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Consumer Electronics Show

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United States

Consumer electronics

Consumer Electronics Show

Las Vegas Convention Center

Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

June 24, 1967; 49 years ago (1967-06-24)

The Consumer Electronics Show (commonly known as CES) is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association. Held in January at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, the event typically hosts presentations of new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry.



The first CES was held in June 1967 in New York City. It was a spinoff from the Chicago Music Show, which until then had served as the main event for exhibiting consumer electronics. The event had 17,500 attendees and over 100 exhibitors; the kickoff speaker was Motorola chairman Bob Galvin. From 1978 to 1994, CES was held twice each year: once in January in Las Vegas known as Winter Consumer Electronics Show (WCES) and once in June in Chicago, known as Summer Consumer Electronics Show (SCES).

The winter show was successfully held in Las Vegas in 1995 as planned. However, since the summer Chicago shows were beginning to lose popularity, the organizers decided to experiment by having the show travel around to different cities starting in 1995 with a planned show in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. However, the inaugural E3 gaming show was scheduled to be held on the West Coast in May and proved a source of increasing competition, causing the Philadelphia Summer CES show to be cancelled. The 1996 Winter show was again held in Las Vegas in January, followed by a Summer show this time in Orlando, Florida, however only a fraction of the traditional exhibitors participated. Again, the 1997 Winter show in Las Vegas was very successful. The next "Summer" show was scheduled to be held in conjunction with Spring COMDEX in Atlanta, however when only two dozen-or-so exhibitors signed on, the CES portion of the show was cancelled.

In 1998, the show changed to a once-a-year format with Las Vegas as the location. In Las Vegas, the show is one of the largest (the other being CONEXPO-CON/AGG), taking up to 18 days to set up, run and break down.


Organizers held the first CES in New York City from June 24 to 28, 1967. The 200 exhibitors attracted 17,500 attendees to the Hilton and Americana hotels over those four days. On view: the latest pocket radios and TVs sporting integrated circuits.


In a one-time experiment, the Summer CES 1993 was open to the general public.

Major announcements during this edition were:

  • Capcom unveils Mega Man X First Time in North American.
  • 2004

    The Blu-ray Group held at the January 2004 CES the first US press conference to promote the Blu-ray Disc format.


    The 2005 CES was from January 6–9, 2005, in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event started off with a twist when the main keynote address by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates went wrong, as his demonstration of Windows Media Center resulted in a Blue Screen of Death, much to the amusement of the onlookers. Samsung showed off a 102-inch (2.6 m) plasma television.

    Zimiti Ltd (renamed Boardbug Ltd in 2007) won the "Best of Innovators" award for Personal Electronics. It is the only British company to have won this award.


    The 2006 exhibition took place on January 5–8, 2006 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Convention Center, the Alexis Park Hotel and the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. HDTV was a central theme in the Bill Gates keynote as well as many of the other manufacturer's speeches. The standards competition between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc was conspicuous, with some of the first HD movie releases and first HD players being announced at the show. Philips showed a rollable display prototype whose screen can retain an image for several months without electricity. Hillcrest Labs won the "Best Of Innovations" award in the video accessories category for software and hardware that allows a television to be controlled with natural gestures. Attendance was over 150,000 individuals in 1.67 million net square feet of space, making it the largest electronics event in the United States.


    In a break from recent tradition, the 2007 CES exhibition did not begin on a Thursday, nor span a weekend. It ran from Monday to Thursday on January 8–11, 2007. The venues also changed slightly, with the high-performance audio and home theater expo moving from the Alexis Park venue to The Venetian. The remaining venues were the same as previous years: the Las Vegas Convention Center was the center of events, with the adjacent Las Vegas Hilton, and the Sands Expo and Convention Center hosting satellite exhibitions.

    The location for the main keynotes was the other major change for 2007. Previously held at the Las Vegas Hilton's Main Theater, they staged for the first time at The Palazzo Ballroom in The Venetian. Bill Gates gave his ninth pre-show keynote address on the Sunday evening. The opening keynote was presented by Gary Shapiro (President/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, which hosts the event), with Ed Zander, Chairman/CEO of Motorola. Other keynote speakers scheduled included Robert Iger from The Walt Disney Company, Michael Dell, founder of Dell Inc., and Leslie Moonves of CBS.

