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CES 2021: what can we expect in this virtual edition

Paper-thin TVs, robots that can destroy you at ping pong, and mechanical arms that are controlled by thought. CES has never disappointed in showcasing trendy items and jaw-dropping shows. However, due to the pandemic, it will not be possible to get a close look at all that companies have to offer at CES 2021, as this year the fair will be entirely online. But if there is one industry that can easily adapt to digitization, it is precisely this: the industry that invented digital. We are about to start CES 2021, so we are already anticipating what we will see at this tech event.

Certainly this year we won't be flying to Las Vegas and camping outside the conference rooms like before, but you can bet that the Digital Trends en Español team will cover the virtual show fully and comprehensively as always. Several companies are already teasing their announcements, and on the other hand, if the rumors we've heard from manufacturers are true, there will be plenty to delight in. This is what we expect from all corners of the industry at CES 2021 .

Do you want to follow the CES 2021 presentations online? We have an article to guide you.

Range TVs high from Sony, Samsung and LG

Historically, televisions have taken center stage at CES and this year will be no exception, even if that stage is virtual. Samsung already announced a 110-inch MicroLED TV ahead of the event, in addition to its Neo QLED line of TVs , and we're likely to hear about more models. LG has already announced its QNED TVs and we've also had a look at Sony's 2021 line of TVs ahead of CES.

A Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV

On the other hand, after leading the way with another TV technology, Mini-LED, TCL will see competition from other big TV brands and its own Mini-LED TVs. The HDMI 2.1 port, after infiltrating select high-end TVs in 2020, will also see more widespread adoption, bringing a host of gameplay features to lower-priced TVs. In fact, Acer announced new monitors with HDMI 2.1 and 4K at 120Hz, next-generation specifications ideal for gamers .

Lastly, while still in its early stages of implementation, ATSC 3.0 , also known as NextGen TV, will make its presence felt as more TVs with built-in ATSC 3.0 tuners are announced. This year's theme is the massification of high-end television technology.

Laptops by the lot

There's a lot about CES 2021 that is unknown, but there is one thing you can count on: lots of laptop launches. PCs have enjoyed a surprising increase in sales thanks to the quarantine and it is to be expected that laptop manufacturers will double that.

Companies like Dell and Lenovo have already presented a couple of new features. Dell announced that the new Latitude 9420 and 9520 laptops will have a built-in shutter that will enable or lock the webcam and Lenovo revealed the Yoga AIO 7 all-in-one ultraportable, as well as other devices for different types of users.

On the other hand, HP, Asus and Acer are sure to bring a variety of new laptops to the show, so we'll see everything from gaming PCs to commercial PCs at CES 2021.

Beyond laptops, you can also expect all of these companies to showcase accessories and devices created to enhance working from home. Telecommuting and mixed offices are not going away anytime soon, and companies have been quick to shift focus to support this drastic change.

Lastly, the dynamic rivalry between Intel and AMD, and of course, Nvidia , is always on the horizon at CES. Each has scheduled press conferences, with AMD taking the spotlight with an official presentation from CES . The balance of power between these companies is constantly changing and this event is always important to set the tone for the entire year.

A cleaner and smarter home

Smart homes have seen tremendous growth over the past year, primarily because of how individuals and families continue to explore this new way of working and learning from home. However, CES 2021 should generate even more concrete smart home solutions that are adapted to current conditions. Sales of smart speakers, air purifiers, and robotic vacuums have increased during the quarantine, so we anticipate a continued focus on keeping people safe and comfortable at home.

We can expect innovations in home security systems, robotic vacuums, small appliances, and charging and lighting solutions. Just last year, germ-killing blue light technology was rolled out to almost every home device you can imagine. For many people, keeping their home safe now also means keeping it clean, and sometimes clean denotes "hands-free." Remember the smart toilet with built-in Alexa ? At CES 2021 we will also see stylish bathrooms of the future .

Many of the established brands in the smart home space will not be present at the big show, however smaller firms often attract more attention for thinking outside the box, especially when it comes to multifunctional products.

The guts of the next mobile device

For a few years, CES hasn't been a huge event for mobile devices, but there are still many products and innovations to see that point to the next trends. Several big names may be skipping CES entirely, but in any case, they probably wouldn't have made big announcements either.

So what should you expect from mobile devices at CES? The focus really is on component innovations like cameras, displays and sensors that could be included in the next generation of foldable phones, tablets and devices. It's easy to expect new low-end phones focused on a low budget, which will complete a company's portfolio for the year. However, if the rumors stick, all that could change if Samsung gives a small sample of the upcoming Galaxy S21 during the show.

The only area where we could see a typical variety of products is in the wearables space, as CES has earned a reputation as a health and fitness event. There are likely to be new smartwatches , sports bracelets of all kinds, and the usual quota of eccentric eyewear.

Best Android watches

The path to autonomy

Automakers no longer need to reserve space at CES to showcase their electrification projects – electric and hybrid cars are already in showrooms across the country or are scheduled to arrive there in the next few years. Autonomy is the next frontier for many companies and it is a topic we hope to hear a lot more about during CES 2021. While the technology is better than ever, there is still a lot of work to be done and there are many obstacles (including regulations) that are yet to be done have been overcome.

The way users interact with their car, whether as a driver or as a passenger, will evolve significantly during the 2020s. Infotainment systems will learn new tricks and allow, for example, to shop or play video games from the dashboard of the car. automobile, and these advances will go hand in hand with autonomy. Looking ahead, in five to 10 years, your car's touchscreen will offer the same feature set as your smartphone. It all starts at CES.

Oddities of all kinds

One of the most exciting parts of CES is the strange and unexpected technology that appears on the show floor and captures the world's attention with a novel demonstration. It happens every year. Last January, for example, we stumbled upon a hydroplane-type electric bike and an incredibly skilled robotic prosthetic arm .

This year, there will almost certainly be some strange announcements along these lines, but as CES 2021 will be a significantly smaller event than the previous years, the strange and unusual devices will be slightly less in number.

But do not worry. Despite this year's low exhibitor count, we know in good faith that there are still a number of bizarre teams set to debut. Unfortunately, we can't provide details yet, but be prepared for oddities like kitchen robots, VR workstations, and one-handed drone controllers. The strange and wild technology will be fully on display at CES 2021.

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