Jan. 23, 2012
by Mark Ollig
The official numbers are in.
A record-breaking 153,000 people attended the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Of this total, 34,000 came from 140 countries outside the US.
More than 3,100 exhibitors showcased their technology and electronic gadgets.
The first CES took place in 1967, at the Americana and Hilton hotels in New York City, and was attended by about 17,500 people and about 100 exhibitors.
During this year’s CES, in addition to Ryan Seacrest (who moderated Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer during his pre-keynote address), many notable celebrities also attended.
Being the name-dropper that I am, here are some of the other celebrities who appeared during the 2012 International CES:
• Justin Timberlake
• Justin Bieber
• 50 Cent
• Will. i. am
• Wayne Brady
• Jillian Michaels
• LL Cool J
• Will Smith
• Kelly Clarkson
The winner of the 2012 CES Best of Show product award went to the 55-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) flat-panel TV, made by LG.
This ultra-thin, TV model EM9600 displays “life-like” images and is, according to LG’s Director of New Product Development Tim Alessi, “about three credit cards thick.” LG’s website states it is 4 mm thick.
The EM9600 has an unbelievable display contrast ratio of more than 100,000,000:1, or about 50 times better than what is seen on today’s LCD display panel televisions.
According to LG, “The TV [EM9600] uses a proprietary algorithm designed to improve and refine hues and tones when viewed from a wide angle.”
This model is scheduled for a third-quarter delivery date, with September as the probable month. No pricing was made available during the CES.
The Makerbot Replicator 3D printer placed second in this year’s CES Best of Show product award.
This personal 3D printer is able to create plastic replicas up to 8.9 inches-by-5.7 inches-by - 5.9 - inches inches (about the size of a loaf of bread) of any object download to it via an SD (Secure Digital) memory card.
The SD card contains the data file of the object to be replicated, which was created using a computer 3D program.
The Makerbot Replicator is available in two models.
The single extruder printer, priced at $1,749, comes with one color nozzle. The dual-extruder, priced at $1,999, performs 3D printing using two different colors.
A video by Bre Pettis, the CEO and Co-Founder of MakerBot Industries, explains the new MakerBot Replicator. You can watch it at http://bit.ly/wSjXiG.
The website for the MakerBot Replicator is http: makerbot.com/replicator.
Since 1967, the CES has been used as the launch pad for announcing many new products to the public.
At the 1970 CES, the VCR was introduced by Phillips, at a retail price of $2,000.
The 1974 CES saw the arrival of the Laserdisc player.
The Atari Pong home console was displayed at the summer 1975 CES.
Inexpensive digital wrist watches showed up during the 1976 CES.
The 1981 CES presented us with the CD (compact disc) and camcorder.
Popular with the baby boomers, the Commodore 64 computer was introduced during the 1982 CES.
In 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System was shown.
HDTV (high definition television) made its appearance at CES in 1998.
Microsoft’s Xbox console and controller were introduced by its CEO Bill Gates during his 2001 keynote address at the 2001 CES. Gates demonstrated two Xbox games: “Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee” and “Malice.”
The Blu-Ray DVD (digital versatile disc) came on the scene during the 2003 CES.
Many CES-goers will never forget the 2005 event with TV host Conan O’Brien.
O’Brien had some fun when Microsoft CEO Bill Gates’ demonstration of the Windows Media Center’s integration of digital photography, caused the computer to crash.
Technology convergence, and a flood of new digital content services, made up most of the 2006 and 2007 CES shows.
A huge 150 inch Plasma and OLED TV, made by Panasonic, was shown to the public at the 2008 CES.
During the 2009 CES, 3D webcams, HDTVs, “green gadgets,” and netbook computers were introduced.
At the 2010 CES, there were tablet computers, Panasonic 3D HDTV flat panel plasma televisions, Sharp LED lamps (light bulbs), and Android smart devices.
The 2011 CES Best of Show award went to Motorola, for their new Xoom 10.1-inch personal computing tablet.
Concept vehicles like the General Motors EN-V (electric networked vehicle) were demonstrated, while Ford Motor Company showed off its 2012 all-electric Ford Focus.
Consumer 3D technologies, such as the JVC Everio GS-TD13D camcorder, were also shown.
What new technological marvels do we have to look forward to during the Jan. 8-11, 2013 International CES?
It’s anyone’s guess; however, yours truly thinks we may see some innovative cloud-computing technology, an exhibit displaying Apple products, and increased Google participation.
Of course, the 2013 International CES will be showcasing the next-generation of smartphones, computing tablets, e-readers, flat panel HDTVs, 3D technology, and new electronic devices.
It will also include plenty of eye-candy gadgets.
We may even be witness to thousands of brainy robots aimlessly wandering the CES exhibit floors, mingling with the folks in attendance.
Well, maybe not thousands.
Telecommunications and all things tech has been a well-traveled road for me. I enjoy learning what is new in technology and sharing it with others who enjoy reading my particular slant on it via this blog. I am also a freelance columnist for my hometown's print and digital newspaper. - Mark Ollig