As promised, here’s the first post from our own Peggy Ireland on the ground in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES):
New Year’s Eve ended in Las Vegas with a burst of fireworks, marking the end of the city’s 100th year and acting as a booming welcome to 130,000 industry professionals gathered for the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
This is the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow and paradise for those of us who love the latest and greatest gadgets and thrive on being on the cutting edge of technology. Many products have debuted at CES, including the VCR in 1970, the compact disc player in 1981, HDTV in 1998 and the Microsoft Xbox in 2001.
The first CES took place in New York City in June 1967 with 200 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees. Rumors this year suggest attendance will hit the 200,000 mark. “With 1.6 million net square-feet of space and 2,500 exhibitors, it’s a record breaking year for CES,” said Karen Chupka, vice president of events and conferences at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
The 2006 CES is focused on 30 product categories, with the list of exhibitors including Microsoft, Eastman Kodak, Dell, Texas Instruments, Google, Intel, LG, Logitech, XM Satellite Radio, Canon and many more. “Adding to the excitement this year, we have expanded to Innovations Plus at the Sands Expo and Convention Center to create a home for new and emerging technologies,” Chupka said.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates gave his annual keynote Wednesday night at the Las Vegas Hilton and today CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro kicks off the 2006 CE business year with his state of the industry address. Intel CEO Paul Otellini will also give a keynote speech today.
At the Innovations Plus event at the Sands there will be Industry Insider events featuring Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and Dell’s Michael Dell. There will also be a panel of experts at the Las Vegas Convention Center discussing the cutoff of analog television. CNET’s Best of CES Awards 2006 finalists will be announced Friday and I am hoping to spend some time taking the CNET Editors’ “Guided Tour.” Their list of “must-sees” includes the Jensen In-Dash Car PC and the world’s largest LCD TV, the Samsung LN-S8281D 82-inch LCD.
It’s going to be an exciting couple of days.
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