Despite Rash of High-Profile Cancellations, CES Organizers Vow to Press On — For Now

After a flurry of high-profile exhibitors such as Google, Microsoft, Meta (Facebook), Intel and TikTok dropped out of CES 2022 last week over Omicron variant concerns, show organizers nevertheless vowed to press on with an in-person event in Las Vegas.

In a press release issued three days before Christmas, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reiterated its intent to proceed with the show, scheduled for Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas, despite what it said were 42 exhibitor cancellations. 

Since then, there’s been no further communication from the CTA, leading to widespread speculation that plans are still in flux. The latest daily email briefing from VPO/PR Newswire’s dedicated online press page for CES, issued late Sunday, Dec. 26, had just two press releases from exhibitors. And on social media, particularly Twitter, calls for the CTA to cancel the show appear to be mounting, with #cancelCES an increasingly popular hashtag.

In a Dec. 22 news release, CTA said the show will proceed as scheduled “with strong safety measures in place, and our digital access is also available for people that don’t wish to, or can’t travel to Las Vegas. Our mission remains to convene the industry and give those who cannot attend in person the ability to experience the magic of CES digitally.

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“While we recently received 42 exhibitor cancelations (less than 7% of our exhibit floor), since last Friday we’ve added 60 new exhibitors for our in person event. Registrations for both our digital access and our Las Vegas event are continuing to show strong momentum, with thousands more registrations in the last few days. … We have increased our official count to over 2,200 exhibitors. …

“Given CES’s comprehensive health measures — vaccination requirement, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests — coupled with lower attendance and social distancing measures, we are confident that attendees and exhibitors can have a socially distanced but worthwhile and productive event in Las Vegas, as well as a rewarding experience on our digital access.”

CES went virtual in January 2021, but as a winter COVID-19 surge began to ebb and movie theaters and other businesses began to reopen, the CTA on April 28 announced CES 2022 would once again be held in person in Las Vegas in January 2022.

At the time, CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas — home to CES for more than 40 years — and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces. Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.” 

Several media outlets, including TechCrunch and The Verge, also have said they will not send reporters to the show. Media Play News editors still plan on attending.

Organizers of the Pepcom Digital Experience, held in concert with CES at the Mirage hotel, announced they are also still planning an in-person event — though they plan to add a live-streaming presentation.

“Happily, most of you have told us you can still attend,” read an email. “But for those who cannot, we will be streaming the event live from 7-10 p.m. PT on Jan. 4.”

LG: New TV Models Feature Increased Style, Function

LG Electronics USA at CES 2022 will unveil its Lifestyle TV lineup “conceived and developed for today’s home-centric way of life,” according to the company.

“LG’s Lifestyle TVs can help transform a home into an office, gym, gallery, workshop or entertainment center, all while elevating the decor and making everyday living more enjoyable,” according to a company press release.

The lineup includes the LG Objet TV (model 65Art90) and LG StanbyME (model 27Art10), “two innovations that eschew conventional display design,” according to the company.

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Resembling a canvas, the LG Objet TV has a minimalist style and neutral colors. The TV includes an LG Remote that raises or lowers a fabric cover as the viewer sees fit. Viewers can lower the cover to reveal the full extent of the screen or partially cover the display to only see a curated selection of lifestyle functions. “Full View” mode reveals LG Objet TV’s 65-inch OLED evo panel. In addition to an advanced processor, the TV also has an 80W, 4.2-channel sound system. When set to “Line View,” the TV features the date and a clock, transforms into an audio player in “Music” setting or displays a collection of exclusive space and nature-themed images when set to “Gallery.”

The interchangeable fabric cover is a product of Danish textile company Kvadrat. The three available colors — Kvadrat Beige, Kvadrat Redwood, Kvadrat Green — have all been carefully selected for their ability to match a wide color palette and blend in with a range of interior designs, according to LG.

The TV is designed to be positioned against a wall at an angle of up to five degrees. The TV’s in-cable frame system allows viewers to connect external devices such as a cable set-top box or game console. It can also be installed flush to the wall.

