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By Dianne R. Davis
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Photos by Dianne or Burt Davis

CES - Technology yes. Celebrities and Fun?  Sure - It’s Vegas

“Techcessories” were everywhere at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show when the doors opened  Tuesday to a record number of exhibitors on more than 1.85 million net square feet of exhibit space, the equivalent of more than 37 football fields.

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The four day event provided a showcase for products boasting sizes on both ends of the spectrum.  Sleeker, slimmer e readers and laptops were touted alongside 80 inch televisions for the home.

Pre-show press conferences gave companies including Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Dish, and Monster Cable  a direct line to reporters anxious to get the scoop on this year’s technological headliners.  Innovative product launches kicked off the 2012 CES with cutting-edge products including ultrabooks, voice and gesture-based technologies, smartphones and OLED TVs.

"With more than 3,100 companies showcasing more than 20,000 new products, the 2012 International CES is the world's largest hub for consumer technology innovation," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. The pre-show media events, which drew record numbers, created tremendous buzz.

Microsoft President and CEO Steve Ballmer delivered a pre-CES keynote address Monday evening, featuring Ryan Seacrest as the celebrity host.

Not a Techie  but Love the Fun!

I am not a techie, but there is so much to see and learn at CES.  As a Vegas entertainment reporter, I looked for the entertainment connection.  It wasn’t hard to find.  Entertainers who graced the booths, the stages, and the invite-only concerts and receptions included Snookie, Will Smith,  Kelly Clarkson, Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, Ed Begley, Jr.,  Rohan Marley, 50 Cent, and Justin Bieber.

 

Entertainers drew attention to their booths

Monster Cable sponsored a concert featuring Chicago. Greg Pederson of Monster told me that is was their way of, “saying thank you to the retailers and partners we deal with over the year.”  Besides, what better way than music since a bottom line of their business is that,  “music matters” I was lured to their suite by a promo saying Javier Colon, winner  of The Voice would perform.  A concert in the suite? Call me skeptical. Wow.  Color me convinced  and further educated.

Javier was superb as he sang for a suite room  packed with silent people as he entertained us with his voice, a guitar, and excellent sound equipment!  Of course, I learned a little more about Monster as well.

Canon sponsors a very worthwhile program every year at CES time.  It’s a combination of Celebrity Golf Tournament and Red Carpet Event with a silent auction. Canon does this to recognize their employees and to support the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. (Since 1984, the NCMEC has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 169,000 missing children.) The celebrities who turned out for this included Bryan Cranston, Robert Hays, Chris Rich, Stephen Baldwin, Michael Penna, Rick Faugno,  Ben Stone, Jasmine Trias, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie, Ken Norton, Mary Wilson, Eric Jordan Young, Dr. Gadget- Dave Dettman, Chuck Liddell, and the guys from Thunder Down Under.

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Co Founder of the Center John Walsh spoke eloquently of the work of the Center.

ESPN delighted a several hundred fans with their sponsorship of a 3D broadcast of the BCS Championship Football Game (LSU vs. Alabama) at the LVH, formerly known as the LV Hilton.

 

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There were some fights.  These were not spontaneous conflicts that the police had to break up. Nope.  ESPN sponsored a special Thursday afternoon boxing card. Unbeaten welterweight KO artist Javier “El Chino” Flores (8-0, 8 KOs) stopped Alex Viramontes (10-9, 3 KOs) in the third round. Southpaw Flores dropped Viramontes with a straight left hand in round one and got the stoppage from the referee in round three. So, now I can say I was ringside at a fight.

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And I even got a photo with Flores.!

Press events such as Pepcom’s Digital Experience and Showstoppers gave journalists a chance to get up close and personal with promoters of new products.

I’ll leave the hard technie stuff to the techies, but I saw some interesting products during my miles of walking through CES.  Want to look at a Lamborghini while you’re working? Four Door Media sells wireless mice in 17 car models.  They are licensed with 12 auto manufacturers and more to come. These scale models come compete with a vin number and will last 4-6 months on one battery.

Then there was DriSuit offering waterproof casing for my IPhone.  That means I could use it as a camera if I snorkel or talk on the phone from my hot tub.  Of course, it also means people will be calling me when I’m snorkeling in the ocean….

Okay folks, if you’re a techie, look elsewhere for the updates.  If you love entertainment and Las Vegas and you are a techie, then be at CES from January 8-11, 2013.

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