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