CES 2022 kicks off as most of the tech stars opt out

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CES 2022 kicks off as most of the tech stars opt out

CES 2022 officially starts Wednesday, despite a record surge in COVID cases, as most of its high-wattage stars and facing escalating criticism for its decision to press on despite a record surge in COVID cases.

Hundreds of thousands of members of the tech industry converged on the Strip just days after an estimated crowd of 300,000 jammed into Las Vegas for a New Year's Eve fireworks show. The four-day show, as an admission to the threat of omicron, show organizers on Friday announced that it had been shaved to three days, Wednesday through Friday. Saturday is typically a moving day. Intel Corp. INTC, Nvidia Corp. NVDA, and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD all passed on attending in person, but did make announcements remotely on Tuesday:

AMD shows $200 graphics card and new chips in CES presentation. Stock falls Intel focuses on autonomous driving, gaming and laptop chips at CES 2022 in CES 2022.

The show continues despite more than 150 companies — including many of the biggest names in tech — choosing to opt out of in-person appearances. Some jittery attendees might want to visit one of several exhibitors with anti-COVID technology.

Mark Lyle, co-founder and chief technology officer at LumixUV, told MarketWatch that there was a lot of interest in the development of robotic disinfection technology for point-of- sales terminals at retail stores, gas stations, and airport kiosks.

The POS terminal system uses high-powered UV-C LED lights to pass over the POS terminal system and disinfect at a level similar to Lysol or alcohol, without the risk of damaging the terminal while applying liquid disinfectants.

The outbreak of omicron could prove to be a big deal for LumixUV, a Florida-based company that doesn't have the exposure to investors that startups in California and New York enjoy. Lyle said that CES is important for us, even though the show is a bit less busy than normal. A staff member saw my show badge and said, Wow, is CES still on? Piera Systems, the developer of an air-quality sensor powered by a custom chip, believes it has the world's most accurate low-cost particle sensor to ensure clean air, according to Vin Ratford, Piera CEO. He told MarketWatch that the Canadian company was to be part of an Ontario government pavilion at CES until the provincial government pulled out of the show for health and safety reasons.

3 Oe Scientific is showing at CES a water-cooler-sized device called Iggy where users at schools, office buildings, factories and sports venues can insert their hands and have them sprayed with aqueous ozone to kill viruses and bacteria. The process takes seven seconds.

Tom Foust, CEO of MarketWatch, told MarketWatch that it was reimaging how you wash hands. The FDA is looking for approval for the company.

The safest option is to attend the show virtually. For the first time, Web Summit has licensed its proprietary software, Summit Engine, to CES organizers, so attendees can access keynote speeches, panels and video meetings at the show's location from their laptops and smartphones. The approach may be a harbinger for hybrid tech shows to come.

The future of tech conferences is a bit of both: You can attend virtually and in person, Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit, told MarketWatch via a Zoom ZM call. Cosgrave said that the CTA has made the best of a challenging situation. We noticed changes in user behavior during our tech show in Portugal in November. More people are attending shows virtually in the morning, then going in person for meetings. It is like work and most everything else these days. CTA CEO Gary Shapiro steadfastly defended the decision to put on a mega-event in the teeth of a raging epidemic. The show, which took place a year ago, has taken several precautions, including requiring proof-of-vaccinated cards and masks to attend indoor exhibits, socially-distanced venues, hand-sanitation stations and on-site testing.

The show was closed on Tuesday night with a keynote address by Jong-Hee JH Han, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics 005930, one of the few companies to have a physical presence at the show, despite the in-person absence of nearly every major tech vendor. Among those that aren't mentioned are Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm Inc. QCOM, International Business Machines Corp. IBM, Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, GOOG, Microsoft Corp. MSFT, HP Inc. HPQ, Peloton Interactive Inc. PTON, BMW, Lenovo Group Ltd. 992, AT&T Inc. T, Procter Gamble Co. PG, and Panasonic Corp. 6752, Samsung Electronics did scale back its on-site contingent. A number of company representatives changed their travel plans at the last minute and did not make the trip to CES.