LG StanbyME

The LG StanbyME is a wireless private TV screen with a built-in battery attached to a moveable stand with concealed wheels that allows for three hours of viewing before recharging. LG StanbyME, featuring a 27-inch display, can be moved from room to room. The screen can be swiveled, tilted and rotated while in both landscape and portrait orientation. The height can be adjusted, allowing the viewer to customize the position according to the usage scenario. Mobile Screen Mirroring works with Android and iOS smartphones and NFC. A removable cradle lets the viewer place a phone on top of the LG StanbyME for video calls, online classes and streaming content. Users can also connect their laptops or PCs to StanbyME via a wired (USB, HDMI) or wireless connection. Control options include remote, touch and gesture recognition. The TV includes a rear cover clad in a textural fabric and finished in an exclusive “Pure Beige” color, according to the release. When not being used as a TV, LG StanbyME can display artworks, photos or a calendar with clock.

CES Adds More Exhibitors, Attendees

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced that, in the last 10 days, 200 additional companies have signed up to exhibit and an additional 10,000 attendees have registered to attend CES 2022 in person in Las Vegas on Jan. 5-8.

Cenntro Automotive, HTC, Micron, NVIDIA, TikTok and others are the latest companies to announce their participation.

“The excitement continues to build as we get closer to the moment where the world’s most influential technology innovators meet in person with customers, media, investors and policymakers,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to now welcome over 1,900 exhibitors from all over the world to show how tech is improving our lives and transforming industries.”

More than 2,400 members of the media have now registered to attend CES in person, the CTA announced. 

The show attracted about 170,000 attendees and 4,500 exhibitors pre-pandemic.

A full exhibitor directory and floor plans can be accessed at CES.tech.

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CES 2022 will feature new categories including Food Tech, Space Tech and NFTs. The automotive sector is tracking for record growth and has more than 200 exhibitors, a 30 percent increase over CES 2020, according to the CTA. 

The show will feature 195 Fortune Global 500 companies, 77 Interbrand 100 companies, and 66 top 100 retailers (based on Twice 2020 Top Retailers). Organizers also noted that 55% of registered attendees are senior-level with 160 countries represented.

CTA will continue to monitor and evaluate the health situation and may announce additional protocols closer to the show. Attendees must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the FDA or World Health Organization (WHO). Those unable to travel to Las Vegas, will be able to access CES digitally. Registration for digital only access opens Dec. 9. The latest CES health protocols information can be found on CES.tech.  

LG Creating Physical and Virtual Experience at CES

CES exhibitor LG Electronics will create a physical and virtual experience at its booth during CES 2022, taking place Jan. 5-8.

At its traditional location — the 22,000-square-foot booth at the main entrance to the Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center — LG will connect visitors from the physical space to LG’s virtual experience leveraging both virtual and augmented reality. Constructed of upcycled, recycled and recyclable materials, the space will feature a series of kiosks where visitors can experience LG products.

Visitors will take a self-guided tour using QR codes as they navigate through the physical experience, interacting with LG consumer electronics and home appliance products via AR. Other kiosks will feature immersive VR digital art, including LG’s immersive curved OLED video walls.

Audiences around the world will be able to access the same content and participate digitally in the LG CES experience.

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LG has again been named official CES technology partner for the press rooms and member lounges, which will feature LG OLED TVs.

“We look forward to seeing what LG, a long-time innovation leader at CES, has in store for visitors in January,” Karen Chupka, EVP of CES at the Consumer Technology Association, said in a statement. “CES 2022 will enable attendees in Las Vegas to experience LG’s technology using AR and VR. Audience joining CES digitally from across the globe will be able to experience the same ground- breaking tech, through LG’s digital activation.”

CES 2022 to Have Smaller Footprint, Fewer Attendees

The Las Vegas CES taking place Jan. 5-8, 2022, will have a smaller footprint than shows before the pandemic, organizers said in a Nov. 18 presentation to press.

CES, which was virtual in 2021, in 2022 will not be using the South Hall of the convention center, and Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, noted that the aisles will be wider.

“It’s going to have a smaller footprint, and we’ll have fewer people,” he said, adding “we recognize it’s a different year this year.”

