A display of Samsung Galaxy Book S laptop computers is on display on January 10, 2020 on the last day of the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP (Getty Images)
in the middle of a wave of personal cancellations In recent weeks from big names ranging from Microsoft to Google and a spate of Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant, CES 2022, the world’s largest tech show, is cutting a day off its schedule.
in a announcersOn New Year’s Eve, the Consumer Technology Association said CES 2022 in Las Vegas would not take place until January 5-7 as “an additional safety measure” to current Covid-19 protocols. Given the number of tech companies and media outlets, including Gizmodo, who have decided to go in person in recent weeks, the move isn’t entirely a surprise.
In any case, it is a reflection of the intense clash between business and Health– both of which are important, although I’d say CES is less so in this case – is currently taking place in society.
In this case, the Consumer Technology Association seems to be making a stubborn and reckless statement: The show must go on despite the furious spread of the virus. On Tuesday, the US reported a seven-day average of 265,427 new covid-19 cases, a new record. Two days later, on Thursday, it broke the same record again with an average of 355,990 infections.
Apart from mentioning his covid-19 safety protocols— which, frankly, also includes requirements for vaccines and masks — the Consumer Technology Association failed to mention the record number of cases reported in the US this week. It did mention that more than 2,200 exhibitors have confirmed that they will attend the event in person.
Notably, the association stated that 143 additional companies had signed up to exhibit in person in the past two weeks. Earlier this week, officials stated: that personal cancellations made up only 10% of the trading floor.
“As the world’s most influential technology event, CES is steadfast in its promise to be the meeting place to showcase products and discuss ideas that will ultimately make our lives better,” said Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of Consumer Technology Association, in a rack. “We are shortening the show to three days and have put in place extensive health measures for the safety of all attendees and participants.”
It seems that there are still plenty of small and medium-sized companies out there. In addition, major exhibitors such as LG, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung still visit in person.
Trust me, I have nothing against CES and I appreciate that the organizers have made health and safety a part of the conversation around the event. I also love technology and am looking forward to seeing all the shiny new TVs that will debut in a few days. But I just find it disappointing that, despite the seriousness of the current health situation, there are still some entities who claim that things can continue in the same way as in the past.
We all know by now that this is not true.
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