Gamers of the Future on Netflix?  Stranger Things Can Happen

Gamers of the Future on Netflix? Stranger Things Can Happen

In 2007, before the days of “apps” and “streaming” was even heard of, I received a special red envelope from Netflix in my mailbox that was going to change everyone’s watching habits forever.  These envelopes were reserved for a select few DVD based Netflix subscribers which was the only option initially there was at the time.

The label on the envelope read “Instant Streaming Disc” for PS3. 

When Netflix made the announcement to their subscribers that they would soon be able to watch hundreds of movies from their PlayStation 3 console on to their TV sets, it seemed almost incompressible.  After I installed the disc, I found myself panning through the menu for what seemed like to be an endless supply of movies that I had the option to watch. After carefully choosing one to my liking, I was blown away at how good the actual video quality was.

From that point on, I realized Netflix’s streaming was going to be the official game changer for not just the DVD rental industry, but the entire movie industry as a whole. It changed the way we watched movies at home; by being able to watch almost any movie at any time.

Fifteen years since that monumental moment, it seems that Netflix may just utilize the magic of the Sony PlayStation yet again, but this time for a different kind of purpose. One that the Sony PlayStation utilizes quite well – games.

In addition to their original films, animation and unscripted TV, Netflix will be offering another new content: gaming.

The great news, at least in the short term, is that there will be no additional cost for the new gaming content for the subscribers, though once everyone gets hooked into it, just like the way video streaming did when it first came out, I imagine they might repeat themselves and charge a bit extra for it later down the line once it is widely embraced by it’s audience.

Recently announced on a letter to shareholders this month, Netflix said that will initially focus gaming on mobile devices.  So, I assume Netflix will develop some new Android and iOS apps to install onto smart-phones, tablets, and laptops, in order for subscribers to get a taste of what’s to come for gamers. Look for this to be done by the end of the year.

Though, it really wasn’t their intention to get into the gaming business even just a few years ago, Netflix has completely changed their tone. Perhaps it could have been due to the fact that many studios were pulling their big blockbuster movies out of Netflix so they could put them in their own streaming channels, like Disney Plus and HBO Max.

I am sure they had lost a chunk of their 18 to 34 year old audience, since all the Marvel and Star Wars movies had disappeared from the Netflix catalogue. It will be any of them will return just for the games.


Netflix’s phenomenal Stranger Things, became an overnight sensation since it debuted in 2016. According to Symphony Technology Group, within the first 35 days of release, Stranger Things averaged ratings around 14.07 million adults between the ages 18–49 in the United States.  Within its first month, the third season was watched by 64 million households, setting a new record for the most-watched original Netflix series.

The series is the most followed TV show on social media app “TV Time’s” history, with over 5 million followers.

Stranger Things is Netflix’s most prized franchise after having aired four seasons. All types of merchandise could be found at just about any major retail outlet. Books, comics, novels, clothing, toys, games, and even video games. You name it.


In 2017, Netflix started to produce their series of “interactive” films, such as “Black Mirror Bandersnatch”. Their “choose your own adventure” movie has up to ten to twelve different endings based on the viewer’s choices presented at a certain “choice point”.  Though there are very few decision-making choices compared to an actual video game, it still made it somewhat, in a way, a “game”, since it is interactive.

The following year, Netflix partnered with Telltale Games and introduced their first interactive game, Minecraft: Story Mode, which through basic controls on a television remote, was comparable to the existing catalogue of narrative stories rom Netflix.

Telltale Games also had the exclusive rights to produce a video game adaptation of Stranger Things, but unfortunately, the company collapsed before production even started.

In spite of this, Netflix partnered with BonusXP and developed the first mobile game for Stranger Things on the Android and iOS operating systems, which styled the 80’s look of The Legend of Zelda, the iconic 16-bit Nintendo game that was also about exploration and discovery. The free touchscreen game was downloaded over 3 million times it’s first week in 2017.

The following year, in 2018, when Season Two of Stranger Things came out, the game was updated and also became compatible with the Amazon Fire tablet with an option of using a controller through its port, which was a step in the right direction for serious gamers.

When BonusXP released Stranger Things 3: The Game in 2019, the tie-in for the third season, it was the first time that Stranger Things supported multiple platforms a such as personal computers, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

The debut of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” in 2017 became a phenomenal franchise that games was just a natural path for its world-wide popularity. Courtesy of BonusXP

I can imagine an updated Stranger Things 5 release, just in time for Christmas that could launch their introduction of gaming to their subscribers.

