In Part 2 of the Mentor from Afar Podcast interview with Steve Koenig, VP of Research at the Consumer Technology Association, we discussed the all-new digital CES in 2021.  

If you are looking for a blow-by-blow analysis of all the superb products coming out of CES, this isn’t it.  Instead, I am going to offer some high level views and some inside info from Steve. 

CES 2021 shaped history.  It was the world’s largest online event ever produced, gathering well over 100,000 participants and nearly 2000 online vendors.  Steve remarked that the event was “very successful for what it was” and had some trade-offs between the magic and serendipity of the in-person events and the new perks of the online event(like being able to re-watch sessions).

Steve frames what had been going on at companies during the pandemic as the “Great Reset”.  This was evidenced during the show with emphasis with companies like Microsoft having an entire keynote about sustainability.  The health crisis has given business pause and a chance to rethink and reconsider what they offer in the world with regard to sustainability, environmental, lessening the carbon footprint and more.

Technology highlights

  • Digital Health and Telemedicine – which included the most CES Innovation awards.  Some unique products included specialized masks like the one from gaming maker Razer.  Healthy home technology is also taking off as a new category at CES.  These products include water filtration, smart purifiers, UV and Sanization.
  • Robotics – are a perennial favorite, which Steve coined as “these are the droids you are looking for”?  Robots, like the “Bot Handy” ffrom Samsung, were ever present at the show in 2021 and as Steve said, “bringing us close to having C3PO and R2D2 in the home. 
  • GM – GM did an awesome job of laying out their electric future.  I surmise GM is a remarkable example of someone that stole the show combining excitement(Hummer launch mode), modular batteries and the suitable mix of marketing.  Steve commented that electrification has taken a back seat to autonomous vehicles at CES, but not this year.
  • 5G – Verizon laid out the next steps with regard to 5G which went beyond 5G on our smartphones.  Steve thought that Verizon did an excellent job of laying out the standards and protocols to drive MEC(Mobile Edge Computing).
  • The Kohler Soaking Tub – Although there are thousands of fantastic products at CES, the product that broke the internet was the Japanese Soaking Tub from Kohler.  It offered mood lighting and smart features through a mobile app that included fog!  Who doesn’t need at $15,000 tub!

Those were only a couple of the trends and fascinating products at CES 2021 this year.  Check out the podcast for more information and visit for all the latest from CES.  As always, if you need to know how technology and how you should navigate your career, check out to get assistance from a professional coach waiting to help.