CES 2021: Dates, News, Announcements, Rumors, and Everything Else to Know

The consumer technology event of the year is happening in January 2021

CES logo

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is back again in 2021 with its annual consumer electronics event called CES. Don't fly to Las Vegas this time, though. The event will be fully digital, from keynote speakers to product launches.

The Latest News About CES 2021

You can always get the latest news about CES and the rest of the technology world from Lifewire News.

What Are the Dates for CES 2021?

While the event usually occurs the first week in January, the 2021 event has been bumped out to January 11-14. Different things are happening at different times; a digital 'anchor desk' will be available on the CES home page to help attendees navigate the event.

  • January 11: Exclusive media-only access.
  • January 12-13: Exhibitor showcase and conference programming.
  • January 14: Conference programming.
Learn more about how a digital CES will work.

Where is it Being Held?

CES is being held completely online this time due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The all-digital event is being powered by Microsoft, which is using its cloud solutions like Azure, Teams, and Power Platform to create the virtual event's world. In addition, many corporate participants will be providing unique digital experiences.

How to Register to Attend

Both consumers and industry professionals can attend the event. Consumers will be limited to select public events; industry professionals can attend approved events and the digital floor show through a credentialing process.

To sign up to attend events as a consumer, you'll need to add your email address to the CES list and agree to receive emails advising you how to access various events through the show.

To sign up and attend events as an industry professional, you'll need to register and provide specific types of documentation depending upon your role.

What Kinds of Things Are Usually Announced at CES?

CES began in 1967 and has created a reputation for being the place where cool new tech is announced. In 1970, for example, a prototype of the video cassette recorders was shown. Twelve years later, the eight-bit Commodore 64 launched at the event. DVDs, HDTV, Xbox, fitness bands, Blu-Ray discs, 8k TVs... the list of innovative tech first shown at CES goes on and on.

In 2020, CES hosted more than 4,400 exhibitors and covered technologies from artificial intelligence and 5G to trends like the use of sustainable tech.

CES tends to be biggest with home entertainment announcements. This year, keep an eye out for more 8k innovations, increased virtual assistant and streaming device (like Roku) integration into all kinds of products, more OLED and ULED televisions, a few new trendy cameras, and lots and lots of new audio options.

Don't expect to see much involving new smartphones, though. While a few things might surface, most companies wait to make a big competitive splash with new phone models during Mobile World Congress (MWC), an annual industry event held in Spain that focuses on all things mobile. Apple and Samsung in particular tend to either use MWC for announcements or just host their own launch events.

Rumored Announcements for CES 2021

Artificial intelligence, smart home, wireless devices, software and apps, and vehicle technologies were the top 5 product categories most attendees were interested in at the 2020 event.

This year, the rumor mill is buzzing that Samsung will announce Mini LED backlights into a new line of TVs, spurred on by Trendforce's public relations announcement. Samsung hasn't made any official comment, however.

Other rumored reveals include the announcement of Ryzen 5000 mobile chips from AMD (aka Zen3) and a Sony A9 8k camera series, which is expected to sell for close to $5,000.

Keynote and Other Speakers Confirmed for 2021

CES always has interesting keynote speakers and this year's event is no exception. General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg, and AMD President and CEO Dr. LIsa Su are currently scheduled to present keynote addresses.

You can catch their presentations and others on the following dates (all times Eastern Standard Time).

  • January 11, 2021; 6:30 - 7:30 pm: Han Vestburg, Verizon
  • January 12, 2021; 8:15 - 8:30 am: Gary Shapiro, CTA President, and Karen Chupka, CES Executive Vice President
  • January 12, 2021; 9 - 10 am: Mary Barra, General Motors
  • January 12, 2021; 11 am - 12 pm: Dr. Lisa Su, AMD
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