Even though they are still the major leader of all “over-the-top” streaming services with 204 million subscribers (and still growing), Netflix’s market share has been decreasing each quarter to rivals such as Disney Plus, HBO Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime and so on. Their competition is starting to take a bigger chunk of the revenue pie.

In 2020, Netflix had a market share of 36.2% of the U.S. television industry’s revenue, down from 44.4% in 2019. By 2022, its share is expected to be down to 28.4%, and almost even with Disney’s slice of the U.S. streaming market.

Perhaps, it just seems natural for Netflix at this stage as a delivery content provider to transition into gaming after experimenting with interactive films.

Unlike Apple Arcade and Google Stadia whom haven’t exactly bowled the public over with their gaming platforms, Netflix has a much better chance to be successful with their existing 204 million subscriber base global platform, along with the endless quantity of intellectual property coming from Hollywood movies. Mobile gaming has the possibility to be more creative than ever.

They also have a great strategic partnership with Sony.  I believe game developers from all walks of life would want to work for Netflix, which is one of the most trusted and reputable companies in America to work for, as well. It was ranked #115 in Forbes 500 this year.

For better or worse, there will be some very exciting times as well as more stranger days ahead for the streaming giant. We’ll see if gaming will help fuel the future growth for Netflix. It will be a wait and see.

originally published on

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards to be unmasked tonight

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards to be unmasked tonight

With the COVID-19 Pandemic looming above us during the past year, the major awards season has been rather anemic with its shows having to rely almost exclusively on virtual technology. It would have been just as enjoyable and appropriate for viewers to watch the shows on their six inch smart-phones instead of on their ultra HD television sets.

This year’s venue will be primarily at the Union Station in Los Angeles, where they will be able to treat this as a film production shoot, rather than an event. The event will be like watching a movie. It will even be shot at 24 frames per second just like film, rather than the 30 frames per second that TV normally is shot at. There may be some “simulcast” feeds and “pre-recorded” performances for best songs, but certainly no Zoom.

It will be virtually “non-virtual” with live presenters and audience, as well. It promises to pay tribute to the golden days of Hollywood when the ceremony was just as a small intimate gathering at the Roosevelt Hotel back in 1929. Winners will be able to give their long glorious acceptance speeches to a live audience, without masks. In other words, everyone that you see on camera will be totally mask-less.

And no, we are not at a “Make America Great Again” political rally.

Prior and close to the event, all attendees will be required to be tested for COVID three separate times before entering the historic venue along with its multiple hubs around the globe. When they are not in front of the camera, everyone must wear their mask. So you can assume when the commercial rolls, they will all be practicing safety and distancing guidelines.

The membership of the Academy Awards has gone through some major changes recently. Thanks to the, #OscarsSoWhite” movement which started two years ago causing an uproar that all of the twenty acting category nominees were all white. In addition, there wasn’t enough women being represented in the Academy.

Since then, AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Sciences) recruited filmmakers all around the globe to diversify its members by doubling the number of women and people of color. By looking at this years nominees, it sure looks like they have certainly accomplished this task.

Seventy women received a total 76 nominations, a record for a given year. Chloé Zhao, (editor, writer, director, producer of “Nomadland”) is the first woman to receive four nominations in a single year. Emerald Fennell, (writer, director, and producer of “Promising Young Woman”), becomes the third woman with three nominations in a single year, joining Sofia Coppola and Fran Walsh, who both accomplished that feat in 2003.

Not only has there never been as many diverse nominations in a given year, but this may be the year that the all or the majority of Oscar winners will be of color, if my predictions are correct. Also, for the first time in history and a major leap for #OscarsSoWhite, an Asian woman, a woman who is not white, will most likely win for Best Director.

Frances McDormand and Director/Writer Chloé Zhao on the set of NOMADLAND. Photo by Joshua James Richards. © 2020 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

BEST PICTURE: The Academy Award for the “Best Picture” category is based on the ranking system; an instant-runoff voting or preferential treatment rather than the typical plurality voting that is done in all the other categories. That means even if a movie garners the most first place votes, it can still lose if it places lower on all of the other voters lists. Such a likely example might have happened a few years ago when the heavily favored “La La Land”, with its record 14 tie-breaking nominations lost to the critically acclaimed, “Moonlight”.