CES has tallied 1,700 exhibitors and “tens of thousands” of registered attendees, Shapiro said of the show that attracted 170,000 attendees pre-pandemic. About one-third of the 2022 registrants are international, he noted.

“The people that are coming are serious buyers, serious press,” he said.

Floor plans will be coming out at the end of November, organizers said.

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In the home entertainment space, exhibitors will include TCL, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Hisense, Amazon and Google, organizers said. Among exhibitors participating in the C-Space are NBCUniversal, Discovery, WarnerMedia and Snap.

The show will include three new categories: food technology (such as plant-based food), space tech, and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and digital currency, according to Karen Chupka, EVP of CES for the CTA. Autograph in the NFT space is one of the exhibitors.

Another highlight is an autonomous race car competition.

Safety protocols for the in-person show include proof of vaccination, with all vaccinations approved by the FDA or WHO accepted (similarly to requirements for those traveling into the United States). Organizers noted that protocols in Las Vegas currently require masks indoors. They said they will release mask guidelines in December and expect to have social distancing measures in place.

The show is available to those who want to participate virtually as well, via live streaming and on demand. The on-demand features will be available through the end of January. Registration for the digital-only component starts Dec. 9.

The virtual experience is here to say, organizers said. “I think there will always be some digital component to CES,” said Chupka.

Nevertheless, Shapiro declared, “Live events are back!”

“It’s simply enjoyable for people to be together,” he said.

CES to Return to Las Vegas for Live Event in January

The Consumer Technology Association April 28 announced that CES 2022 will return to Las Vegas next year.

CES heads back to Las Vegas Jan. 5-8, 2022, with Media Days taking place Jan. 3-4, 2022.

After an all-digital CES 2021, CTA will convene the tech industry in-person and digitally, giving a global audience access to major brands and startups, as well as leaders and industry advocates.

Some 1,000 companies have committed to showcasing their technologies in Las Vegas, and more are continuing to sign up, according to the CTA. Attendees can expect to see global brands including Amazon, AMD, AT&T, Daimler AG, Dell, Google, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Sony. Companies including Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge and Sierra Space are planning to make a Las Vegas debut in 2022. Eureka Park will return with startups representing countries around the world, including delegations from France, Italy, the Netherlands and South Korea.

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“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas — home to CES for more than 40 years — and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

The CES anchor desk, which debuted at CES 2021, will travel to Las Vegas and connect the digital audience with exhibitors, conference sessions, keynotes and product announcements from the live event. New content will also be added once CES departs Las Vegas.

“Our customers are enthusiastic about returning to a live event in Las Vegas,” Karen Chupka, EVP of CES for CTA, said in a statement. “Global brands and startups have shared that plans are already well underway and are committed to sharing the magic of an in-person CES with even more people from around the world.”

The CTA will be reviewing guidelines for coronavirus safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state and local guidelines. The CTA will be following applicable federal, state and local laws, adapting CES plans accordingly and sharing updates with its audiences, according to the organization.

LG to Bow QNED Mini LED TVs at Virtual CES

LG Electronics will introduce its first-ever QNED Mini LED TVs at the virtual CES 2021 as part of its 2021 premium LCD TV lineup.

The 2021 lineup includes 10 new 4K and 8K models covering screen sizes of up to 86 inches.

“As the first TVs to combine quantum dot and NanoCell technology in one product, LG QNED Mini LED TVs produce incredibly accurate colors while the advanced LED backlight offers better contrast and deeper blacks for images of exceptional vibrancy and realism,” according to the press release.

The TVs have a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, according to the company.

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LG’s Mini LED backlighting comprises up to almost 30,000 tiny LEDs that produce a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 when paired with up to 2,500 dimming zones and advanced local dimming technology for the 86-inch 8K QNED.

“Our new QNED Mini LED series is a premium home entertainment option that expands and improves the LCD TV space and gives consumers another terrific viewing choice,” Nam Ho-jun, SVP of R&D at LG’s Home Entertainment Company, said in a statement. “These TVs deliver an experience that set them apart from other LCD TVs and speak to our commitment to innovation and pushing the standard forward.”

