The 2010 Annual International Consumer Electronics Show

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The Annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is among the best known trade shows worldwide. It has been sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association since its inception in 1967. The CES is not open to the public (you need to be an industry member or press personnel to attend) and therefore does not really cater to individual consumers. The irony is that it has historically been the 'event' where a number of today's popular consumer electronics – DVD, Blu-ray, HDTVs and the Xbox – were unveiled. CEA ploughs back all profits accruing from this mega-show into industry linked services such as technical education, market research and development of engineering standards.

The latest CES was held in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) in January 2010. An astounding 120,000 participants from over 150 countries exhibited their products. Even an entire day spent just walking from one stall to another would not suffice to cover this huge trade show! To make matters simpler, the organisers colour-code the show floor for easy navigability.

The CES is organised around roughly 50 categories of consumer products including broadband technology, HDTV, telematics and vehicle navigation, theatre, GPS and robotics.

Exhibitors at this year’s CES ranged from little-known Chinese companies with tiny stalls to global behemoths like Microsoft, Samsung and Sony.

Each year, CES gives away the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award to a company that demonstrates cutting edge innovation and research. This year, Panasonic walked away with the honours for its VT25 series of 3D flat panel hi-def TVs.

Additionally, CES presents awards across nine categories to best innovators in the domain of consumer electronics. The ‘People’s Voice Award’, chosen by member voting, was presented to Intel for its Wireless Display (WiDi) technology that allows wireless connect between TVs and computers. Motorola’s new phone, the Backflip, won the award in the category of cellphones and smartphones. Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 Hybrid picked up the award for its newest interpretation of the notebook PC in the Computers and Hardware segment.  

Photography buffs can rejoice – Microvision has launched the world's first Laser Pico Projector (Showwx); you can connect this to your camera, iPod, cellphone, or laptop and share pictures or videos on the big screen.

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