This year is no exception, as the rules for the Best Picture category can be a somewhat unpredictable. “Nomadland” is the front-runner as it won most of the awards during the year, including every single Best Director Award for Chloé Zhao. This will be only the second time a woman has won the Best Director prize since Kathryn Bigelow won for “The Hurt Locker”. It will be the first time an Asian woman has ever won the award, as well.

Considering how diversified the Oscars has gotten to be over the years, don’t be too surprised if the highly regarded Korean film, “Minari” pulls off a surprise upset. It has all the necessary major nominations to win votes across the board, but because Korea’s “Parasite” was last year’s big winner, it would put it at a disadvantage in the voting.

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (2020) Chadwick Boseman as Levee. Cr. David Lee/NETFLIX

BEST ACTOR: Critics and filmmakers alike are so enamored by Chadwick Boseman performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” that they were thinking it would be inconceivable that anyone else could possibly win this category, even before the Oscar campaign season officially started. When you see his first scene in the movie and you immediately think the studio will use that scene as his “Oscar Clip”, only to discover these scenes gets better and better throughout the movie, especially when he is sharing the screen with the incomparable Viola Davis.

If there is any competition against him who can possibly upset him, it’s Sir Anthony Hopkins, who recently won the BAFTA (British Academy Awards) for Best Actor. However, it probably won’t happen here in the U.S. where many actors were very blessed to have had worked alongside his brilliance before he tragically died. He has virtually won every single award he was nominated for in here in this country.

Andra Day stars in THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Takashi Seida.

BEST ACTRESS: Now that there are more films being made about strong and independent women, the scripts have never been better. Whether it would be musical bio-pics, featuring Billie Holliday or Ma Rainey, or just about “everyday” strong liberated women, it will be very difficult to choose a winner, as we haven’t had this many powerhouse performances ever in a given year for actresses.

Andra Day might have the edge over Davis, since she not only embodied the role of her character like Davis did, but unlike Davis, she actually sang throughout the movie. Within a short amount of time with the help of her dialect/singing coach, she recreated Billie Holiday’s unique vocal style. She even took up smoking and drinking which helped put the “gravel” into her voice, creating the nuance that Holiday had in her singing.

Votes will definitely be split across the board between musical icons, strong and promising young, women, Oscar winners and Oscar nominees who haven’t won, and so on. Sometimes, I feel they should just split the award among all five of the nominees when all of the performances are so outstanding.

(L-r) DARRELL BRITT-GIBSON as Bobby Rush, DANIEL KALUUYA as Chairman Fred Hampton and LAKEITH STANFIELD as Bill O’Neal in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Glen Wilson

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: If there is another “sure” bet in any acting category, it will be for Daniel Kaluuya taking home the statuette for Best Supporting Actor, portraying Black Panther revolutionary, Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah”. Many filmgoers were quite surprised that he is actually British, as most remember his Actor nominated performance as Chris Robinson in Jordan Peele’s thriller, “Get Out”, which earned him a Best Actor nomination in 2017. Kaluuya went on to sweep all the major awards during the year, so it will be no surprise for him to win.

Minari_ Yuh-jung Youn Credit: Courtesy of A24

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: You would think Glenn Close would have an Oscar by now with her eight nomination during her forty year career in film, but her film “Hillbilly Elegy” didn’t garner much support from the Academy voters. Since Yuh-Jung Youn took home the SAG and BAFTA and virtually everything else she was nominated for “Minari”, this should be history in the making for her to be the first Korean actress to win the Academy Award for acting and the second Asian actress since Miyoshi Umeki for “Sayonara” in 1958.

MLS Entertainment’s Oscar Predictions:

Best Picture: “Nomadland”
Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Best Actress: Andra O’Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
Best Director: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “ Nomadland ”
Best Original Screenplay: “ Promising Young Woman”
Best Cinematography: “Nomadland”
Best Costume Design: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Best Film Editing: “Trial of the Chicago 7”
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Best Music (Original Score): “Soul”
Best Music (Original Song): “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami”
Best Production Design: “Mank”
Best Sound: “Sound of Metal”
Best Visual Effects: “Tenet”
Best Animated Feature Film: “Soul”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Another Round”
Best Documentary (Feature): “My Octopus Teacher”
Best Documentary (Short Subject): ”A Love Song for Latasha”
Best Short Film (Animated): “If Anything Happens I Love You”
Best Short Film (Live Action): “Two Distant Strangers”

originally published on

The Greatest Idea Since The Lightbulb – GE LED+ Line

The Greatest Idea Since The Lightbulb – GE LED+ Line

“There’s a way to do it better – find it– Thomas Edison.

