CES 2004 Sneak Peek
Gadgets, Girls and Gizmos!
The 2004 Consumer Electronics Show was a record breaker! Over 1.38 million net square feet was used to house all of the cool stuff that brought together more than 129,000 industry professionals, over 2,400 exhibiting companies and 18,000 international travelers from 110 countries!
To be sure, when it comes to all things electronic, the place to be is the Consumer Electronics Show held every January in Las Vegas, Nevada. And you'd better make sure you had a pair of comfortable shoes if you wanted to see everything. There was so much stuff to see, you could barely fit it all in the four days of January 8-11. Of course, what would any self-respecting trade show be without the ever-popular booth babes to lure people in to check out the goods ... uh, we mean, products?
CES is one of those "industry and trade only, no-you-can't-come-in type of shows." Since we were able to convince the officials that we actually had some sort of busines being there (other than monkey business), we had an "all-access" to get the inside on scoop on what was coming downt he pike for your home and car.
On the home front, there were some very exciting developments for your viewing pleasure. And there was a whole lot to view on the largest plasma screen at the show. LG showed off their 76" inches of TV fury that you could mount right to your wall. Now don't gather up all your old pop bottles just yet, it won't be ready to ship to your house till later in the year.
Another cool item was the internet-ready microwave oven from Beyond that reads the barcodes off the box and sets the time and temperature for you. All you need to do is press "start." To compliment the oven, there's the Internet ready coffee maker that is connected to a wireless network hub. It's pretty scary when your appliances know more than you do.
From the car audio side of things, there were a couple of things that were pretty exciting. One was an in-car computer with a touch screen LCD. The computer itself was no bigger than a standard in dash head unit. Another area that was literally exploding was marine audio. Lots of companies were touting new waterproof audio components from head unit enclosures, to speakers and subwoofers. Bazooka even had a marine tube that looked like a scuba tank.
People seem to really be taking notice of the automotive market, as some of the automotive aftermarkets have realized just how powerful this show is. To that end, we saw familiar companies like APC showing off their lines of taillight, exhaust systems and other goodies for your car. Leather seat kits, custom dashes and all sorts of other automotive accoutrements were on display, sending a clear message to the retailer that it's not about a head unit and a set of speakers anymore.
Back in the show, MP3 head units were still going strong, and don't seem to be going off the radar screen any time soon. Speaking on screens, there was a really sweet flip down HD video monitor from IconTV. In addition to that, IconTV also was showing off their HDTV ready screen. Just like last year, in car video had a strong show at CES. Blaupunkt was showing off their Chicago IVDM-7002 in-dash DVD/CD/MP3 player with Dolby digital 5.1 surround set up... all you needed to do is add speakers.
During the four days of CES, we also saw a bevy of live performances over in the Sirius Satellite Radio booth. The Bangles, Joe Jackson and Leann Rimes were just a few of the big names that came out to play a few songs and talk to the DJs. Over in the XM Satellite Radio booth, we spotted the girls from Playboy's Night Calls, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
CES 2004 also played host to a wide variety of celebrities. While wandering the show, we bumped into Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling the former writer from the Howard Stern show. Jackie was out promoting some new gag products for Excalibur.
Oh sure, the electronics were cool, but there was also some awesome scenery to gawk at during CES. It would be safe to say that you were the minority if you DIDN'T have some hot young thang drawing people into your bit of real estate. While there were some new girls to scope out, there were some returning favorites.
The lovely Raquel was at the Visonik booth; the stunning Nicole was signing posters at MA Audio, the always-hot Mary was signing posters in the Kove Audio booth and the super sexy Tyran was wowing the crowd over in the Bazooka booth. To be honest, this year saw more booth babes than in years past. It seems folks are realizing the power of a beautiful woman.
As a side note, the Bazooka tube is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Hard to believe it's been 20 years since the Bazooka tube revolutionized the audio industry. As a side note to the side note, the bazooka tube is now the official audio upgrade for the Scion.
All in all, it was a killer show. And don't worry, you'll be see all of the cool stuff we saw at the show on the shelves of your favorite electronics store really soon. And while we could go on and on about all the cool stuff we saw at the 2004 consumer electronics show, we'll just let the photos do the talking.