    Finally, Industry Insider presentations moved to the Las Vegas Hilton, with contributions from Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia and John Chambers, CEO of Cisco.

    In the gaming section for Windows Vista and DirectX 10, there were two games shown: Age of Conan and Crysis.


    The 2008 exhibition was from January 7–10, 2008 in Las Vegas with 141,150 attendees. Bill Gates gave the keynote speech, in which he formally announced his retirement from his day-to-day duties at Microsoft. Along with the announcement, he presented a lengthy comedy skit on what his last day with Microsoft would be like, complete with cameos from celebrities including Jay-Z, Steven Spielberg, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and many others.

    Panasonic attracted much attention by releasing a 150" Plasma TV, as well as a 50" TV as thin as 0.46 in. (11.6 mm).


    The 2009 exhibition, held January 7–10, 2009, returned to the previous Thursday–Sunday schedule, and attracted 113,085 attendees. Among more than 2,700 exhibiting companies were approximately 300 first-time exhibitors.

    Several highlights include organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions, the Palm Pre, Mattel MindFlex Game, pico projectors, the Marvell SheevaPlug plug computer, and 3D projectors.

    The Minoru 3D Webcam, a USB webcam that is billed as the world's first stereoscopic 3D consumer stereo webcam won the "Fans Favorite" award. Dell introduced its Dell Adamo subnotebook.

    The game show Jeopardy! filmed one episode from the celebrity series and the 2009 Tournament of Champions on a new set at the Sony booth. The set was moved to their main studio at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California starting with the show's 26th season through the 29th season.

    CES 2009 suffered 22 percent or more attendance drop, which was attributed to the global financial crisis.


    The 2010 exhibition was held January 7–10, 2010 and attracted more than 120,000 attendees.

    Highlights include the Intel Infoscape, which is run on the Intel Core i7 processor. One computer ran two 7-foot (2.1 m) screens, displaying 576 cubes hooked up to 20,000 info sources, including 20 live video feeds. Visitors would touch one of the cubes, and an infobox displaying that content would come forward. One journalist explained, "The graphics on the giant screens were a tons of fun to move around with their uncanny quickness and smooth motion, and the whole thing felt super responsive, Giving us a peek into the future, it seemed a lot like that computer screen in the movie Minority Report. It was the most spectacular demo we saw at CES 2010." Equally impressive, Parrot presented the 1st prototype of Parrot AR.Drone, a remote-controlled flying toy which streams video via wi-fi to an iPhone.

    Sustainable Planet grew by 40% in 2010.


    The 2011 exhibition was held from January 6–9, 2011. CESWEB is reporting that their pre-audit numbers show an attendance of 128,949.

    Many tablets were introduced in 2011's show, such as the Motorola Xoom tablet, winning Best of Show, which runs Android Honeycomb. Many 4G phones were also unveiled at the show, including the LG Revolution, Samsung Infuse 4G, HTC Thunderbolt, Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Motorola CLIQ 2, Motorola Droid Bionic, and Motorola Atrix 4G. In a push towards mobile devices, Microsoft demonstrated an early version of the next release of the Windows operating system, running on ARM-based devices.

    3D TVs were introduced by many giants, such as Mitsubishi's 92-inch model of its 2011 line up theater-sized 3D Home Cinema TVs. Toshiba also unveiled its Glasses Free 4K 3D TV prototype. Samsung announced the Plasma 3D HD TV series named D8000 and LG introduced the LED 3D TV of its Infinia Nano series.

    3net, a 3DTV channel co-owned by Discovery Communications, Sony, and IMAX, was previewed.


    The 2012 exhibition was held from January 8–13, 2012. Microsoft released an official statement saying that CES 2012 will be Microsoft’s last appearance at the event. The show organizers claimed that 153,000 people attended the 2012 show, a 2% increase from the previous year and a new all-time attendance record. Intel was caught falsifying a demo of their new Ivy Bridge processors. AMD demonstrated their new Trinity APUs.

