NEW YORK (AP) — CES, the annual tech industry event formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, returns to Las Vegas this week in hopes of looking just like it did before the coronavirus pandemic.
Media previews begin Tuesday and Wednesday, and the show begins Thursday and runs through Sunday.
The show changed its name to CES a few years ago to better reflect the changing industry and events that have expanded beyond audio and video. Includes automotive, digital health, smartphones, wearables and other technologies.
Businesses and start-ups showcase their innovations in virtual reality, robotics, and consumer technology items to media and other tech industry folks. The show is closed to the public.
Organizers say their goal is to attract 100,000 attendees. At the last exhibition, in-person attendance dropped by 70% of his. While the subspecies of Omicron spread.Before that, it was a virtual eventreplace face-to-face displays and meet and greets with video streams and chat.
Even if the organizers hit their targets, they would still see a 41% drop in attendance compared to in-person shows held in early 2020, before the pandemic consumed much of their daily lives.
About 3,000 companies have signed up to participate in the event, said Kinsey Fabrizio, senior vice president of the Consumer Technology Association, a trade group.
They include many startups and regular visitors like Amazon. and Facebook’s parent company Meta recently cut headcount and frozen hiring after beefing up staff during the pandemic. Other tech companies are also laying off workers and tightening their belts amid concerns about the economic climate.
The Associated Press spoke with Fabrizio about CES and what consumers should expect at the show. Conversations have been edited for clarity and length.
Q: The tech industry has been going through some rough times in the past few months. What impact do you think that will have on the show?
A: Yes, the tech industry has been booming for the past two years. We are currently undergoing a rebalancing and there are layoffs as part of the rebalancing. But when it comes to CES, the companies are getting big. And we plan to showcase some of these solutions that were critical during the pandemic and many that have continued to change the way consumers live and behave. not.
Q: Are most of the exhibitors startups?
A: There are a lot of startups and new companies. At his CES this year, he had over 1,000 new exhibitors, which is on par with previous years. Eureka Park, where our startups are mainly stationed, will also have repeat customers. They can stay there for up to two years. But there are also many companies that have been at CES for some time.
Q: The theme of the show is human security. how did you get there?
A: We were approached by the United Nations and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, which has long worked on human security. You can think of this as a basic human right — like access to food and health care. They wanted his CES to actually use this theme. Because our exhibitors are showing how technology is solving some of these big global challenges.
Q: Historically, CES has focused on convenience and personal technology. So there will be a shift.
A: This is a shift. We’ve talked about how technology solves the world’s challenges. But so far he has never set a theme at CES. It’s always been about innovation and great products for consumers. For example, John Deere presents some of the agricultural techniques that really contribute to sustainability and access to food. Another company has created a secure voting technology on the blockchain. This is in line with the United Nations theme of political security.
Q: The metaverse is going to be another big topic. Many companies invest in it. What can visitors expect to see at the show?
A: The metaverse is an important theme. The show floor has a section dedicated to Web3 technology. Also planned is a shared, immersive virtual experience. Automaker Stellantis and Microsoft have partnered to create a showroom in the metaverse. There is a company called OVR of his that created a solution that allows you to smell in the metaverse. People are talking about unique ways to reach customers and the different experiences they get there. It will be a big theme among exhibitors large and small.