Your Sneak Peek At 2013 CES
Your holiday gift list may be filled with gadgets, but right after you've opened all your presents the friendly people who made them will tell you that your newest tech toys are very shortly going to be too big, too slow or just too limited in their capabilities.
Each year in early January, consumer electronics manufacturers, automotive companies, and entertainment industry deal makers converge on Las Vegas by the hundreds of thousands for the annual gadget-lovers' answer to Burning Man, the Consumer Electronics Show.
To build the buzz for the event, which basically brings Las Vegas' transportation infrastructure to its knees each year, the President of the Consumer Electronics Association, which puts on the industry trade show, introduced some of this year's key themes at a preview for journalists and analysts in Manhattan.
While highlighting emerging technologies like Near Field Communication and MEMS which will be demonstrated at the show, CEA President Gary Shapiro also emphasized industry segments like automotive and m-health which will be highlighting innovations that leverage these new platforms to provide more solutions to customers on their mobile devices.
CEA researchers who also presented at the preview event said that mobile devices were initially about voice communication and entertainment, but they have already become the personal control systems for our connected lives with app-driven thermostats for our home, exercise meters and glucose readers for blood sugar testing. They described this trend as the "unexpected consequence of smartphones and tablets as hub devices."
To highlight one of the many satellite events that surround the Las Vegas trade show, CEA also organized a live simulcast with Shira Lazar, host of "What's Trending?" to announce the nominees for this year's International Academy of Web Television Awards.
Award nominees for the International CES Innovations Awards, which has been a moderate predictor of a gadget's commercial success, were featured in the presentation, including Sennheiser Electronics for their IE800 in ear canal headphones, Vuzix Smart Glasses and Xpal Power's Spare One.
Wrapping up the session, one reporter, upon remarking about the loss of both the colossal Microsoft exhibit hall presence and the Ballmer keynote, asked if that meant that Apple's hugely popular products might now find a more prominent position in upcoming CES events. CEA President Gary Shapiro commented, "Look, I'm not going to pretend I don't want to date him," referring to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook.