Inside Track

Sports Tech at CES 2022

The Consumer Electronics Show, more commonly known as CES by the cool techie elite, is the ultimate event showcasing the newest products and innovations.

It’s a big deal. In 2020, more than 171,000 people attended taking in 4,417 exhibitors spread across 2.9 million square feet of exhibition space.

CES has paralleled the evolution of technology dating back to the first one held back at the Hilton and Americana hotels in New York City in 1967. In that premier event, the hottest products were pocket radios and televisions with integrated circuits.

Throughout the course of its history, CES has spanned all forms of home entertainment and tech products from radio, television, gaming, television, and most recently—sports.

Here’s an overview of some of our favorite historical CES facts:

  • 1971: CES was big on showcasing the latest in audio introducing 8-track cassettes, recordable tapes, and headphones that cost $50—that’s about $343 in today’s money.
  • 1975: Music was the soundtrack of CES throughout the 1970s, but in 1975, the Pong home console was demoed. We like to think this competitive at-home play is a predecessor to eSports of today.
  • 1979: Atari brought two personal computers to the show—the Atari 400 and Atari 800.
  • 1982: The compact disc debuted along with personal camcorders. Making the year even more memorable, was the appearance of Commodore 64.
  • 1985: Home gaming was forever changed when the Nintendo Entertainment System was launched, although it was first known as the Nintendo Video System.
  • 1992: Apple made their last appearance (they returned in 2020 to discuss privacy) when they introduced Newton.
  • 2005: Celebs became staples at CES events. Bill Gates logged successive shows presenting keynotes. This year, 150,000 attendees made it the most successful show yet and live blogs were updating people of the events in real-time.

In 2020, CES marked a decade of showcasing the future of sports technology including wearables, sensors, and fitness trackers. But the bellwether for how CES understood and embraced sports tech was the implementation of a Sports Zone in 2019, the first time the conference dedicated an area solely to sports technology. In the years leading up to that moment, sports tech had many interesting moments at CES as companies have evolved to understand and embrace the relationships between sports and technology. In 2018, one of the biggest discussions was about how creators and broadcasters could work together with social influencers to amplify athletes and reach fans in new ways with social media and next-gen tech.

Meet The Comcast SportsTech Team At CES!

In the last decade, sports tech has developed a significant following at CES as wearable technology and mobile devices have joined alongside athletes during all phases of their training and competition.

As investors of the world’s next greatest sports technologies, we’re excited to show you what we’ve been working on and what we have ready for you in 2022! Stop by Booth #54105 from January 5-8 to connect with us.

Here’s a breakdown of what we’re doing:

Ready to rev some virtual engines? Pull into our booth with your friends and see who gets the best time on our iRacing simulator. We’re swapping out some of NASCAR’s top tracks every day. Do you have what it takes to cross the checkered flag first? Join us to find out!

  • Check out our panel! From fan engagement to predictive analytics, today’s sports leaders are working on the hottest things in tech. Hear from the industry’s top leaders at Comcast NBCU SportsTech, NBC Sports, GOLF, and Comcast Spectacor on how startups have brought game-changing innovations into their business. 🗓 Register to attend the Panel 🗓
  • Meet our Startups! CES is about synergy and awesome conversations. Swing by our booth and chat with a few of our alumni. Find out more about our partners, startups, innovation areas, and how to apply to the next program.
  • Win cool stuff! Attendees at CES can win big with the best iRacing lap time while our audience cheering us on digitally can enter to win a Quest 2 in a special social media competition. After all, working out and golfing is pretty rad in VR. 🏁 Enter the Contest 🏁

What We’re Excited To See at CES

This article started with a look back at some of the cooler sports tech moments that happened in the past. Now, we look to this year and some of the topics and sessions that keep us excited.

Here’s the agenda we’ll be focused on this year:

  • Emerging sports. It’s wild to think that a recess activity from our childhood is now a competitive sport, but World Chase Tag is a real thing. Disc golf is another example. These emerging sports are not just a blip on the radar, they’re becoming a force in the world of sports, and trends arising from them will have an impact on broadcasting, fan engagement, and even stadium technology.
  • Racing autonomous cars. It’s just inevitable that as consumer habits change with vehicles, the same will trickle into competitive motorsports. So, we’re super excited to see what happens when a group of competitors challenges each other to win an autonomous race challenge at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

What’s so cool about CES and sports is that it’s 2022’s introduction to the best in tech. It’s a partial glimpse of a much more grand vision for the future, and we believe that sports has a prominent and promising future not just for pro athletes, but also the folks like you and me who work out and try to maintain some competitive fire.

Find out all of the cool stuff we’re doing at CES on this page.

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