It’s that time of the year when the world’s top television and home appliance makers come together in Las Vegas to show off their new lineups at the Consumer Electronics Show.
However, what is different for 2013 is that the carmakers are betting big on the show, much bigger than the previous shows, with a record number of seven of the top 10 carmakers choosing to showcase their latest technologies at the international annual consumer electronics’ trade show.
Global big names in the auto industry such as Lexus, Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, General Motors and Chrysler are participating in the event. In the past, the show was dominated by TVs and appliances, and sometimes, wireless gadgets.
Lexus, Audi and Ford have also scheduled to hold press conferences in a bid to feature technologies that have relevance to the prevailing trends in consumer electronics.
“The record number of top automotive manufacturers exhibiting in 2013 verifies that CES is the leading event to experience the latest in automotive innovation and in-vehicle electronics,” said Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive of show producer CEA. “With major exhibits as well as outdoor exhibits and demonstrations, the 2013 CES show floor will feature a compelling display of the technologies transforming the future of the auto industry.”
|A company representative discusses a UVO system, an in-car interface developed by Microsoft Corp. and Kia Motors Corp., at the Kia booth during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 13. (Bloomberg)|
Automotive exhibits are expected to cover over 100,000 square feet of exhibition space this year, up 5 percent from last year.
The International CES is one of the world’s biggest annual trade shows of consumer electronics, and is produced by the Consumer Electronics Association every January.
For this year, Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs will deliver the wireless-focused preshow keynote address on Jan. 7, highlighting the U.S.-based firm’s “Born Mobile” theme.
Korea’s IT behemoths ― Samsung and LG Electronics, the world’s top two TV manufacturers ― are also gearing up to unveil their next-generation Ultra High Definition TVs at the show that kicks off on Jan. 8.
UHD TVs use the next-generation display technology, following Full High Definition technology, which was used in the two firms’ earlier TV lineups.
Samsung is planning to unveil UHD TVs with 85-inch and 110-inch displays at this year’s show.
Although the firm has maintained a distance from UHD TVs due to its launch of organic light-emitting diode display TVs, it seems to have decided to join the trend as the release of the firm’s OLED TV is taking more time than expected.
The Suwon-based company is also showing off its world’s first evolution kit at the trade show, which enables an older Samsung TV set to enjoy the functions and services of its latest TV set by simply attaching it through a back slot.
“When the evolution kit is placed in the right spot, features like voice and motion recognition as well as the ‘Smart Hub’ of the 2012 model will be upgraded into a 2013 model,” said a Samsung official.
LG, on the other hand, will be displaying its 55-inch and 65-inch UHD TVs, along with its already-unveiled 84-inch display UHD TV.
The TV maker is also featuring its newly-upgraded Google TV for U.S. consumers for the first time at the show, widening its lineup to include 42-inch, 47-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch and 60-inch displays. It had launched only 47-inch and 55-inch Google TVs last year.
The firm has added the “voice search” function for the latest Google TV 3.0 platform, by which users can search for channels, apps and videos on the Web through voice commands, according to LG officials.
“We’ve converged LG’s innovative user interface and product-making capability with Google’s strong software,” said Ro Seog-ho, executive vice president of LG’s TV business unit.
Other than the TV and home appliance products of the two local giants, other multinational companies like Sony, Intel, Sharp, Hisense, Panasonic, Huawei will be holding global press conferences at the four-day international event.
The CES 2013 will also present 20 Tech Zones, which include themes such as Fitness Tech, Gaming Showcase, Go Electric Drive, Mobile TV, Robotics and Safe Driver.
By Cho Ji-hyun (email@example.com)