Updated January 10, 2022 - 6:36 am
Fewer than a quarter of CES’ usual turnout attended this year’s show, the Consumer Technology Association reported Friday.
The association said 40,000 people, including 1,800 global media members, attended the consumer electronics trade show that normally attracts more than 170,000 people every January.
The rapid spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 was believed responsible for the lower-than-usual attendance.
“Innovation came to life this week at CES 2022 with technologies that will reshape industries and provide solutions to pressing worldwide issues from healthcare to agriculture, sustainability and beyond,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the association that is owner and producer of CES. “The CES show floor buzzed with the joy of human interaction and a five-sense innovation experience with products that will redefine our future and change our world for the better.”
The show, shortened from its usual four days to three, is scheduled to close Friday at 6 p.m.
More than 2,300 companies from around the world, including more than 800 startups, launched products featuring innovation across artificial intelligence, automotive technology, digital health, smart home and other categories. Despite difficult travel restrictions, the association said about 30 percent of those attending came from foreign countries.
Health protocols were put in place for in-person attendance, including proof of vaccination, required masking indoors, self-testing for COVID-19 and social distancing measures.