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2012 International CES is largest and best show yet

The 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) broke records as it opened its doors January 10-13 in Las Vegas. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that this year’s edition of the annual tradeshow was the largest in its 44-year history, with over 1.851 million net square feet.

At CES Unveiled, the tradeshow’s official press event, over 100 products were introduced. However, this pre-show conference was just the beginning of new technologies making their debut.

“CES is the global stage for innovation,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “Every major technology company across the globe is participating in force at this year’s CES. While many exhibit on the show floor, others send key executives to conduct meetings, participate in keynote panels, or hold their own events in Las Vegas this week to take advantage of the braintrust of technology professionals gathered here.”

More than 3,100 companies exhibited across at least seven separate halls, with over 20,000 new products announced during the four-day period.

Among those new innovations was Microsoft’s announcement that Kinect will come to Windows on February 1, 2012. Microsoft also demonstrated the abilities of its Windows phone as well as Windows 8 operating system.

Other product launches included Samsung’s ES8000 LED SmartTV, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera, SHARP’s 2012 LED TV lineup and many others.

“CES is a tradeshow — the largest annual event in the U.S. – and it is all about getting business done,” wrote Jason Oxman on the CEA Blog. “The reason more than 140,000 executives from around the world come to CES – whether they are exhibiting, meeting with customers or looking for investment opportunities – is because there is no better place on the planet to do business in the tech industry than at CES.”

With more than 153,000 people attending the 2012 International CES, including more than 34,000 international attendees, there really isn’t a better place for the tech industry to do business. Even this year’s featured keynote sessions included executives from big-name companies like Mercedes, Wal-Mart, eBay, Google and Facebook.

Robert Kyncl, vice president of Global Content Partnerships at YouTube, used his keynote session to discuss the opportunity for the internet to be an entertainment ecosystem that will evolve over time.

“The web will become the most important commerce and media distribution vehicle, enabling the next generation of channels to come to life,” he said. “Beyond the hundreds of channels cable brought you, the web will bring thousands.”

But once the keynotes were over and attendees hit the show floor, the range of exhibitors and sizes of booths was overwhelming. In fact, bigger booth spaces seemed to be a trend at this year’s CES.

“Our 2012 booth was double the size of our 2011 booth and allowed us to showcase many more products and prototypes than in past1939 Crosley Coupe years,” said Stephanie Caudill of Crosley Radio. “Our CEO, Bo LeMastus, said we had record crowds visit our booth this year. We believe this is because our booth was much more open and inviting than in past years. Also, a lot of people were initially drawn to our 1939 Crosley convertible coupe, but they stuck around to browse our radios, turntables, jukeboxes, headphones and furniture.”

However, the most prominent trend seen throughout CES was innovation. Every year, CNET’s Best of CES Awards honor the most unique and cutting-edge technologies portrayed throughout the show. This year’s winners included Nokia’s Lumia 900, a Windows-based phone; Fujifilm’s X-Pro1 mirrorless camera; and LG’s 55EM9600 OLED TV.

And even though some companies, such as Apple and Zeo, chose not to exhibit, they all had employees and executives on the show floor, making it a large, well-rounded and record-breaking show.


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