    AMTC was demonstrating this ‘Tier-2’ CE products (‘middleware’) featuring the Inview Technology platform. Inview claimed that its low processing and memory footprint means connected TV capabilities are available at low-cost, as the software is provided royalty free. Parrot presented the "world's most advanced headphones" the Parrot ZIK By Starck.

    This was also the first year in which the Photo Marketing Association held its annual trade show in conjunction with CES, with the PMA show branded as PMA@CES.


    The 2013 International CES, instead of starting on Thursday went from Tuesday to Friday, January 8–11, 2013 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Over 3,000 exhibitors showcased a wide range of innovative products this year. CES 2013 was known for what was billed as an insane opening by Qualcomm. This year the categories include 3D, Accessories, Audio, Automotive Electronics, Embedded Technology, Lifestyle Electronics, Wireless & Wireless Devices to name a few. 2013 International CES however was not necessarily being noted for announcing the newest products, but getting a lot of press for the fundamental changes about to hit the digital world; such as motion detection sensors, the driverless cars and digital home safety and technology.

    Major announcements during this edition were:

  • Samsung unveils multi-view TVs and Flexible OLED Display Youm
  • Sony announced Sony Xperia Z smartphone, and Samsung Announced Galaxy S2 plus smartphone.
  • Sony announces TRILUMINOS quantum dot display technology.
  • Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 600 & 800 processors that can bring 4K recording capability in Mobile Phones
  • Intel reveals ATOM processor for embedded markets as well as Bay Trail
  • Panasonic announces a wide range of smart TVs. The Panasonic's Smart Viera HDTVs lineup includes 16 plasmas and 16 LEDs.
  • Razer announces Razer Edge tablet PC
  • Nvidia announces Android handheld Project Shield
  • Research In Motion shows off Blackberry 10 touch screen phone
  • 2014

    The 2014 International CES was held during the week from January 7–10, 2014 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The first Li-Fi smartphone prototype was presented at the show. The smartphone uses SunPartner's Wysips CONNECT, a technique that converts light waves into usable energy, making the phone capable of receiving and decoding signals without drawing on its battery. The phone also has a transparent photovoltaic screen that lets light recharge the phone.

    LG debuted its webOS on smartTVs and new 77-inch curved OLED Ultra HD TV. Samsung unveiled its curved TVs with two series of concave TVs.

    ProtectCELL showcased its comprehensive mobile protection plans for all major devices including the iPhone 5S and 5C, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and Galaxy S4. With demonstrations such as blending a Blackberry, ProtectCELL proves they will cover all damages.

    The AMD presentation mentioned (among others) – the Kaveri CPU of the Steamroller architecture, Heterogenous System Architecture (HSA) lineup and the intention to build upon that, immersive experience, Mantle and AMD TrueAudio.

    In the Intel keynote presentation, its CEO talked about three areas in which technology can improve: living, working, and playing. He also presented Intel Edison, a SoC of the SD card format.

    Pebble announced the Pebble Steel smartwatch, which has a thin body, tactile metal buttons, and Corning Gorilla Glass.

    Laser diodes were unveiled at the show that are going to be used for high beam headlights in Audi vehicles. The high beams will be lasers, though the low beams will be light-emitting diodes. The car maker says that their high beams have a 500-meter range, which is roughly twice the distance of LED high beams. Lasers are expensive though. Lasers are smaller, brighter and more energy efficient than LED headlamps. Their laser headlamps use less than half the energy of LEDs. Laser diodes can emit 170 lumens per watt, while LEDs generate only 100 lumens. Lasers are sensitive to heat but that has not stopped their production for vehicles. Laser technology is not as advanced compared with LEDs, which have been around for decades.


    The 2015 International CES was held during the week January 6–9, 2015 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The 2015 CES was reportedly the largest in its history, with 3,600 exhibitors and 170,000 professional/industry attendees.

