For the past month, I’ve been feverishly replying to e-mailed press invites to check out booths at 2012 International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show, held in Vegas January 10 – 13. A four day, mid-week affair, CES is more than just … CES.
There’s CES Unveiled, a first look at 75 of the top exhibitors before the convention begins, with a promise of food on hand to sweeten the pot. “The event is all about you, so it will of course be fully catered with complimentary food and drink for you to enjoy.” There’s also a special press day, promising a flurry of competing press conferences.
Add to that a conference with a list of speakers that includes top-level executives from technology and entertainment.
Then there’s Pepcom’s Digital Experience! and Showstoppers, which are exclusive media events. Many exhibitors overlap for these one-day shows but are in a smaller venue so one can have more time for interaction.
CES is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as several hotels nearby. The show is vast, with more than 25 tech zones with 15 product categories spread out over 1.7 million net square feet of official exhibit space. All told, over 2,700 companies and 20,000 products this year alone.
With a mix of start-ups and mega-brand corporations in tow, CES promises to deliver the latest in gadgets and gizmos for just about any conceivable use.
Having never gone before (despite being a convention junkie), I think I overdid my appointments, as I’m not seeing any time in my schedule just for browsing. Hopefully I’ll be able to breeze through the appointments and press conferences. Kick out some helpful reports for you. And pick up some swag.
Virtually everything at CES is interesting. I’m intrigued by innovative products such as the ear-free headphones that attach to your cheekbones (Aftershokz) and a device from Sweden that allows you to charge your phone with ordinary water (myFC). What? Sounds cool, but I want to see if these devices actually work. I’m envisioning that the inventions will self-ignite on the show floor like something out of The Simpsons. Or that the PR on a product will be vastly more interesting than the product, like with Shark Tank. There’s also an iPad case that is water-proof (Vivick). I’ll have to inquire about guarantee on that: If it doesn’t work, would they be responsible for the iPad?
I’m also wondering if Pelican will let me throw around their cases to see if they really are indestructible.
Tech Zones include Digital Health Summit, which includes speakers as well as exhibitors, with products such as Sonamba, to help monitor your aging parents from afar. Wahoo Fitness, in the Sports and Fitness zone, will help you monitor your pumping heart via your iPhone.
Hours for CES aren’t deathly like other conventions where you’re operating on nirvana and adrenaline. I suppose the city would prefer you gamble away your bank account while there.
Stay tuned for what I hope will be daily reports, exclusively here on Wide Lantern.
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