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The show must go on. And it shall, on Monday, January 11.

Last years CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, marked the last time for a long time many of us would be chatting face-to-face, exchanging invisible respiratory droplets, handling the same germy gadgets, and enjoying food and drinks in windowless restaurants.
This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the annual CES takes place entirely on our computer screens. The first-ever completely remote staging of the consumer tech industry’s tentpole event starts on Monday, January 11.
Experiencing CES from afar poses some obvious challenges for those of us reporting on the show. We cant stroll the nearly 3 million square feet of expo hall space or actually try the new products being showcased. But were going to do our best to give you our expert analyses of the tech fest this year, based on a whole bunch of virtual briefings and our collective dozens of years covering CES in the past. So fire up Zoom, strap on your VR headsets, and get ready to follow along.
On the upside, if youd like to check out CES this year, theres no need to spend money on registration fees, airfare, or lodging. You can watch all of the announcements and activities in your pajamas.
But theres no doubt this years CES is scaled down. The Consumer Technology Association, which hosts CES, says that around 1,800 exhibitors will be a part of this years show. Thats fewer than half of the 4,400 exhibitors who showcased technology last year. The CTA also pointed out that, by being an all-digital event, the show will be accessible to audiences around the globe but declined to say how many people have actually registered for this years virtual CES. Last year, an estimated 170,000 people attended in person.
Some tech companies are opting out of CES this year or are trickling out product news on their own timetables. Amazon wont have an official presence, though you can probably expect to see its Alexa voice assistant show up in hundreds of products. Google, which at recent CESes has put up massive Googley installations around Las Vegas, says it will host partner meetings but otherwise is bowing out of the show. Microsoft president Brad Smith will give a keynote address on tech being both a weapon and a toolan especially relevant topicbut most Microsoft-related news at CES will be from its PC-manufacturer partners. Facebook and its Oculus division also wont be participating. Instead, the company chose to tease its upcoming smart glasses in a blog post earlier this week. And most of the focus on Facebook right now, anyway, is its role in disrupting American democracy.
Samsung and LG Electronics will be hosting virtual press conferences and will give briefings on their new displays and home appliances. But its worth noting that Samsung is holding its annual Galaxy phone unveiling on January 14during CES but not really a part of CES. Well also be keeping a close eye on Mondays press conferences with Intel, Nvidia, and Sony. And some of the keynote highlights include talks from the chief executives of General Motors, Verizon, and AMD.
So what new technology will we see virtually next week? There are some exciting things happening in TV land, WIREDs Parker Hall says. The most stunning TV weve seen ahead of the conference is a new 110-inch MicroLED model from Samsung. MicroLED is a relatively new display technology that uses tiny, nonorganic LEDs, three per pixel. More TV makers are pushing 8K screens too, including Samsung, LG, and Sony, as well as manufacturers of lower-cost sets like TCL and Vizio. And this may seem like a small thing, but many new TVs will ship this year with upgraded HDMI 2.1 portsso that the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X game consoles can run at their full 120-Hz potential on the displays.