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What to expect from the first-ever all-virtual CES 2021

The 2021 edition of CES, one of the biggest and most influential global tech events worldwide, will have over 1,000 companies showcasing their new and upcoming products and technologies.

January 06, 2021 / 08:00 AM IST

CES or Consumer Electronics Show is the most significant technology event of the year that takes place in January. This year, the technology event has gone all digital, and over 1000 companies are expected to showcase their new and upcoming products/technologies on the platform due to the ongoing pandemic. We are looking forward to the big announcements that start next week (January 11), but before that, here is a quick roundup of what to look out for at the show this year.

Innovation in Television: Television is one of the key areas where most brands (Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic etc.) give a demo of what’s coming next. LG and Samsung have already made several announcements. LG will be showcasing a TV that can be flat for watching TV, and for gaming, it can be bend to become a curved monitor. LG also has a QNED tech, a transparent OLED screen that will be showcased – the transparent OLED is aimed for more professional uses such as restaurants and hotels. On the other hand, Samsung will be showcasing TVs that can adjust the HDR of the display based on your ambient lighting and TV based on its new Micro LED technology. TCL is showing its next-generation mini LED technology at CES as well. Along with these, expect to see 8K TV announcements from multiple brands and a few rollable TVs to be showcased.

Hygiene Focussed Personal Tech: The pandemic has resulted in a lot more focus on hygiene over the past few months. We already have UV cell phone sanitizer boxes available for use. You should expect similar products to sanitize all personal gadgets, including phones, tablets, headphones etc., to be announced at CES. LG already announced their earphones (LG Tone Free) with an UVnano charging case that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria on the earphones. We expect other brands to follow suit, so expect more true wireless earphones with UV cleaning cases at CES 2021.

Touchless Smart Home Appliances: Another area where Covid-19 will help innovate is the smart home. We already have products that can be integrated with voice assistants to use with voice. At CES 2021, we expect a range of such products for a smart home to increase exponentially. Expect various brands to launch products ranging from Vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, water filters to disinfecting lights that can help keep your home clean with just your voice. LG already shared details of an InstaView refrigerator that has voice recognition and boasts of UVnano technology that cleans and delivers hygienic and germ-free water from the built-in dispenser tap.

Next-generation of Hardware: At CES 2021, AMD is giving a keynote, Intel has announcements on the media day, and Nvidia also has a broadcast event. These three are the most prominent names for hardware components, and we expect them to announce the next generation of hardware at CES 2021. AMD and Intel are expected to launch new processors for the consumer as well as server usage. Nvidia, on the other hand, could launch a new range of mid-range graphics cards for gamers. Expect laptop and desktop announcements from brands such as Asus, Acer, Lenovo, HP etc., that would be powered by these new components at CES.

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Foldable Smartphones and tablets: We saw a couple of foldable smartphone announcements in 2020 from brands like Samsung and Motorola. At CES, smartphones are usually not the focus of brands, but since the technology has been around for some time, there could be a few foldable smartphones announced. We expect prototypes or concept designs of different foldable phones to be showcased at CES 2021 this year by multiple brands, including TCL, LG etc. Dell has showcased a foldable tablet earlier while Lenovo already has a foldable laptop – we expect more devices in these two categories with foldable displays to be announced and launched as well.

Electric Cars: At CES 2020, Sony surprised everyone with the showcase of an electric car. This year, we expect a lot more automobile brands to display their electric vehicles. GM’ Chief marketing officer has a session on a movement towards an all-electric future during CES. BMW iX has already been announced, but new electric car announcements or demos of next-generation cars could be shown by Audi, GM and Mercedes at CES 2021 event.
Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi

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