CES Through The Years: Breakthroughs, Triumphs And Tears

By Jimmie Geddes email: j.geddes@mobilenapps.com | Jan 06, 2013 03:53 AM EST

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As the 2013 International CES technology event in Las Vegas falls upon us and we all get ready to take a look at the latest and greatest products being announced, it's a great time to look back at CES through the years and remember the biggest and best moments of the show. Think of it as an appetizer before the main course.

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CES held its first show in June 1967 in New York City and has been the place for technology companies to see and be seen by the world. CES is the place for major technology-related products and news to be announced, and it's no wonder as the show sees hundreds of thousands of people descend into the Las Vegas desert to view "what's next" in the world of technology. Some of the biggest, iconic, and most successful products have seen their launch at the show. Let's take a trip back in time and remind ourselves of what this show has launched.

In 1970, CES was the place where the VCR (video cassette recorder) made its debut. While the device has lost its popularity to streaming services, DVD, Blu-ray players, etc. it was virtually a staple in every home and can be seen as the device that changed television forever, it allowed us to watch TV on our terms.

In 1975, Atari demonstrated the Atari Pong Console, which would begin what we know as home console gaming today. Atari made playing video games somewhat mainstream on your television and Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, etc. should tip their hats to the company that started it all.

In 1981, CES saw the launch of both the camcorder and the CD (compact disc). The camcorder made it simple for people to become self-made movie makers. The CD brought a brought a new format and way to play and listen to music on thin discs.

In 1982, we saw the demonstration of the Commodore 64 at CES. It brought the idea of home computing into reality. It is often compared to the Ford Model T automobile because it brought major new technology to households in mass production. Computers began to invade the home.

In 1985, Nintendo stole the show at CES when it showed off the NES gaming console. It would become one of the best selling video game consoles of all time. The NES could virtually be found in all homes of video game fans and became the gold standard of how you played video games. It also spawned the launch of titles of many iconic gaming franchises, including many of the games we still play today.

In 1993, Apple's CEO John Sculley opened CES with the launch of the Apple Newton. It was Apple's Personal Digital Assistant and can be seen as the precursor to Apple's iPhone and iPad.

In 1996, CES saw the debut of the DVD (digital versatile disc). The new format would replace the VCR and VHS tapes we used for years to watch on our televisions.

In 1998, we saw the introduction of HDTVs (high-definition televisions). We would finally get an upgrade to the way television appeared on the screen compared to the standard-definition we watched for years.

In 2000, Satellite Radio made its appearance allowing an alternative to the AM/FM signals we used for years.

In 2001, the computer giant Microsoft launched its Xbox gaming console and showed the world that the company did more than just create the Windows OS and Office software it was well known for. Microsoft would go on to become a one of the biggest players in the gaming world.

In 2003, the Blu-ray Disc was launched and was billed as the successor to the DVD format. It offered more storage on the disc and would become the industry standard for feature-length videodiscs.

In 2005, Bill Gates' demonstration of Windows Media Center went painfully wrong at CES. The demo resulted in the famous "Windows Blue Screen of Death." While it was bad for Microsoft, it was one of the funniest CES moments.

In 2008, Bill Gates gave the keynote speech where he formally announced his retirement from Microsoft. Sony introduced the world's first OLED TV at the show.

In 2009, OLED TVs ruled CES. It also saw the introduction of Palm's webOS and Palm Pre smartphone. It stole the show, and hearts of many technology enthusiasts. It was seen as a fresh and exciting next-generation mobile operating system from Palm. It looked like the first real competitor to Apple's iPhone. Unfortunately, as much praise as it won at CES it was eventually acquired and killed off by HP.

In 2011, Android was the star of CES. The Motorola Xoom tablet won CES' Best of Show Award. Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG, and Sony launched many of the first 4G Android smartphones at the show.

In 2012, CES saw a record attendance of over 153,000 people. Tablets and Ultrabooks proved to be the hottest devices shown off during the event.

I'm sure we'll see some exciting new devices and technologies shown off at this year's show. The 2013 International CES kicks off on Jan. 8 and runs through Jan. 11. We'll be covering it from every angle, so make sure you come back and check out all of the 2013 International CES news coverage as it happens.

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