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5 Years of the CES

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s premier electronics and technology trade show that comes around every January. It rose to international recognition after the fall of its rival, COMDEX (Computer Dealers’ Exhibition), in 2003. Initially held in New York City as a spin-off of the Chicago Music Show, CES tried to establish itself as a biannual show – with one show held in Las Vegas in the winter (WCES), and one during the summer (SCES) in New York. And though the winter show was both promising and populated, the summer one was subject to a shift in venue – from Philadelphia to Orlando – and was eventually canceled.

Now held annually in Las Vegas, CES is the best of its type, featuring speeches from CEOs of tech giants and the unveiling of new products. It provides a platform to both industry leaders as well as startups to engage with their target audience.

Let’s take a look of some of the trends and products that have been standouts at CES over the years.

2009 - The 3D TV

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Televisions usually dominate electronic shows, and in 2009, 3D televisions were all the rage at CES. It seemed we’d finally made the leap from science fiction to real life, and so all the major manufacturers – Sony (SNE), LG, and Samsung (SSNLF) - had a 3D television to show off. One LG executive said that 3D TV was the next big thing. In hindsight, he was wrong, because although the television industry and 3D market is booming, nobody in particular cares about 3D TV.

2010 - The E-Reader

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2010 saw a rise in the popularity of e-readers, and the CES exhibition had them: thinner, in color, in touch screen, and even with Wi-Fi connections and storage capacity. At the time, they appeared a genuine threat to the publishing industry, and one had to wonder if the good old-fashioned printed book would eventually become a thing of the past. However, four years on, we seem to have come to a balance. That craze has died down. Kindle continues to innovate with new features but, along with other e-readers, has not managed to constitute a serious threat to the publishing industry.

2011 - The Tablets

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Although tablets have been around since before 2011, the Consumer Electronics Show provided a platform for the launch of tablets that were not iPads. The Motorola Xoom made its debut, as did the still-in-testing Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb). T-Mobile (TMUS), Notion Ink, and ASUS (AKCPF) introduced new tablets, as did Samsung. Now tablets are posing a serious threat to laptops and PCs and possibly even smartphones.

2012 - The Apps

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The 2012 show led with the discovery that physical products are not necessarily needed to provide that extra something for your favorite electronics. The smart TV and the camera had already found themselves connected to the internet, but the introduction of apps provided navigational tools to simplify content browsing, removing the need for outside products such as Boxee.  Samsung partnered with DirecTV (DTV) for their DRV set-up, and the operating software for most smart TVs was Android.

2013 - The 4K

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Representing the latest in picture quality, 4K televisions were the theme for CES 2013. These televisions boast almost four times the number of pixels in a standard, high-definition, 1080p TV. With the 1440p video resolution, the 4K is a must-have for those of us who love extreme high quality display.  During the CES, Sony unveiled 55-inch and 65-inch 4K TVs, and Toshiba introduced their 84-inch monster – though they refused to disclose pricing. It’ll be a few years before these televisions are actually affordable for the average consumer.

Read on about the trends we feel will dominate the CES and change how human beings interact with technology in the future, and also follow our ongoing coverage of the event.

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