Over the years, the GE brand has been synonymous with Thomas Edison, America’s greatest known inventor. Though he wasn’t the original inventor, he improved on the original light bulb and took it a big leap further. He modernized it to last much longer compared to any of his other counterparts could have done, thanks mainly with his brilliant idea of the development of a more durable incandescent material, better elimination of air from the bulb by the creation of a vacuum, and a filament material with a higher resistance which promoted economically efficient power distribution.

Needless to say, he practically changed the world “overnight” as electric lighting became widespread everywhere.

By the flick of a switch it was “night and day”.

Thanks to dramatic improvements of LED lighting over the years, smart-lighting technology has been catching on with consumers everywhere. People are ditching traditional incandescent bulbs in favor of LED lights that last up to fifty times longer, use less energy, and do not contain any mercury. More recently, the traditional incandescent bulb has been banned by many governments around the world as they are not energy efficient and is unsuitable for the environment.

GE Lighting, a Savant company, purchased General Electric’s Lighting Company just less than a year ago and introduced the LED+ Collection line. Just like Thomas Edison did back 129 year ago, Savant, went to the drawing board with their engineers to design and improve the GE LED light bulb. The LED + line has improved on the solo light bulb, as each bulb in the LED+ series has one extra feature to make life a little better. What makes this collection unique is that the features are built right into the lights, eliminating the need for apps or additional hardware for seamless set-up and ongoing use.

The LED+ Collection:

There are six different LED+ products so far in their lineup: LED+ Color not only remits white light, but also has the option to light ten different colors with the use of a remote. The LED+ Battery Backup is quite practical when your electricity goes out, the bulb will go to a battery backup and you will have light for at least five or more hours. You can even use it as a flashlight backup and take it where you need it. The LED+ Dusk to Dawn bulb automatically turns on your bulb in the evening at sundown as it gets dark and turns off when daylight approaches, perfect for porch lights. The LED+ Linkable Motion turns on automatically when it detects motion outside for safety, as well as scaring off intruders for security purposes. The LED+ Timer turns on and off at any time you set it to.

GE Lighting’s line seems to just put one bright idea on top of another for the home connected space.

The product I was most thrilled about reviewing from the LED+ line was GE’s LED+ Speaker Bulb, It comes in the traditional A-line bulb and a BR for recessed can applications. My review is based on the A21 bulb.

One bright idea on top of another. The LED+ Speaker Bulb. Courtesy of GE Lighting, a Savant Company.


It certainly didn’t take much effort or time to set up the GE LED+ speaker bulb up; perhaps, about a whole minute. There are basically three simple steps: screw in the light bulb in the light socket, pair and connect the Bluetooth to the GE speaker bulb, and stream whatever media you would like from your device, such as a smart-phone, tablet, or laptop.

Using my smart-phone, I immediately found myself playing songs from my favorite musical apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon. I was even able to stream my favorite local radio stations on Of course, if you have music files on your phone, you can play those, as well.

I was pleasantly taken with the sound quality of the bulb. The speakers produce a very nice respectable sound considering how they are built right on top of the bulb with its circumference being about the size of a half dollar coin.  The LED+ speaker also has a remote that comes with it so you can turn on/off the light or adjust the volume on it. Regardless of whether you are increasing or decreasing the volume, the clarity of the speaker is very clean with no hint of any distortion, which is quite impressive. The remote also allows you to connect and disconnect your Bluetooth, as well as being able to dim or increase the brightness of the light.

One advantage of having an LED+ speaker is when you are at home with a group of friends and want to share media from your device. For example, a typical situation might be when you are trying to share a video on your smart-phone, but unfortunately, even though everyone is gathered around it closely, not everyone is able to clearly hear the dialogue clearly enough due to the sound limitations from the smart-phone’s speakers. Of course, it also doesn’t help when your environment gets a little noisy.

With the LED+ speaker bulb, you won’t have to suffer through this type of scenario. It’s astounding how clear and audible this speaker can get. Some may confuse it as being primarily a Bluetooth speaker that also contains an LED light bulb instead of the other way around. The party continues.

