Now in its 47th year, CES signals the start of the new year for the tech industry as surely as the ball dropping in Times Square. The show is a rite of passage for new products, a scrum of competition for aging categories, and the crucible for meetings and business deals that last for years.
It's true: Some big players aren't exhibiting this year -- Google and Apple appear conspicuously absent -- but that's nothing new. Where top-5 manufacturers leave a hole, smaller and sometimes-more-interesting upstarts sprout through the gaps. (And even companies not on the official CES roster are known to send reps in droves for closed-door meetings that are the nonpublic lifeblood of the show.)
So far, we know that this show promises that gaming (and its overlap with more traditional computers) will edge its way into the CES conversation, that big and small inventors alike plan to release every imaginable size and shape of fitness and wearable devices.The connected home and freakishly smart cars promise interesting advances at CES, and with its taproot buried deep in home theater history, we're sure to see plenty of 4K LED LCD TV and home audio announcements, too. (If you don't care about soundbars right now, you might after January.)
Every single piece of tech news from CES 2104 will show up in our massive CES package, so go there first for the kind of updates that will make you feel like you're at the show, elbow-to-elbow with the companies setting pace for 2014's technology trends. We'll tell you what you must see from the shows announcements, we'll report on what you should skip -- and yes, we'll show you pictures. Lots and lots of pictures, both video and still. And we won't be publishing only on our site. We'll post the latest news, behind-the-scenes pictures, and ongoing commentary on all the major social-media platforms as well. For a list of accounts to follow, check here. Our CNET en Español team will be on location for the first time ever, too, reporting on the CES news that matters to Spanish-speakers, en español, por supuesto.
Whether you scored a ticket to the show or follow along from elsewhere, you'll want to make sure you don't miss a few key events. For starters, we'll live blog every press conference you care about, and we'll live stream nearly every one of them, starting Sunday evening with Nvida and running all day on Monday, CES' official press day. Tune in for Samsung, Intel, Dish, LG, and the other biggies on Monday, then come back Tuesday for the official CES keynotes from Yahoo and Sony. We'll publish our entire schedule soon so that you can set your appointment reminders. (Check back after New Year's Day for that.)
In addition to the firehose of news from CES, we're particularly proud of CNET's massive stage in South Hall and the talent we're assembling there and on panels around the show. Not only will you see tons of live analysis and appearances from the CNET faces you know and love, but we have some surprises in store. (Here's a big hint: You don't want to miss our torture test segment, streamed live at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.)
Have you ever watched one of CNET's Next Big Thing panels? This is the panel that will grow your brain two sizes. This year, CNET luminaries Brian Cooley and Tim Stevens sit down at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7 (room N255-N257 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center) to discuss The New Hardware -- the world of sensor-based computing -- with some of the smartest panelists in tech, including Microsoft EVP of Devices and Studios Julie Larson-Green; Intel VP & GM of New Devices Mike Bell; Ford Technical Fellow and Director Jim Buczkowski; and Misfit Wearables CEO Sonny Vu. The room will fill early. Don't miss it.
On Wednesday, at 9:30 a.m (in room N261 of the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center), I'll moderate a panel I'm particularly excited about, discussing the future of the connected home and smart appliances. The panel includes Nest Co-Founder and VP of Engineering Matt Rogers, GE Home & Business Solutions Manager John Ouseph; Revolv Co-Founder and Head of Marketing Mike Soucie; Philips' Head of Technology, Connected Lighting George Yianni; Belkin Director of Product Management Ohad Zeira, and CNET Executive Editor Rich Brown, who oversees CNET's comprehensive smart appliances reviews coverage. We'll debate how -- and whether -- the devices in your home should talk to each other.
Brian Tong will do his famous live floor tours, Luke Westaway will give you tons of first looks straight from the floor, and we're going to premiere a totally-new long-form CNET show on the stage. If you're a fan of Sharon Vaknin, Donald Bell, or Eric Franklin, you won't want to miss the live premiere of The Fix on Wednesday, January 8 at 11 a.m.
I could go on -- really, I could list CES 2014's exciting events for pages. But I trust that you'll come back to the package yourself and check in every day starting this weekend. And I hope that you'll share your CES 2014 predictions and plans with us, too.