April 24, 2019

What and when is CES 2019?

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CES 2019 is nearly upon us and announcements from LG, Samsung and others have already been pouring in. We’ve been keeping up with all the updates as they happen and our team has been hard at work prepping coverage for this year’s event. What we’re expecting is an absolute deluge of news on January 8, followed by a non-stop scavenger hunt trying to find the best products of the show. It’s exhausting work, but there’s no place like Vegas during CES.

Every year, Sin City plays host to the gadget extravanganza that is the Consumer Electronics Show, now officially shortened to its acronym, CES. It’s the time of year where tech innovators from all over the world gather together to announce the latest and greatest in smartphones, wearables, TV and audio tech, with new laptops, tablets and smart cars filling row after row of booths at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Last January we saw innovation in droves at CES 2018, from Samsung’s 146-inch modular MicroLED TV, The Wall, and the incredible HTC Vive Pro to LG’s rollable 65-inch OLED TV and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It’s the world’s biggest tech show, and it’s poised to become even bigger in 2019.

Can’t wait until opening day on January 8? Read on! We’ve got all the details, predictions and postulations for what you can expect to see at CES 2019.

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The 2019 International CES will begin on Tuesday, 8 January and end on Friday, 11 January. It’s been taking place since 1967 and is staged by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a trade organization that represents over 2,000 consumer tech companies in the U.S.

Though it gets a lot of attention from the world’s media, this is not an event where the public can go see the latest tech. Unlike the IFA exhibition in Berlin each August, the CES is open only to the electronics trade, as well as journalists, bloggers and plenty of blaggers. (You know who you are…)

How big exactly is CES? It’s huge. If you’re going for the first time, go on a few five-mile walks in the preceding weeks. Seriously, it’s hiking boots-big. There are 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space. Eleven venues. 24 product categories. Some company’s booths are vast and complex, while other, smaller firms grab a table in one of the 25 marketplaces.

In terms of footfall, the CES attracts about 180,000 people from 155 countries, as well as 6,500 media, who visit 4,500 exhibiting companies. All the biggest tech companies in the world gather … well, except for Apple.

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Where will CES 2019 take place?
Since 1978 the CES has been staged in Las Vegas. Why? Hotel rooms, all 150,000 of them, and counting. The main venue is the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center (LVCC), which is a short (and very busy) monorail ride from The Strip, where most of the hotels are.

Along with the nearby Westgate Las Vegas and Renaissance Las Vegas, this is referred to as Tech East. This is where most of the major booths are. Tech West (comprising the Sands Expo, The Venetian, The Palazzo, Wynn Las Vegas, and Encore) is where you’ll find hi-fi and audio.

At Tech South (ARIA, Park MGM/Park Theater and Vdara) you’ll see VR, AR, and gaming. There are shuttle buses between the venues, but it’s best to stay put for the day at one of the three areas to avoid the traffic.

When do all the announcements happen?
Although the weeks before the CES are packed with rumors and reports of what may or may not be launched or announced at the CES, it’s not until Sunday, January 6 and Monday, January 7 – the two days before the show opens – that there will be any concrete news. These are the two media days, and they’re when the all-important press conferences are held, and consequently when a lot of the headlines are written.

Sunday is typically light on news, and in 2019 it’s Monday that will see the big companies’ press conferences at the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the south end of The Strip. In 2019, confirmed press conferences include Hisense, Hyundai, Intel, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, TCL, and Toyota.

As for whom is actually giving these nail-biting presentations, the first will come from LG on Monday, 7 January; its President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. I.P. Park will discuss AI and ‘self-evolving’ products … and a foldable phone?

January 8 will see keynotes from IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty (trust, AI and quantum) and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg (5G), while January 9 has AMD’s president and CEO Dr. Lisa Su discuss next-gen computing.

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