It seems as though the economy is finally taking off, at least that’s what it looked like at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. This year, CES broke attendance records with more than 153,000 people descending on the Las Vegas Convention Center to see the latest electronic gadgets. This show remains the largest tradeshow in the WORLD and attracts international buyers and dealmakers who come to see what people will crave in the coming months.
A few highlights from my trip:
- I attended the Dish Network press conference that, for the first time in CES history, featured a live animal—a joey kangaroo that CEO Joe Clayton carried onstage. Dish unveiled its two new products: their new DVR, the “Hopper,” and its companion device the “Joey” which can control content in other rooms around the house. Clayton emphasized that “music, movies and magic” would be the focus for Dish Network moving forward. Attendees were invited to get a picture taken with the live joey after the event.
- Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer delivered his last CES keynote. Microsoft is no longer going to speak or exhibit at CES because its product schedule does not coincide with the show. Alas, I, along with thousands of other people at the Venetian Hotel, was unable to get into the event (even though we got there more than an hour early) so we missed a gospel choir and Ryan Seacrest.
- Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg delivered a CES keynote on the “networked society,” and what a dynamic speaker he is! He covered Ericsson history (did you know they invented Bluetooth technology?) and outlined their partnership with Refugees United, an organization that helps refugees find loved ones in a matter of hours or days thanks to mobile technology. Ericsson has brought mobile connectivity to many rural parts of Africa in an effort to connect the world through technology and improve people’s lives. Vestberg also highlighted their new partnership with Maersk Shipping to create a “floating network” that will help to track shipments and fuel consumption.
There was a great energy and optimism this year at CES. I’m already looking forward to 2013!
Photo credit to Susie B