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Record number of S. Korean firms to attend CES despite coronavirus concerns

All News 18:24 January 04, 2022

By Woo Jae-yeon

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- A record number of South Korean companies will attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week despite spikes in coronavirus cases, organizers said Tuesday.

According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), around 2,200 companies from some 160 countries have signed up to exhibit in-person at the global tech event, which runs from Jan. 5-7, half the number of the last in-person show in 2020.

More than 500 South Korean companies, including Samsung Electronics Co, and Hyundai Motor Co., were confirmed to participate in the event, up 30 percent from two years ago, the organizer said.

With 1,300 exhibitors, South Korea is the second biggest country group after the United States. Notably, South Korean startups participating in the event hit a record high of 292, up more than 10-fold from 28 in 2017.

A man passes by a wall decorated by signs of the Consumer Electronics Show, set to run from Jan. 5-7 in Las Vegas, on Jan. 3, 2022. (Yonhap)

The CTA has stepped up health precautions, requiring participants to be fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors while providing on-site testing for the coronavirus.

It also advanced the closing date by one day to Friday as an additional safety measure.

"We are shortening the show to three days and have put in place comprehensive health measures for the safety of all attendees and participants," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA, said on Friday.

Many South Korean businesses remained undeterred.

Led by Samsung Electronics Co, the world's biggest mobile phone and memory chip maker, a slew of consumer appliances makers are set to demonstrate their new products ranging from state-of-the-art TVs, gaming monitors, water purifiers, full body massage machines to indoor plant cultivators.

This image, provided by Hyundai Motor Co. on Dec. 23, 2021, shows the teaser for the robotics technologies vision to be presented at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from Jan. 5-7, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

And some will present their vision for the new tech trends shaping the technology of tomorrow, such as intelligent automation and the evolution of the metaverse.

Samsung will show off its new robotic products, including the latest Samsung Bot Handy, which uses advanced artificial intelligence to recognize and pick up objects of varying sizes, shapes and weights and helps with house chores.

South Korea's top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. will unveil its vision for robotics and the metaverse under the theme of "Expanding Human Reach."

The company aims to become an advanced mobility service provider and realize unlimited freedom of movement through autonomous driving technologies and urban air mobility.

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung, who is already in Las Vegas, is expected to make a presentation on the subject at a press conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center slated for Tuesday local time.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Group will offer a glimpse into the future of shipping mobility and autonomous navigation, in its first appearance at the global tech show.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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