CES 2012: The Calm Before the Storm

by Lindsey Adler Anxiously awaiting the start of the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, my anticipation is only rivaled by reflections on what exciting new technologies and experiences are in store for me this week. Oh, and I would be remiss to mention that this is my first CES, which of course, adds to
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by Lindsey Adler

Anxiously awaiting the start of the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, my anticipation is only rivaled by reflections on what exciting new technologies and experiences are in store for me this week. Oh, and I would be remiss to mention that this is my first CES, which of course, adds to my excitement and will undoubtedly heighten the experience for me.

Also in the first-timer vein, most CES veterans, especially those in the press it seems to me, liken a trip to CES somewhat akin to enduring a stint at Guantanamo Bay. Lucky for me, this mentality served me well in my effort to convince my boss Jeremy that he should send me in his place this year. With a trip to ISE in the works for him a few weeks later, this wasn’t the hardest fought battle I’ve undertaken.

With a pretty jam packed schedule—that might actually be an understatement—I’m wondering what the personal highlights will be, potential disappointments, and what, if any, surprises there might be.

The official press day kicks off today, with press conferences for LG and Monster leading things off, followed by NETGEAR, Sharp, and Pioneer all before noon. My hope here is that the big-name manufacturers in this roster aren’t too consumed by mass-market technologies that might be of limited interest to our custom install channel. Otherwise, I really have no idea what to expect from most of these folks. Bigger—er, giganormous or whatever—flat-panels from Sharp I expect, but will they throw anything really different into the mix? Oh and “business strategies” will likely be a component of all these press conferences. Monster’s invitation indicates Noel Lee will announce new partnerships.

I expect NETGEAR to be highly relevant, as the invitation stated the company, “will discuss the future of home networking in addition to making several industry-first announcements that will impact several product categories including: routers, connected entertainment and AV solutions, and networking applications,” among others.

More big-name manufacturers will occupy my afternoon: Samsung, Panasonic, and Sony press conferences. The only hints as to what’s Samsung has for us is that it “pushes the boundaries of convergence and innovations,” in the form of “new products and product categories,” according to the invitation. Also, admittance is apparently first-come, first-served. It does not bode well for my hopelessly unpunctual side.

Panasonic’s only clue is a new product lineup (obviously), and interestingly, a partnership with the 2012 London Olympics. Wonder who will do the showing up in the battle of better partnership announcements, Panasonic or Monster? Perhaps Monster’s announcement will simply be the latest celebrity to attach their name to a pair of headphones.

The rest of my week will have me at the Venetian exhibits all day Tuesday, soaking up the sweet sounds of the latest audio equipment. Hopefully I’ll get some great fodder for the feature I’m writing for the February issue of RS about embracing wireless audio and video through an exploration of the latest developments in this category. And Wednesday will surely be the craziest day for me with back-to-back booth appointments in 15-minute windows. I really hope the new “show shoes” I invested in can handle it!

Stay tuned to read the daily digest I will muster together in whatever slivers of free time I can find in the evenings. Although they might be tragically limited due to time constraints, there will undoubtedly be valuable post-show coverage gracing the print pages of RS. You can also look forward to what’s sure to be a whimsical and valuable take on each day’s events from my colleague John Sciacca.

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