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CES 2021: Consumers Staying Home and Loving their Gadgets

CES2021 projects a record year for “stuff” as entertainment provides distraction from the pandemic

As CES2021 gets underway this week, it is not in Las Vegas. In fact, it is not anywhere in particular this year after more than a half-century of taking over the neon gaming mecca for four days of immersion in a veritable ocean of new-fangled stuff and portentoustechnology. This year it is online only and navigated through a tornado of tech talks and virtual kiosks. Still, there is news, analysis and plenty to talk about this year as the coronavirus continues to rage and a new administration prepares to take over and change some key commerce and trade policies.

For starters, retail sales revenue for the technology industry is expected to reach $461 billion in the U.S. this year, marking a 4.3 percent increase over last year – according to new surveys by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). As millions of Americans remain home and rely on tech to stay entertained, connected and healthy during the pandemic, streaming services, 5G connectivity and digital health devices will stand out in the tech sector in 2021.

“The pandemic has pushed the fast-forward button on tech adoption – from our homes to our work to our doctor’s offices,” said Gary Shapiro, CTA’s president and CEO. “While the road to a full economic recovery is long and intertwined with a complex vaccine rollout, the tech industry’s ability to meet the moment during this crisis has been critical. I look forward to seeing the global tech community come together this week to share its vision for a reimagined future.”

Top on that topic is entertainment.

Total spending on streaming services and software is projected to reach a record high of $112 billion in 2021 (11 percent growth over 2020). This follows 31 percent growth in 2020 over 2019.