For those with multiple lamps or light fixtures next to each other in a room, you have the option of putting up to ten speaker bulbs across the room all at once. While these aren’t multi-channel or stereo speakers, the more you have, the more robust the sound, especially coming from a ceiling space. With these built-in speakers camouflaging as a light bulb, I love the idea that they aren’t taking any additional space in the room. Watch for house guests to glance around the room wondering where the sound is coming from.

Given how simple these are to setup without any complex configurations, GE Lighting made me a believer that everyone should install LED+ speaker bulbs in all the rooms in their homes. I just love the idea of knowing I can just stream anything from any device in any room in the house and and knowing I can have instant music without having to turn on any electricity from something plugged into an outlet, like a radio, stereo, or even Alexa. It’s instant gratification at its best.

Thomas Edison would have been proud with the GE LED+ speaker, if he were alive today. It’s as close as you can come to with two of his greatest inventions that were invented within two years of each other: the light bulb and the phonograph cylinder. The LED+ speaker is basically the combination of one great Edison invention built on top of another. The fact that you are able to reproduce music through a light bulb instead of a phonograph cylinder may be one of the greatest inventions that Edison has never seen. If he was alive today, it would be music to his ears.

Previously published on mlsentertainment

Dolby: Taking Sound and Vision to an Entirely New Level

Dolby: Taking Sound and Vision to an Entirely New Level

At the CES Pepcom “Digital Experience” show online, I was fortunate to spend some considerable time at the Dolby virtual booth learning about the company’s recent announcements at CES, as well as the company’s rapid progress during the last few years.

It was just a mere four years ago when I wrote about the launch of Dolby Cinema which dramatically changed the movie going experience with its immersive combination of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos with their collaboration with AMC theaters wowing audiences around the world. In movie houses around the world, nothing looked or sounded better.

Dolby Vision has also been the benchmark for TV’s since its introduction. It is the HDR standard that uses dynamic metadata which will give you better visuals and improve the image quality.  The main difference between Dolby Vision and HDR10 is the colour depth and brightness the content and equipment is capable of achieving, with Dolby Vision giving you the darkest of darks and the brightest of brights.

In 2015, Vizio was the first company in America to release Dolby Vision TV’s. Two years later, LG was the first company globally to utilize Dolby Vision on their top of the line OLED TV’s. Every year since, LG won the “Best of CES” awards for TV’s, including one for this year’s CES. During that span, the majority of TV manufacturers have jumped onto the Dolby Vision bandwagon; TCL, Sony, Panasonic, and Phillips, to name just a few.

Within the last year, with the help of the pandemic with people staying home, the adoption and demand of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos in the home has been widespread, and not just exclusively associated to TV’s, but also mobile devices.

As the pandemic worsened during 2020, Dolby conducted a global survey and discovered a significant shift in consumer behavior. Fueled by a majority who uses their smartphone, tablet, PC as their primary device for consuming entertainment over the past few months, Dolby found out that the majority of them wanted, desired and planned to upgrade and pay for more immersive experiences. The survey also noted that 82% of the respondents in the survey said that they were planning to purchase a new device in the next few months to upgrade their entertainment experience.

“That’s very exciting for us!”, Cairon Armstrong, the PR Manager at Dolby exclaimed, “because with our partners there’s a lot of new devices coming out that support Dolby Atmos and Dolby vision that they can use to get those great experiences”.


With consumers having more time than ever before to engage with entertainment on their mobile devices, the survey also showed that most consumers, many for the first time, are interacting with friends and family while enjoying entertainment, such as talking on the phone, texting, and video chatting while watching the same content simultaneously, as well as spending more on premium subscriptions in order to receive a better quality and shared experience.

Certainly, at least for now, our mobile device has become our new “best friend” that connects are friends, given the COVID-19 stay at home orders. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to “socialize” with the people we know, as the pandemic has pretty much dissipated the large groups of social gatherings that we used to have.

However, the stark reality is that most consumers are still stuck at home with the technical limitations of their mobile devices and will never be able to replace that real-life experience of, for example, going to a live concert with their group of friends.

Watching a streamed pay per-view concert on any mobile device is certainly dwarfed in comparison to experiencing a real live concert, but if you add Dolby Vision or Atmos, it will significantly boost the the enjoyment level a big notch. This is an example of what users want as a more personal and immersive entertainment experience.

