After Amazon, Meta, Nvidia and Twitter, now search engine giant Google has decided to pull out of the in-person Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022, citing health and safety reasons amid rising cases of Covid’s Omicron variant.
In addition to Google, chip company Intel and PC brand Lenovo have also decided to avoid the in-person event and participate virtually.
“After careful consideration we have decided to withhold from having a presence on the show floor of CES 2022. We’ve been closely monitoring the development of the Omicron variant, and have decided that this is the best choice for the health and safety of our teams," a Google spokesperson said.
However, Google will continue to "collaborate closely with both CTA and our partners to identify and support virtual opportunities, and we look forward to sharing the latest Google innovations with you all," the spokesperson added.
Though Google has its own line-up of hardware products that includes Pixel smartphones, Nest smart speakers and Google Cast streaming devices, the Alphabet company's focus at CES has been on showcasing how other companies in other segments such as smart TVs, smart cameras, earbuds and connected cars have been using Google Assistant.
At CES 2021, which was held virtually, Google had announced a partnership with South Korea electronics company LG as part of which Stadia cloud game streaming service will be available pre-loaded on LG’s webOS smart TVs.
Lenovo in an official Twitter post said, "After closely monitoring the current trends surrounding covid-19, it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and our communities to suspend all on-site activity in Las Vegas."
"After consulting with health officials and in the spirit of Intel’s safety policy, our plans for CES will move to a digital-first, live experience, with minimal on-site staff," Intel said in a blog post.
Consumer Technology Association, the trade group that organizes the event, said last week that CES 2022 will continue as an in-person event as planned from January 5 to 8 in Las Vegas, US.
Regarded as the world's biggest tech show, CES attracts thousands of tech companies and enthusiasts every year. The last in person event held in 2020, was attended by 171,268 people while 4,419 tech companies exhibited their products.