Las Vegas | Omicron threatens to make a big head-to-head return to Consumer Electronics Show

(Washington) The plethora of electronics and technology at Las Vegas, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), would have come back head-to-head in 2022. But several major companies and presidents have decided to limit or cancel their presence due to the Omicron variant.

The most popular annual consumer electronics show is currently taking place from January 5-8. It must always be preceded by two days reserved for the media.

But on Tuesday, companies like Meta, Amazon, T-Mobile and Facebook’s parent Twitter pulled out of the event. Major specialist media, notably CNET, The Verge and TechCrunch, also decided not to send in reporters, raising doubts about the effectiveness of holding the event.

“After careful consideration and discussion, T-Mobile has made the difficult decision to significantly reduce our personal presence at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show,” the group said in a statement, adding that CEO, Mike Seifert, will ultimately not be giving any speeches either. In person or by default.

“While we are confident that CES organizers are taking comprehensive measures to protect attendees in person and that we have also implemented several precautionary practices, we are putting the safety of our team and other attendees first,” he stressed.

Asked by AFP, a Google spokesperson said that for now, the group still plans to participate in person. “We are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.

A GM spokesman told AFP that “at this point” there was no change.

CEO Mary Barra is set to travel to Vegas to unveil the electric Chevrolet Silverado on January 5, an opportunity to reveal more information about the automaker’s upcoming electric and autonomous vehicle strategy.

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On the CES website, the organizers remember the conditions for participating in the show: “You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to receive a badge and access CES in person in Las Vegas.”

“CES recommends that you test yourself before you leave for Las Vegas and within 24 hours of entering the CES venue,” CES says.

Organizers announced on Monday that another major conference, the World Economic Forum (WEF), which was due to meet January 17-21 in Davos, Switzerland, has been “postponed” due to the Omicron variant.

They specified that the meeting – which brings together the worlds of business, politics and diplomacy – should now take place “at the beginning of summer”.

In January 2021, CES and WEF were held in completely virtual mode.

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