Dolby have made lots of announcements in a lot of ways for consumers to get content both in the movie and TV space, as well as the music and games, and even in content creation that allows them to experience Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

It was just last year when Dolby launched Dolby Atmos music at CES, not just with Amazon Music and Echo Studio but also with titles from Universal Music Group. Soon, new tracks and albums will be launched by huge artists like Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Post Malone, and The Weeknd in Dolby Atmos.

“On the gaming front, Microsoft announced the new Xbox with support for Dolby Atmos, but more importantly it was the first console that also supported Dolby Vision,” Armstrong continued, “There were a lot of big game titles, such as “Cyberpunk 2077”, and “Call of Duty – Warzone” that support Dolby Atmos…we’re excited this year to see the first Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos game titles coming out”.

“On the mobile front, with the launch of the iPhone 12, we launched Dolby Vision capture together with Apple giving consumers a way to create, share and watch Dolby Vision content on their own without all of the complications and difficulties that they used to take,” Amstrong explained, “and so taking this really premium high quality experience allows them to capture their worlds and share it in a much easier way.”

Though Dolby was primarily at CES to promote the wonderful products in the home entertainment space, they were also here because of a new innovation in the PC audio conferencing space from one of their PC partners.

One of their partners, Lenovo announced and unveiled three new innovative and redesigned ThinkPads at CES; the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga (their thinnest ever), ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 and the X1 Yoga Gen 6. Though their entire line of X1’s and Carbons all feature Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, this line is the very first to support Dolby Voice.

Dolby Voice delivers a supreme conferencing experience that feels more natural, reduces listener fatigue, and sounds stunningly clear to make meetings more productive. It also optimizes speaker and microphone performance with features such as dynamic levelling to automatically adjust for voices that are quieter or further away and noise suppression that reduces unwanted background noises and echo no matter what meeting platform you use. Productivity is further enhanced with improved speech recognition for voice assistants.

“We’re particularly excited about how we can bring our Dolby technology to bear on making PC video conferencing an even better experience.”, Armstrong said.

Whether at work or play, it looks like our global landscape will continue to improve for the better as we will soon be able to see and hear Dolby just about everywhere we go. 

Previously published on mlsentertainment

CES – Goes virtually Digital

CES – Goes virtually Digital

With less than two weeks to go, the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show returns to Las Vegas on January 11th thru the 14th. With its continuous record breaking attendance year after year, attracting 171,268 attendees in 2020, they have gotten to the point where they have simply outgrown the Las Vegas Convention center and its side venues due to lack of space.

COVID-19’s pandemic may have solved this problem temporarily, as CES had announced that the show will be completely digital and exclusively online.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise to any of us considering how COVID-19 has completely turned our lives upside down. With most of the restrictions that the pandemic has given us, it at least keeps everyone safe at home rather than to try to accommodate its massive crowds in the finite space that they have to roam around in.

This year for returning CES attendees, there will be no need to keep tabs of travel expenses. There will be no need to book a flight or a hotel in advance at absorbent rates. There will be no need to compete for limited ground transportation from hotels with other attendees who are all stressed to get to their destination on time. Nor will they need to deal with the cold freezing temperatures early in the morning to get to the convention floors before the doors open up.

With the strict stay at home in orders preventing us not to be there in person, the show must go on. In any event, the CES show will continue to thrill us with major new announcements from all the top consumer companies in the world, as well as give us a preview of their latest technological lineup of gadgets on the “virtual” showroom floor. It gives us a preview glimpse into the future.

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Expect companies, such as Toyota to announce next generation vehicles and next generation cities that will be here before you know it. Photo by Marcus Siu.

Last year’s CES in Las Vegas with 171,268 attendees now seem like a blur. This year the show will be virtual. Virtually no one there to see the amazing products in person…only online. Photo by Marcus Siu

Several keynotes will be given: Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Verizon will be discussing 5G as the framework of the 21st century and how they will plan and develop smart cities into a very real possibility; Mary Barra, the Chairman and CEO of General Motors will be speaking about GM’s transformational strategy to advance mobility for communities around the world and how they are leveraging new trends to drive the adoption of next generation vehicles and next generation cities; and Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, will be discussing “the promise and peril of the digital age”. Several other companies, such as AMD, Best Buy, and Walmart are also expected to attend.

In addition, there will be more than 90 conference sessions an incredible lineup of speakers and surprise guests.

This year, expect many of the TV manufacturers to announce their latest 8K lineup, including Sony, pictured here from the 2020 CES Show in Las Vegas. Photo by Marcus Siu.