    The Internet of Things, impacting all other industries, has been recognized as the buzzword of the CES edition 2015. The interoperability between the connected objects, with changing and multiple alliances, and if some of the products are meeting real needs or are only gadgets, are the main issues detected.

    Wearables, involving health trackers, as the smartwatch, are getting more specialized and design is getting better, fitting better to the mass market.

    Robots and home automation devices were omnipresent. Major announcements included a realistic robotic hostess by Toshiba, autonomous telepresence bots by Intel and iRobot, a developer program for Google's Nest, Samsung's SmartThings hub for connecting devices, and a number of Apple HomeKit brand home automation products, though the company stopped officially exhibiting at CES back in 1992.

    Every auto maker who had any kind of presence at the show offered a glimpse into some kind of intelligent, driver-free technology, from parking to advanced object recognition. Audi showed four generations of driver-assist automated car tech.

    Unlike 3D TV, which has disappeared from the announcements at the CES 2015, 3D visualization is now more specialized and target the B2B environment, from modelization to immersive glasses and helmets for architects, healthcare specialists or gamers.

    3D printing continues to grow and vendors make meaningful improvements in their products, while making them easier to use and less expensive.

    Most TV manufacturers announced 4K TV models :

  • Samsung released several new 4K televisions including a massive 105-inch set that bends on command.
  • LG unveiled the LG G Flex 2, second generation of its curved Android smartphone, and a new lineup of 4K televisions including one bending TV as well.
  • Sharp showed off its Ultra HD 8K television expected for late 2015
  • Sony showed off a 4K action camera which automatically detects the best parts of your footage and picks out the best clips for you.
  • Toyota revealed it plans to release its fuel cell patents to the public royalty free.
  • 2016

    The 2016 CES was held January 6–9, 2016 in Las Vegas and 3,600 companies attended; the CES 2016 venues of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino and the Sands Expo & Convention Center had over 2.4 million square feet utilized for the event. The 2016 event had notably more security with full bag searches and police officers in armored gear and explosives detection dogs.


    The 2017 CES was held January 5–8, 2017 in Las Vegas. Unfortunately even with tight security at the show, two prototype Razer triple screen gaming laptops were stolen during the show. Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Razer, said that the company is treating the case as "industrial espionage". A Razer spokesperson said they were offering $25,000 for any "original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction" of anyone who was involved with the crime.

    "Booth babes" controversy

    Part of the press, including the BBC and The Verge in 2012–2014 and ShinyShiny in 2015 wrote about the alleged unsuitable presence of "booth babes" (scantily dressed glamour models) at the show. Other publications, like PC Magazine, although aware of the controversy published galleries of booth babes without negative commentary. In 2013, CES organizers released statements in which they claimed that enforcing business casual attire for the exhibitor personnel would be impractical and would detract CES staff on the ground from their main focus of providing security.

    In a background story in The Wire, Rebecca Greenfield wrote that "booth babes" were initially called "CES Guides" and they "date back to the beginning of the Consumer Electronics Show" (1967) and that "they've been the subject of controversy and nerd fantasy alike". According to Greenfield's research, the first use of the term "booth babe" appeared in a Toronto Star article covering the 1986 CES. She also writes that the "scantily clad" attire "became norm" at CES in the 1970–1980 decade, in synchrony with similar developments in the auto show industry. Greenfield also remarks that complaints about booth babes at CES are not new; she points out for example that Network World "wrote a few separate times that it was flat-out tired of booth babes—not because of the sexism so much as the predictability." For example, in 1999, Network World's Dave Breuger criticized the practice of employing spokesmodels, "most of whom wouldn't know an ATM module if it bit them on their overexposed games." Greenfield notes that other electronics shows like E3 adopted a similar practice of encouraging "booth babes" in the late 1990s, but abandoned it in 2006 after outcry, with E3 organizers later threatening to fine any exhibitor for "nudity, partial nudity, and bathing-suit bottoms".


    CES 2015 featured satirist Nimrod Kamer highlighting the lack of companies and ideas in CES that address humanity's larger issues, such as climate change, Ebola and poverty.


    Consumer Electronics Show Wikipedia

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