LAS VEGAS, NV (KNTV/AP) – For over 50 years, the CES gadget show has been the place to see the newest tech and hottest trends from the technology industry. This year, it’s set to go digital for the first time in its history due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The first CES – or International Consumer Electronics Show – was held in New York City in 1967. But by 1978, the trade show had relocated to Las Vegas in Nevada.
In 1995, the show pitted European and American companies against the Japanese. The biggest names in the electronics industry were very much in evidence. And as usual, a large proportion of them were Japanese, with a growing number from other Asian countries like South Korea.
Many were happy to marvel at the virtual world of the latest generation of arcade games. What appeared to be a gizmo from a sci-fi 50’s film was soon to be found in video arcades.
Among the items on display at 1997’s International Consumer Electronics Show were digital video discs, or DVDs – the hardware for a new video format manufacturers hoped would someday replace Video Cassette Recorders, or VCRs. Weighing in at only 3.1 ounces, this Motorola was the smallest, lightest, wearable telephone.
Internet giants Yahoo! Inc. and Google each showed off new technologies and internet functions at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2006. Yahoo! Inc. enlisted some major stars to launch the company’s new set of services called “Yahoo Go.” Yahoo demonstrated the video search by debuting a movie trailer for “Mission Impossible 3” starring Tom Cruise, who made a surprise appearance. Comedian Ellen Degeneres joked that now when she shows a picture of her mother on her phone, she won’t look like a horse.
The mobile phone category was one of the most hotly contested Best of Show awards. It seemed a phone that was just a phone wasn’t good enough. Manufacturers were packing more and more features into them.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates praised the electronics industry at CES in 2007, saying it had come further than ever in delivering a connected lifestyle, with digital content able to be shared across a variety of devices in the home.
No electronics show is complete without robots, which are always a huge attraction for visitors. The ‘Asimo’ robot is made by Japanese car company Honda.
A big draw at 2007’s CES was flat screen televisions with many different brands on display. Over in San Francisco, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs made the company’s long-awaited jump into the mobile phone business and renamed the company “Apple Inc,” reflecting its increasing focus on consumer electronics. Jobs hoped the newly unveiled iPhone would replace Apple’s highly successful iPod as that year’s must-have item.
Cars that drive themselves – even parking at their destination – could be ready for sale within a decade, General Motors Corporation executives said in 2008. GM unveiled its prototype self-driving car, a Chevy Tahoe dubbed “The boss”, at CES.
Elsewhere, the battle was heating up in the war for high-definition supremacy between Blu-Ray and HD DVD. Warner Bros decision to start making movies exclusively for Blu-ray players, rather than HD DVD, had caused a huge momentum shift toward the Blu-ray format.
For those who wanted their stun gun holder to play music, a new holster from Taser International was unveiled at CES.
In 2009, the global economic downturn was impacting a number of industries. The technology sector however was hoping that it could bypass some of the worst effects by tempting consumers with the latest in hi-tech devices.
LG Electronics unveiled a wristwatch cell phone, the first with cellular broadband access and a camera. That meant it could make two-way video calls, much like Dick Tracy did in 1960s comic strips with his two-way ‘Wrist TV’.
In 2010, TVs with 3D displays were some of the hottest gadgets at CES.
Bulky rear-projection sets with 3D capabilities had been available for years, but now flat panels would get the 3D treatment, and there would be a way for consumers to finally bring 3D movies into the home. Elsewhere, Google showcased its much-anticipated Nexus One phone.
In 2011, manufacturers were outdoing one another creating thinner and thinner television sets. None more so than LG which showed off its 55-inch Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) TV. Rival Samsung had a 55-inch OLED TV of its own, unveiled at a packed press conference.
Nintendo’s successor to the Wii was the star at CES in 2012.
The original Wii was launched in late 2006 and has gone on to sell 90 million units worldwide.
Elsewhere, rapper 50 Cent followed in the footsteps of hip hop producer Dr Dre, by launching headphones. 50 Cent said the next tech trend for music on the go would be for wireless headsets.
In 2013, Samsung showed off a flexible smartphone, heralding a day when we might fold up big phone or tablet screens as if they were maps.
The screen used organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs.
Advances in television technology took center stage at CES in 2014.
But not everything went according to plan, when “Transformers” director Michael Bay abruptly walked off stage during a Samsung press conference.
Huawei, China’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, showed off a phone that could be used to recharge other handsets. The “Ascend Mate2” had a 6.1-inch screen, making it more than twice as big as an iPhone 5.
In 2015, smart clothes, socks and cuffs were taking fashion in to the world of high tech. Even recording artist Will.i.am had got a feeling the new trend in wearable technology was here to stay. The entertainer and entrepreneur claimed his new gadget boasted all the abilities of a smart phone but strapped to your wrist.
This year, the four-day digital version of the CES 2021 gadget show begins Monday, January 11. Its organizer, The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), says over a thousand companies will be taking part, including Samsung, LG, IBM, Intel, OMRON, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.