Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas Valley, NV
January 8 – 11, 2019
CES® 2019 was jam-packed with more than 180,000 attendees there to witness 4,500 exhibitors showcasing the world’s latest consumer technologies across more than 2.9 million net square feet of exhibit space in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The show featured technology innovation across every major and emerging industry, including AI, entertainment, sports, automotive, resilience and smart cities, along with the entire 5G ecosystem – transportation, virtual reality, sports technology, and digital health.
“CES showcases the power of innovation to solve global problems and improve lives around the world,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA). “The passion, ideas and business connections at CES make this the most significant global tech event – and the most inspirational week of the year.”
MediaLink Chairman and CEO Michael Kassan kicked off his keynote by declaring to the crowd that “CES 2019 is, for all intents and purposes, the dawn of 5G.”
While 5G and autonomous vehicles were the most represented technologies at CES, a bevy of other smart products were introduced. Some of the weirdest products showcased at CES19 were Hyundai’s creepy walking car, a phone with a giant keyboard, a vending machine that sells loaves of bread, a mouthguard-esque vibrating toothbrush, smart diapers, and kitty litter boxes.
Interestingly, the most buzzed about product at CES has absolutely nothing to do with consumer technology. The Impossible Burger 2.0 — Impossible Foods’ next-generation, plant-based meat — which rivals ground beef from cows for taste, nutrition, and versatility — won awards including the “Most Unexpected Product,” “Most Impactful Product” and “Best of the Best.”
The Impossible Burger 2.0 was singled out as the “Best Tech of CES” by Mashable; “The Coolest Stuff From CES” by Digg; and “The Most Exciting New Product at CES” by BRG. The New York Post said Impossible Burger “stole the show,” while Gizmodo called it “stupid delicious.”
Hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), CES kicked off on Sunday and Monday with Media Days, CES Unveiled and a pre-show keynote from LG.
LG Electronics President and CTO Dr. I.P. Park spoke of ambitions to create a world of connected, intuitive AI-powered technologies that will seamlessly work in unison to deliver unparalleled customer experience in all areas of life. He was joined on stage by a robot keynoter – the LG CLOi Guide Bot. “Our vision in the coming age of AI is to become a lifestyle innovator that serves a truly intelligent way of living,” said Dr. Park.
Sunday evening featured the largest CES Unveiled in show history, with a record 230 exhibiting companies, including 94 startups from Eureka Park, the startup hub at CES 2019. Attendees got a sneak peek of the innovation debuting at the show, including the latest in smart mirrors; sleep tracking headsets; 3D holograms; smart breast pumps; smart systems to track loved ones’ daily schedules; and headphones with smart sound technology.
Keynotes and Conference Program
The CES 2019 keynote stage featured some of the biggest names in tech, including AMD, AT&T Communications, IBM, LG, and Verizon.
IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty’s opening keynote explored how AI will leverage data as the “world’s greatest natural resource,” enabling revolutions in smart cities, health care, transportation, and robotics.
The CES 2019 conference program featured industry leaders and visionaries on more than 250 sessions focused on the trends that will shape the future of consumer technology.
During the session, “AI Use Cases: Health, Mobility and Cybersecurity,” executives from USAA, Philips and Veoneer detailed opportunities with AI as the technology advances. The panel also identified several challenges in its use to solve pressing problems in health care, mobility, and cybersecurity.
C Space brought together leading CMOs from more than 72 companies, including content creators, Hollywood, the ad industry and media, who uncover disruptive trends impacting brands, marketing, and entertainment.
Monday’s C Space session, “Future Focus: With Forbes’ Most Influential CMOs,” explored business strategies and technologies transforming brands. The group discussed how game-changing technologies such as AI and blockchain are transforming day-to-day marketing operations.
At the C Space Storyteller session “CNET’s Next Big Thing – The Future of Media,” panelists discussed the evolution of video consumption. Moderated by CNET’s Lindsey Turrentine and Brian Cooley, the panel featured executives from Samsung, Verizon and YouTube discussing the effects trends like mobile video, 5G, virtual reality, and over-the-top video are having on how we consume video content.
Media & Analysts
CES media partners included Adweek, Cnet, Consumer Reports, Digital Trends, Engadget, IIoT World, Tech Radar, VOX Media and more. Other coverage of the show was provided by Bloomberg, CNN, Forbes, The Huffington Post, NBC News, The New York Times, TechCrunch, USA Today, VentureBeat, and Wall Street Journal.
CES Media Days featured two days of pre-show press events from CES exhibitors, including major brands and emerging startups. Thirty companies announced products, including:
Highlights of the Show
CES 2019 was heavy on mobility, with 11 of the world’s leading car manufacturers showcasing the future of transportation – including an air taxi from Bell Helicopter and an electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson.
The CES Sports Zone featured the entire sports tech ecosystem, including smart venues, training, virtual and augmented reality and esports creating immersive content that will change the way people play, watch and experience sports.
Digital health technologies were also a major theme, with more than 260 doctors and other health professionals attending the Disruptive Innovations in Health Care conference, which offered Continuing Medical Education credits at CES for the first time.
Resilient technologies were also highlighted at CES. Sustainable technologies from brands like YOLK and Zero Mass Water create solar-powered solutions and provide clean drinking water to underdeveloped countries while reducing the global carbon footprint, while Higher Ground Technologies keep us connected from anywhere in the world.
When it comes to 5G, the biggest buzz surrounding the show was that AT&T updated some consumers’ phones to show a “5G E” instead of a “4G LTE” icon in its status bar. The announcement drew sharp criticism from competitors, some more lighthearted than others. T-Mobile shared a snarky video “upgrading” an iPhone to 9G using a small Post-It Note. Verizon put out a press release stating that they won’t call their 4G network a 5G network and urging the rest of the industry to do the same. Sprint released a statement saying AT&T was “blatantly misleading consumers.” AT&T took it all in stride, opting not to reverse the updates.
Most of the announcements at CES fall into three main categories. 5G-related products; announcements meant to build hype around a product or solution, most likely because it isn’t ready to be unveiled; or vaporware, meaning it’s not available to buy because it’s still just a concept or in the process of being created.
Many who attended called the show boring. As trade shows go, they are generally full of hype, but this year at CES, the subjects that were being hyped — 5G, AI, autonomous cars – – are the same things we’ve been hearing about for years. Some of them are finally coming to fruition, but for many of the products unveiled at CES, it will be some time before we can get our hands on them.
The next CES will take place January 7-10, 2020 in Las Vegas.
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