose!!!!!Adds on the morning news brag about $500k settlements.I paid less when I lived in New York State.
  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
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