Anyone interested in product design has likely heard of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) traditionally held in famous Las Vegas, Nevada. Unfortunately, the event’s organizers have recently announced that the 2021 edition of the show would look much different than in years past. Not just figuratively or literally speaking, but virtually, taking on an all-digital format in the wake of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Promotional graphic for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) made the announcement in July 2020, a full six months before the January show. On one hand, that means attendees need not worry about airfare and hotel rooms. On the other hand, it means preparing to observe, disseminate information, and make purchasing decisions entirely online.

Traditionally, the show is set up like any other type of trade exhibition, with rows of booths manned by product specialists ready to promote the newest and best devices and robots from their respective companies. But the pandemic has organizers rethinking tradition in order to avoid creating an atmosphere where the virus can easily spread.

The CTA has stated that this year’s event will be a “new immersive experience,” and that it’s “highly personalized.” It’s unlikely retailers, manufacturers, and other industry professionals will know what that will even look like for some months, but it’s at least reassuring to know that the organizers do plan to return the show to its physical place and time for 2022.

CES is world-renowned as the premier launching point for all things electronic. The convention brings together innovations across myriad industries for public viewing and allows competitors to see what’s coming down the pipeline. Standard categories for show products include 3D printing, accessibility, artificial intelligence, audio, cloud services, computer hardware, content and streaming services, and cyber security and privacy.

It’s the type of futuristic atmosphere where you’re likely to see a robot delivering a snack or a refrigerator that answers questions about whether or not you have milk. Cameras, computer software, drones, and gaming technology are also commonplace in the convention’s tightly-packed confines, as well as exhibits promoting photography, education, fitness, and lifestyle products related to family, beauty, and pets.

The banking and e-commerce worlds are also represented at CES in the form of mobile payment options, digital finance, and business policies. Software and apps for nearly every category of business abound, with both video and telecommunications solutions often making big appearances.

Sustainability is another popular topic at the show, with a range of eco-friendly products for the home debuting there each year. And speaking of homes, you can also expect a lot of exciting smart home tech features to be unveiled at next year’s CES.

If there’s a single event that can offer a truly immersive digital experience, CES, with a history of over 50 years exploring innovations, seems like the obvious candidate. After all, tech is what they do.

Over the years, we’ve covered a plethora of products revealed at the event. After all, it is the place to be if you want to see the most current sensor, biometric, space, esports, travel, vehicular, VR and AR, wearable, wellness, and wireless technology. So although 2021 will look a little different from the couch instead of the convention center, the Dornob team will still be tuned in, ready to research and report on the all the latest gizmos and gadgets.