Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward

What it’s like to attend CES during COVID

January 5, 2022, 4:56 PM UTC

The Omicron variant hit at the worst possible time for 2022’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), causing many attendees and companies to scale back or cancel their plans to attend the tech showcase in person. But for an event that has had to adapt quickly to change, there are a number of standout products on display this year.

From automotive tech (and new players in the space) to new high-end TVs, CES 2022 is loaded with interesting, innovative, and occasionally just plain weird technological advances. It’s the only place you can find a car that changes its exterior color, a spacecraft, and a robotic pet that nibbles your finger, within a stone’s throw of one another (assuming you’ve got a really strong arm…CES covers an enormous amount of space). And, despite the pandemic, celebrities are still popping up at the show. Sony, for instance, brought Spider-Man star Tom Holland onstage at its press conference Tuesday.

The crowds that usually make up CES aren’t there this year, so if you were unable to go, be it for health and safety reasons or because you don’t qualify for entry into the show, here’s a look at what it’s like in Las Vegas this week.  

Attendees have their COVID-19 vaccination cards reviewed in order to receive their badges ahead of CES Las Vegas.
Attendees have their COVID-19 vaccination cards reviewed in order to receive badges ahead of CES Las Vegas.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
An attendee demonstrates the Shiftall Haritora X full-body tracking system and mutalk microphone for metaverse experiences while wearing an Oculus headset during CES Unveiled.
An attendee demonstrates the Shiftall HaritoraX full-body tracking system and Mutalk microphone for metaverse experiences while wearing an Oculus headset during CES Unveiled.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
An attendee places a finger inside the mouth of Yukai Engineering Inc. Amagami Ham Ham play-biting cat robot.
An attendee places a finger inside the mouth of a Yukai Engineering Amagami Ham Ham play-biting cat robot.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
BMW showed a new gimmick at CES—the e-ink film on iX, which makes the car change colors.
BMW displayed a new gimmick at CES—the e-ink film on its iX EV, which makes the car change color.
Courtesy of BMW
Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment Thomas Rothman (R) and actor Tom Holland (L) greet each other with a fist-bump during a Sony press event
Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment Thomas Rothman (right) and actor Tom Holland greet each other with a fist-bump during a Sony press event.
Alex Wong—Getty Images
Baracoda Daily Healthtech employee Thomas Serval demonstrates the company's smart mirror
Baracoda health tech employee Thomas Serval demonstrates the company’s smart mirror, which provides personal health data and makeup tutorials.
Ellen Schmidt—AP Images
The Sony Vision-S 02 electric SUV is debuted during the Sony news conference.
The Sony Vision-S 02 electric SUV debuts at the company’s news conference.
Joe Buglewicz—AP Images
<a href="https://fortune.com/company/general-motors" target="_blank">General Motors</a> Co. Chair and CEO Mary Barra introduces an electric pickup truck.
General Motors Co. Chair and CEO Mary Barra introduces an electric pickup truck.
Kyodo/Reuters
Attendees watch a 360-degree video presentation at the South Korea-based <a href="https://fortune.com/company/sk-holdings" target="_blank">SK</a> Group boot.
Attendees watch a 360-degree video presentation at the South Korea-based SK Group boot.
Alex Wong—Getty Images
An attendee crosses the finish line while playing a LiDAR monitored game of Red Light Green Light at the South Korea-based SOS LAB company booth.
An attendee crosses the finish line while playing a LiDAR monitored game of Red Light Green Light at the South Korea-based SOS LAB company booth.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
Anna Groffsky from the <a href="https://fortune.com/company/samsung-electronics" target="_blank">Samsung Electronics</a> Inc. Future Generation Lab speaks during the Samsung keynote address.
Anna Groffsky from the Samsung Electronics Future Generation Lab speaks during the company’s keynote address.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images
Attendees try out the Sunflower Light Therapy lamp at the JustLight booth.
Attendees try out the Sunflower Light Therapy lamp at the JustLight booth.
Joe Buglewicz—AP Images
MoonBikes Motors snowbike is the world's first electric snowbike.
MoonBikes Motors presents the world’s first electric snowbike.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images
The Deer & Co.'s John <a href="https://fortune.com/company/deere" target="_blank">Deere</a> 8R fully autonomous tractor.
The John Deere 8R fully autonomous tractor.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
A demonstration of the AIRXOM mask for active protection from the effects of air pollution, bacteria, and viruses including COVID-19.
A demonstration of the Airxom mask for protection from the effects of air pollution, bacteria, and viruses including SARS-CoV-2.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
Seung Kyo Kim poses as the Doosan Robotics Inc. NINA, which stands for New Innovation New Angles, camera robot arm quickly moves his cell phone around him.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images
A vehicle with Luminar LiDAR based Proactive Safety pre-collision braking crash avoidance technology stops to avoid a child-sized test dummy as it is demonstrated on a test track.
A vehicle with Luminar lidar-based Proactive Safety braking technology avoids collision with a child-size test dummy.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
Attendees take pictures and interact with the Engineered Arts Ameca humanoid robot with artificial intelligence.
Attendees take pictures and interact with the Engineered Arts Ameca humanoid robot with artificial intelligence.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
A full sized crew model of the Sierra Space Dream Chaser space plane.
A full-size crew model of the Sierra Space Dream Chaser space plane.
Patrick T. Fallon—AFP/Getty Images
Abbott Chairman of the Board and CEO Robert B. Ford introduces the company’s Lingo biowearables portfolio of products.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images
The Prinker digital temporary tattoo device.
Alex Wong—Getty Images
An attendee checks out a zero-emissions SkyDrive flying car.
An attendee checks out a zero-emissions SkyDrive flying car.
Steve Marcus—Reuters
Samsung Electronics Inc. Vice Chairman and CEO Jong-Hee Han delivers a keynote address.
Samsung Electronics vice chairman and CEO Jong-Hee Han delivers a keynote address.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images

Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.