Highspots of the world’s big­gest tech­ni­cal con­ven­tion over 51 years

The Herald - - NEWS -

THE CES is one of the world’s big­gest tech­ni­cal con­ven­tion and at­tracts around 170,000 visi­tors to the 3,600 ex­hibitors at the an­nual Las Ve­gas event.

Ini­tially based in New York, the first CES was held in June 1967 at­tract­ing 17,500 peo­ple to more than 100 ex­hibitors.

For many years there was a win­ter and sum­mer event but in 1998, the show changed to a once-a-year for­mat with Las Ve­gas as the lo­ca­tion. In the 1960s the main items on show were pocket ra­dio and tele­vi­sions but in 1970 the first do­mes­tic VCR was un­veiled by Phillips.

Un­til then, VCRs cost up­ward of $50,000 and were used mainly by TV sta­tions, but the Philips model was avail­able for just $900. Other high­lights in­clude the first ap­pear­ance of the Com­modore 64 com­puter in 1982 and 20 years later Bill Gates’ Mi­crosoft demon­strated a pre­view ver­sion of Win­dows XP Me­dia Cen­tre Edi­tion.

Blue Ray discs made their de­but at the 2004 CES but in 2008 Bill Gates used his open­ing speech to an­nounce his re­tire­ment. That ex­hi­bi­tion saw Pana­sonic re­lease a 150-in Plasma TV, as well as a 50” TV as thin as 0.46 in. (11.6 mm).

This year’s event was em­bar­rass­ingly hit by a ma­jor black out as power went down in a main hall at the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

It af­fected hun­dreds of stalls in­clud­ing those run by some of tech’s big­gest com­pa­nies, such as LG, Samsung, Pana­sonic, In­tel and Sony.

Heavy rains in the Ne­vada desert caused the power cut.

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