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CES global gadget fest on track despite pandemic
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) June 3, 2020

Consumer Electronics Show organizers said Wednesday that they are going ahead with plans to bring together people from around the world at a massive annual gathering in Las Vegas.

The Consumer Technology Association trade group decision to hold a gadget extravaganza known to attract tens of thousands of people bucks a trend of live conferences being cancelled due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

CES is scheduled to take place in early January.

"Major brands are committed for the show, and we look forward to announcing another slate of top-tier speakers," read a message at the CES website.

"We will showcase our exhibitors' products, technology breakthroughs and ideas to the world, both physically in Las Vegas and digitally."

Organizers said that more CES sessions and presentations will be streamed online, and it will encourage practices for keeping attendees safe from the virus.

"We are working closely with the Las Vegas community, including the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and hotels venues, as they develop and implement their reopening plans," CES organizers said.

The show, one of the world's largest trade events, historically involves throngs of attendees packed into ballrooms, show floors, conference centers, and shuttle buses during the multi-day event.

Precautions promised for January include routine cleaning of show venues; widening of aisles in exhibit areas, and more space between seats in places where attendees congregate.

CES goers will also be asked to wear masks, avoid shaking hands, and touch things as infrequently as possible, according to the website.

"Just as your companies are innovating to overcome the challenges this pandemic presents, we are adapting to the evolving situation," CES organizers said.

"We believe events such as CES that bring thought leaders and innovators together to solve these challenges will be more important than ever."

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A Google affiliate on Thursday abandoned plans to build a futuristic neighborhood on Toronto's lakefront that was to include robots for delivering mail and collecting garbage, citing economic uncertainty. Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google's parent Alphabet, had proposed building a carbon-neutral community "from the internet up," where tall buildings would be made of timber and technology would be geared to catering to every aspect of modern living. A provisional green light to build on the 1 ... read more

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