The annual CES trade show in Las Vegas is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, running Jan. 5 through 8. Preshow events for the news media begin Jan. 3 for the world’s largest consumer technology show.
Nvidia (NVDA) and Qualcomm (QCOM) CEOs get coveted keynote slots, and Amazon.com (AMZN) — mostly its Alexa artificial-intelligence unit — is among exhibitors. Also attending, though not exhibiting, will be the business units of Facebook (FB) and Alphabet‘s (GOOGL) Google. Celebrities on tap to attend include actress Octavia Spencer, consumer activist Ralph Nader, hoops giant Shaquille O’Neal and NFL great Joe Montana.
The giant consumer electronics show, run by the Consumer Technology Association, has come a long way from its humble beginnings in New York City in 1967. That first show boasted 200 exhibitors and attracted 17,500 attendees. The 2017 show is expected to include over 3,800 exhibitors spanning more than 2.5 million square feet and attract more than 165,000 attendees.
Radios and TV sets were the stars in 1967. At the 2017 show, self-driving cars, virtual personal assistants, augmented-reality glasses, wearable gadgets, drones and smart home technologies are expected to grab the spotlight.
Every year for a week in January the global consumer electronics industry takes over much of Las Vegas for CES. Tech companies big and small show off their wares, entertain customers and try to wow the press. There are sensory-overload exhibits, hyperbolic press conferences, keynote speeches from industry leaders, buildings wrapped in consumer tech advertising, celebrity appearances and wild corporate parties.
But the show isn’t open to the general public. It is for buyers and sellers in the consumer technology industry, as well as media, analysts and government officials.
For more information on the show, visit the CES 2017 website.