Now that CES 2021, the first all-virtual event in the show's history, is over, it's time to start putting together best-of lists. This year, the Right to Repair Association has taken an alternative look at what was on offer.
The organization, which campaigns for your right to repair your electronics, along with some expert judges, put together the Worst in Show Awards, highlighting products that are unrepairable, unsustainable, and generally bad for the consumer.
CES 2021 Worst in Show Award Winners
The products at CES this year were judged on privacy, repairability, security, and environmental impact. There was also the Community Choice and Overall Worst in Show awards.
- Repairability: X-Series Combine Harvester
- Privacy: Linksys Aware Motion-Sensing WiFi
- Security: TCL 32-inch Class 3-Series Smart TV
- Environmental Impact: YSL Rouge Sur Measure Customizable Lipstick
- Community Choice: ColdSnap Ice Cream Maker
- Overall Worst in Show: X-9 Series Combine Harvester
You can view the full list, and the rationale for each choice, over on the Right to Repair Association website.
Why the Worst in Show Awards?
You may be wondering why someone would choose to put together a list of the worst products at CES. After all, countless people worked to bring those items to market. That's not to mention that, to some people, these products are enjoyable investments for their home.
However, the Right to Repair Association campaigns for what's often called Right to Repair, a legal and economic ability to fix your broken electronics. This is a worldwide issue but is particularly severe in the US, where several large, monopolistic manufacturers make it all but impossible for you to repair broken items.
On the whole, CES is an enjoyable event bringing together some of the most exciting technology. But it also offers a space to companies who may not have the best interests of the customer, or the planet, in mind.
Protecting Your Wallet and the Planet
In the coming years, it'll be more important than ever that you should be able to repair faulty items. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will place a financial strain on most people, making it less viable for you to replace a broken phone, laptop, or smart home device.
Fixing electronics rather than disposing of them also prevents unnecessary e-waste from non-recyclable products. Similarly, it prevents another one from being sold for every device fixed, thus reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing and supply chains.