CES 2022 is due to kick off next week, but instead of the usual buzz around all the weird, wonderful, useful and useless tech-enabled kit that’s going to emerge, the lead up has been overshadowed by the growing list of companies that are pulling their in-person attendance.
The much-hyped consumer tech trade show is kicking off on January 5 and will run through to January 8 (a day later for us in Australia). With COVID-19 forcing CES into the virtual realm last year, CES 2022 was a return to IRL events for many.
But as the Omicron variant takes hold around the world, some big names are pulling their in-person attendance.
At the time of publish, the following exhibitors had bailed:
- General Motors
But there’s also us:
Gizmodo is canceling its plans to send reporters to CES. I’m willing to bet there won’t really be a CES at this point. What major tech company wants to be the villain that still exhibits, forcing employees to travel during a huge covid surge?
— David M. Ewalt (@dewalt) December 22, 2021
It’s not all doom and gloom, CES 2022 is still going ahead
The downside to tuning in virtually is we won’t be able to play with any robots or, um, tech-enabled sex toys (because don’t forget, CES fucks now), but we’ll do our best to bring you all the announcements as they happen.
If the last few years are anything to go off, we’re expecting the usual phones, laptops, TVs, wearables/fitness trackers, robots, cars (maybe not flying ones) and the weird stuff that shouldn’t actually be tech-enabled but for some reason is.
The IRL exhibitors list is shrinking, but we’re still expecting big things to be announced from the likes of Amazon, AMD, BlackBerry, BMW, Coinbase, Google, Hisense, HP, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony and Waymo.
And look, they’re just the featured exhibitors who have paid the big bucks to have their names listed first – there’s a tonne more (over 1,800, in fact), covering drones to sports tech, cars to robotics, and, of course, NFTs. There’s 44 different tech verticals covered at CES 2022.
This year we’re expecting all things automotive to take centre stage, this is backed up by the fact there’s over 185 automotive brands committed to CES 2022.
There are also a bunch of speakers this year, with representatives from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, GM, McDonald’s, Moderna, Peloton, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Softbank, T-Mobile, Waymo and Wing confirmed at the time of writing.
But, how this will all unfold next week is still up in the air.
How to watch CES 2022?
CES is a trade-only event for individuals affiliated with the consumer technology industry who are over the age of 18. You must prove you’re affiliated with the tech industry to register.
But given we’re watching virtually from likely our makeshift WFH office in our PJs, those of us without a media pass and not “affiliated with the tech industry” are going to be counting on a lot of companies live streaming their CES 2022 talks and presentations.
We don’t have a full list of that just yet, but when we do, we’ll let you know how and when you can watch the majority of presentations. The CES YouTube channel will also keep you updated.
This article has been updated since it was first published and we will continue to make changes as we learn more.