January 4, 2017: Why C.E.S. Is More Than Just a Gadget Showcase, How Wearable Tech May Change the Cruise Ship Experience, Clintons to Attend Trump Inauguration

1. WHY C.E.S. IS MORE THAN JUST A GADGET SHOWCASE: C.E.S., the world's biggest consumer electronics and tech trade show, returns to Las Vegas on Thursday, presenting the latest advances in AI, television, drones, and more. As a whole, the show also is expected to showcase the tech industry mindset for 2017. Wired: "Last year, more than 177,000 people wandered 2.47 million square feet of exhibit space—and that number doesn’t include the hotel suites, craps tables, and strip clubs. The most important thing you have to understand about CES is that it’s not really about the gadgets. Much, if not most, of the things on display in Vegas will either never be on sale at all, or never be available where you live. What really happens in Vegas is that, if you stand back just far enough and squint your eyes a little, you can get a sense of what’s on the mind of the tech industry. In 2011, after the iPad came out, CES was filthy with tablets, as everyone else looked at how and whether a glass pane could be the future of computing. The year after, in a panic over the crashing PC market, everyone yelled Ultrabooks! in unison and showed off the thinnest laptop they could conjure. In 2016, it was clear that everyone was leaping on the nostalgia train. Almost none of the products we saw any of those years mattered by itself, but together they set the tone for the year to come. … Artificial intelligence is almost certainly going to be the story of the year at CES. Smart speakers that look suspiciously like the Amazon Echo; in-home gadgets that can automatically organize your life or build a playlist to your liking; approximately 643 billion different ways to interact with bots. It’ll make abundantly clear that AI is definitely the future, but that nobody knows why or how yet." http://bit.ly/2iF3cTi

2. HOW WEARABLE TECH MAY CHANGE THE CRUISE SHIP EXPERIENCE: Two former Disney executives are introducing a wearable bracelet that will connect personal information to Carnival cruises, allowing vacationers to do everything from plan trips to order food and drinks. The New York Times: “‘As long as bigger, newer, cooler ships have kept coming, the cruise industry has treated guest liabilities—standing in long lines, having a frustrating embarkation experience—as acceptable,’ said John Padgett, who joined Carnival in 2014 as chief experience and innovation officer after 18 years at Disney. Carnival, which operates more than 100 ships worldwide under 10 brands, will unveil its ambitious technology initiative on Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In a keynote speech, Arnold W. Donald, Carnival’s chief executive, intends to announce that the system—an app called Ocean Compass paired with a quarter-size so-called smart medallion that can be carried in a pocket or worn as jewelry—will arrive on the company’s Princess Cruises fleet this year. … Analysts expect the technology to increase profits in multiple ways, including allowing Carnival to charge more for tickets, particularly on older ships. Ease of purchase is another big component—cruisers will be able to pay for food, drinks and merchandise simply by having their credit card-connected Ocean Medallion in their pocket. Carnival’s disks, each laser-etched with the guest’s name, will also power a new, shipwide gambling platform.” http://nyti.ms/2iHGVE7

3. CLINTONS TO ATTEND TRUMP INAUGURATION: Hillary and Bill Clinton are slated to attend Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20. George W. Bush is also expected to attend. USA Today: "It will be the first joint public appearance by Trump and Hillary Clinton since the three presidential debates that preceded Trump's surprise election victory. Bill Clinton will be one at least three ex-presidents at the Jan. 20 inauguration of Trump; George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter have also announced plans to attend. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush 'are pleased to be able to witness the peaceful transfer of power—a hallmark of American democracy,' spokesman Freddy Ford said Tuesday. Former president George H.W. Bush is not expected to attend because of health reasons. As is tradition, current President Obama will also be at the inauguration of his successor." http://usat.ly/2i73IFU


BOSTON:  The 12th annual CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes will take place at North End restaurants Antico Forno, Aria Trattoria, Bricco, Lucca, Taranta, Terramia Ristorante, and Tresca. The event benefits the Joslin Diabetes Center.

EDMONTON, CANADA:  InterContinental Hotels Group opened its first dual-branded property in Canada—the 77-room Candlewood Suites West Edmonton and the 137-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites West Edmonton Mall Area—on December 20. The Holiday Inn Express property has a meeting space that seats 130.

HOUSTON:  Erin Hicks will celebrate the release of her fifth cookbook, Houston Small Plates & Sips, with a launch party at Ritual on January 18. Fans will be able to sample complimentary soup from restaurants featured in the book, and purchase personalized copies.

LAS VEGAS:  The Venetian and the Palazzo Congress Center has debuted a 1,170-square-foot pop-up co-working lounge. Powered by Zappos, the lounge offers charging stations, Wi-Fi, four private phone rooms, and a private conference room that seats six.

Hakkasan Group C.E.O. Neil Moffitt will deliver a keynote during the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show on March 27. The show runs through March 29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

LOS ANGELES:  The lineup for this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, taking place April 14-16 and 21-23, has been announced. Festival headliners include Beyoncé, Radiohead, and Kendrick Lamar.

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll will co-host this year's Independent Spirit Awards, which will air live on IFC February 25.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Spain-inspired cocktail bar Gin & Collins opened at the AC Hotel Miami Beach on Tuesday. The space, which serves variations of gin and tonics, seats 11 at the bar and more at leather banquettes and lounge seating. 

NEW YORK:  The Public Theater's Under the Radar theater festival runs today through January 15 at various venues. The festival features 21 innovative performances.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  The USTA National Campus will hold a grand opening ceremony Thursday morning with special guests including tennis players Chris Evert, James Blake, and Jim Courier. The facility has 100 lighted courts on a 64-acre campus, and will be the largest tennis center in the country.

TORONTO:  Toronto Fringe's 10th annual Next Stage Theatre Festival takes place today through January 15 at the Factory Theatre.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Mama Ayesha's, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Lanier Heights, won't add Donald Trump to its presidential mural. Washingtonian: http://bit.ly/2iF7fPo

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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