CES 2023: Tech world to gather and show off gadgets

Media previews start Tuesday and Wednesday, with the show opening Thursday and continuing through Sunday.
People take pictures in front of a sign during the CES tech show on Jan. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas.
People take pictures in front of a sign during the CES tech show on Jan. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas.AP

NEW YORK: CES, the annual tech industry event formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is returning to Las Vegas this week with the hope that it looks more like it did before the coronavirus pandemic.

Media previews start Tuesday and Wednesday, with the show opening Thursday and continuing through Sunday.

The show changed its name to CES several years ago to better reflect the changing industry and the event, which had expanded beyond audio and video to include automotive, digital health, smart phones, wearables and other technologies.

Companies and startups will showcase innovations in virtual reality, robotics and consumer tech items to the media and others in the tech industry. The show is not open to the general public.

Organizers say their goal is to draw 100,000 attendees. That would be a marked contrast with the look and feel of the past two shows — the last of which saw a 70% drop in in-person attendance amid the spread of the Omicron variant. The one before that was held virtually, replacing in-person displays and meet and greets with video streams and chats.

Even if organizers reach their goal, it would still represent a 41% dip in attendance compared to the in-person show held in early 2020, before the pandemic consumed much of everyday life.

Kinsey Fabrizio, senior vice president at the trade group Consumer Technology Association, said roughly 3,000 companies have signed up to attend the event.

They include many startups and routine visitors like Amazon and Facebook parent Meta, both of which have recently cut jobs and implemented hiring freezes after beefing up their staff during the pandemic. Other tech companies have also been tightening their belts and laying off workers amid concerns about the economic environment.

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