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The doors are open to CES 2017. The annual trade show, organised by the Consumer Technology Association, takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Monopolising the Las Vegas Convention Centre for four days in early January, the show has grown year on year since its birth.

This year’s offering is set to be the best yet, with a line-up of more than 850 first-time exhibitors, seven keynote speeches and the addition of ‘SuperSessions’.  With around 4000 different exhibitors headed to the desert to present their wares, who will stand out from the crowd this year?

Celebrating 50 years

From the early days of pocket-sized radios and black and white televisions, the four-day electrical extravaganza has seen the rise and fall of some of our most iconic technologies. Launching in June 1967, the first show boasted 117 exhibitors in total and enticed 17,500 visitors through its doors. Since then, we witnessed the glittering arrival of Atari’s 8-bit personal computers in 1979, and three years later saw the world debut of both the compact disc and the personal camcorder.

The 1980s proved to be the decade of the gamer, with the introduction of Nintendo’s first games console in 1985, followed by the appearance of the popular computer game, Tetris, in 1988. This eventually led to Nintendo bundling the game with its new handset, the Game Boy.

1993 ushered in Sony’s revolutionary MiniDisc, which held a record-breaking hour and fourteen minutes of audio. After losing out to the dawn of digital, the obsolete MiniDisc was later officially retired in 2011. The end of the 90’s saw the twice-yearly show switch to its current annual format and take up residence in Las Vegas.

As we entered a brave new millennium, so too did the competition. 2003 championed the DVD’s rival as Blu-Ray took centre stage, while in 2007 the show itself saw its limelight snatched away. The year was notable not for the tech giants in attendance, but for the one that was absent. Some 400 miles away in New York, Apple launched their first iPhone on the show’s closing day.

Undeterred, the juggernaut that is CES continued, with last year’s show wrapping as the broadest to date. Breaking records across the board, the convention centre hosted more than 3,800 exhibitors and admitted in excess of 177,000.

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New for 2017

Hoping to smash the records yet again, CES 2017 promises to be bigger, better and more diverse than ever before. With 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space, this year’s show will be split across three main areas and more than 24 different categories.

‘Marketplaces’ will showcase the hottest tech trends of 2017, with a smart energy marketplace new for this year. Presented by Solar Power International, this area will host the latest in solar-charged electric car ports; systems to curb your home energy usage; and seamless solutions to rooftop solar.  Further marketplaces will show off the highlights in technology for sleep, beauty and even babies.

Returning for 2017, the Eureka Park marketplace will this year house more than 600 startups and feature exhibitors from over 34 countries. Partners include TechCrunch, Indiegogo and the National Science Foundation.

Throughout the four-day event, CES will be holding Facebook Live and Periscope interviews, streams from the show floor, keynote speakers and much more. Catch the action live on Facebook and Twitter.

CES 2017 runs from January 5-8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Image courtesy of the Consumer Technology Association.

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