Electronics and Semiconductors

CES 2021 preview: Billie Eilish performance, Verizon’s keynote highlight events

05 January 2021
Keynote speakers at the all-digital CES will include AMD, General Motors, Verizon and more. Source: CTE

While this year’s CES may be devoid of the traditional launch parties and evening entertainment, there will still be numerous events during the all-digital tradeshow.

The Consumer Technology Association, which hosts CES each year, has set up several virtual discussions and keynotes so that the show functions as a traditional tradeshow, albeit online.

It begins with a virtual keynote address from Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO of U.S.-based telecom Verizon on Monday, Jan. 11. Vestberg will presumably talk all things 5G including the company’s recent announcement that its 5G networks can now reach 230 million people in the U.S. if they have a 5G connection and Verizon’s service. It is likely Vestberg will also discuss what 5G technology can do outside of just allowing smartphones to download content such as advancements in robotics, automotive connectivity, healthcare, blockchain, location services, smart cities and many more.

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors, who will likely discuss the company’s big move to electrification. The company plans to have 40% of its line of vehicles be electric vehicles by 2025 and Barra will likely discuss this transformational strategy.

Also on Tuesday, Lisa Su, president and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), will present the vision for the semiconductor company. AMD is expected to launch gaming laptops with its new Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs, which will debut during the show.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon will give a look inside the retailer's strategy to help combat COVID-19 with innovations for delivery such as the use of autonomous vehicles and robotics.

COVID-19 will likely be a hot topic during CES with numerous products being introduced that will be centered on helping people social distance and test for the virus. A session will take place called “COVID-19 State of the Union” that will look at how technology is being used to successfully screen for the virus, prevent the spread and the technological development of the vaccines.


During the first official day of the world’s largest tradeshow, an iHeartMedia session will take place featuring a discussion with recording artist Dua Lipa, hosted by Ryan Seacrest. The session will focus on how technology has allowed artists and studios to continue to provide content for consumers despite the ongoing pandemic as well as create new experiences digitally.

Music venues and studios, much like many other establishments, were forced to close because of social distancing mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, but technology allowed streams of music and other events to take place.

During the session, a special performance from Billie Eilish will take place. Eilish’s album “When We all Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” became one of the best selling albums of 2019 and she won numerous honors including Grammy, American Music and MTV Video Music awards.

CES 2021 will be all-digital and takes place Jan. 11 through Jan. 14.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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