CES 2008 puts latest technology center stage
Jan 15, 2008
World's largest consumer technology tradeshow promises bright future amid uncertain economy
With a record 1.85 million net square feet of exhibit space - the largest in show history - featuring more than 2,700 companies launching their latest innovations, the world's largest tradeshow for consumer technology today wrapped up four full days of technological innovation. Major trends sweeping the show floor and defining the future of the consumer technology market included digital entertainment, HDTV, green technology and free trade. Produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the 2008 International CES® ran January 7-10, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"The 2008 International CES succeeded spectacularly, and will help fuel the growth of the consumer technology industry throughout 2008 and into the future," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. "This year's International CES was a show of firsts: the first leaders from the automotive and cable industries to deliver CES keynote addresses, the first time the president of a country has spoken at CES, and the first year a television station broadcast its entire nightly newscast - NBC Nightly News -live from the show floor."
This year's celebrity-packed CES included such entertainment industry figures as Jerry Seinfeld, Dr. Dre, Ryan Seacrest, Will.I.Am, Natasha Beddingfield, Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Mary J. Blige, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash, David Ortiz and many others.
"The international prestige of the International CES is illustrated in the more than 25,000 international attendees, the successful launch of the Technology and Emerging Countries program and the participation of His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda," said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences, CEA.
The CES show floor buzzed with excitement as more than 20,000 products were introduced to the market, spanning across industries and aimed at improving the consumer experience whether in the home, in the car or on the go.
More than 130,000 industry professionals were in attendance, with a final audited number available in May. "Our attendance numbers are consistent with our efforts to ensure qualified attendees, to improve logistics and reduce the pressure of hotel rates," said Shapiro.
In addition to the hottest consumer technology gadgets, the 2008 International CES featured a dynamic lineup of keynote speakers. Microsoft's Bill Gates delivered his 11th and final pre-CES keynote sharing his vision for the next digital decade. CEA's Shapiro opened the 2008 show with a focus on free trade, and issued a call to action for all CES attendees to urge their elected officials to support free trade policies. Panasonic's Toshihiro Sakamoto delivered the opening keynote address and unveiled a 150" plasma HDTV, the largest in the world. Intel's Paul Otellini spoke of his vision for the future of information technology, and Comcast's Brian Roberts unveiled the first portable DVR. In addition, General Motors' Rick Wagoner unveiled a new car model during his CES keynote and unveiled energy efficient innovations including advancements in fuel cell technology and electronically driven propulsion systems.
The CES Industry Insiders Series featured leading technologists, retailers and government leaders including Yahoo!'s Jerry Yang, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and leaders from the world's largest retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, China-based Gome and UAE-based Al Futtaim.
The inaugural Industry Insider program, "Technology and Emerging Countries: Advancing Development Through Technology Investments," brought together government leaders and technology innovators to explore technology's role in economic development. Speakers included His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda; Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop Per Child Project and MIT's Media Lab and Dr. Paul Jacobs, CEO, Qualcomm, as well as leaders from AMD, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft and Voxiva.