LG’s 86-inch 8K QNED TV will be on display in LG’s virtual exhibition booth during CES 2021 starting Jan. 11.

Home Entertainment Community at CES 2019

Home entertainment executives again gathered for the annual DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group reception Jan. 8 in Las Vegas during CES 2019. The DEG honored Warner Bros. with the Excellence in 4K UHD Content Award for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, and Sony Electronics with the Excellence in 4K Product Award for its Sony Master Series A9F OLED TV. Dolby Labs was presented with the Emiel N. Petrone Innovation in Entertainment Technology Award for Dolby Vision, an imaging innovation developed in collaboration with a wide range of studios, creatives, and post-production partners.

CTA: Consumer Spending on Video/Music Streaming Services to Increase 25% to $26 Billion in 2019

Domestic consumer spending on video and music streaming services is projected to increase 25% to $26 billion in 2019, according to new data from the Consumer Technology Association.

On-demand music services (e.g., Spotify, Pandora or Apple Music) will bring in an expected $7.7 billion in revenue, up 22% as providers race to gain subscribers.

Spearheaded by artificial intelligence (AI) technology being incorporated in myriad consumer electronics devices, consumer spending on smartphones, smart home devices, smart speakers and subscription streaming entertainment will drive the domestic consumer technology industry to a record-breaking $398 billion in retail revenue in 2019 – up 3.9% from 2018, according to the CTA.

“Our latest research shows innovations in AI and faster connectivity are among the key drivers for the industry’s record growth,” CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement.

Voice-controlled smart speakers, including Amazon Echo and Google Home are projected to sell 36.6 million units (up 5% year-over-year) and earn $3.2 billion in revenue (up 7%). Although adoption is slowing due to rapid voice integration in other devices such as TVs, smart home devices and other audio products, smart speakers remain a category to watch as consumers embrace the benefits of AI in their home.

“The future is bright for many tech products consumers already know and love, as stalwart revenue drivers including smartphones, laptops and televisions continue to innovate,” said Steve Koenig, VP of market research, CTA.

The top three industry revenue drivers continue to be smartphones, laptops and televisions.

After the introduction of pricier, flagship models from major manufacturers, smartphone revenue is expected to reach $80 billion, a 2% increase in 2019. Unit shipments are expected to grow 1% to 170.7 million.

This year marks the launch of the first 5G smartphones on the market. CTA expects 2019 U.S. sales will reach 2.1 million units and cross $1 billion in revenue. By 2022, 76% of all smartphones sold will be 5G-enabled.

In 2019, the U.S. laptop market will sell 51 million units, up 3% over last year, and earn $28.4 billion in revenue (unchanged from 2018). Convertible models and cloud-based laptops remain high-growth areas within computing, as consumers continue to upgrade to the latest operating systems.

Overall, unit sales of total digital displays in 2019 will remain above 42 million units (down 1%) and register $22.6 billion in revenue (up 2%). More than three-quarters of TV shipments will be sets with 40-inch screens or larger.

Future upgrades will be driven by 4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD) sets, which now make up more than half of all TV unit sales. 4K UHD will sell 22 million units (14 percent increase) and $16.4 billion in revenue (up 8%). Raising the bar on resolution, inaugural shipments of 8K UHD TVs will reach $545 million in revenue. And budding OLED shipments will reach 1.4 million sets with double digit growth through 2022.

“2019 will mark the introduction of 5G-enabled devices and smartphones and next-gen screen technology such as 8K UHD televisions to the market,” said Koenig. “And constantly-evolving content from streaming services that enhances the experience across ‘the three screens’ – TVs, smartphones, laptops – will help push consumer spending in tech to new levels.”

 

Government Shutdown to Affect Some CES Programming

The federal government shutdown is expected to affect some programming at CES, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The show is scheduled to take place Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas.

“Because of the government shutdown, some of our scheduled government speakers at CES 2019 have alerted us that they must cancel their travel to the show,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA. “As a result, some of our scheduled CES 2019 programming and speakers will change. We urge attendees who planned to hear U.S. federal government speakers to check the sessions on the website to ensure those individuals are still speaking. Our Speakers Directory can be found here. This page will be updated regularly.”