In its 52nd year, C.E.S. remains one of the world’s most influential technology events—and a cornerstone for what to do and what not to do at massive trade shows.
The auto industry took center stage at this year’s convention, with major auto brands and ride-sharing companies sharing new ventures and ideas. Hyundai debuted its design for a walking car and Bell Nexus revealed its futuristic, flying taxi, while companies like Uber and Ford debuted new technologies. Meanwhile, the buzz for virtual reality, slated to be the next big trend in tech at the convention just a few years ago, was almost nonexistent. For the first time in years, Facebook’s Oculus brand, arguably the most commercial V.R. product, didn’t hold a flashy press event, and brands like Sony and HTC had a minimal presence.
C.E.S. once again faced criticism for its treatment of women. Most notably, the convention revoked an award it gave a robotics company for a women’s sex toy, which the company’s founder argued was sexist. The Consumer Technology Association did, however, announce it would invest $10 million in venture firms and funds focused on women, people of color, and other underrepresented startups and entrepreneurs.
From January 6 to 11, C.E.S. drew more than 4,500 exhibitors that showcased some of the newest technology innovations to some 180,000 attendees, across more than 2.9 million square feet of exhibit space in Sin City. Here’s a look at how brands such as Facebook and Instagram, Intel and Warner Bros., Polaroid, Nikon, and more engaged attendees in fresh, innovative ways.