Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Hollywood stars, sports heroes including new ESPN analyst and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, TV personalities and rock stars including our own Vince Neil are all set for appearances this week at the giant 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. Just don’t expect them to be walking the 10 miles a day that regular delegates will tackle up and down the 2 million square feet of Las Vegas convention floor. That’s the equivalent of 33 football fields!
This morning’s quick pre-opening glance indicate several wow factors: a 100-inch TV selling for $100,000, driverless cars, smart watches and fitness wearables, 3D printing and new gadgets to help park in those tight spaces. As CES proudly says, it’s the world’s largest gathering that promotes innovative products and technologies revolutionizing the way consumers work, play, connect and access information.
Has newly crowned 2014 Miss America Nina Davuluri walked into the lion’s den with her official return to Las Vegas and her first-ever visit here? She’s at the New Media Expo at the Rio held in tandem with CES promoting the social-media initiatives of Las Vegas gaming rival Atlantic City. She’s already hosted the first-ever live @VisitAC Twitter conference and the official tourism weekend welcome party.
The Atlantic City Alliance plans to recruit 50 to 75 top bloggers to become advocates of the New Jersey resort area to drive traffic to DoAtlanticCity.com. It takes a little chutzpah to walk into the world’s top destination playground to sell a rival that doesn’t quite have what we have. Smart thinking, though, particularly with Miss America on board.
TV host Maria Menounos serves as the Entertainment Matters ambassador throughout the five days of CES that officially begins today, although exhibits don’t open until Tuesday. New to this year’s CES: the Breakthrough of the Year Awards presented by Variety Magazine. “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon leads Thursday’s awards premiere and red carpet at LVH Theater.
Expect to see Olivia Munn (“Iron Man 2”) as Breakthrough Actress; Janelle Monae as Breakthrough Music Artist; Amy Schumer from Comedy Central for Breakthrough Comedy; actor Dean Morris will accept the Breakthrough Television honor for his hit CBS drama “Under the Dome”; and actress Kristen Bell will accept the Breakthrough Film honor for the film “Veronica Mars” based on the TV series. Nick also will guest DJ at 10AK in the Mirage on Tuesday.
Rapper, actor and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will unveil his newest headphones when he handles two days of autographs and appearances at SMS Audio on Tuesday and Wednesday. The trio of “Boston Guys” who star in all the Dish commercials will greet CES attendees for two hours beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday. On Wednesday, Grammy winner Pharrell Williams will sign autographs at the Liquipel booth to help unveil its new Liquipel program of shock-absorbent smart-phone skins.
Music icon Bob Marley’s sons Rohan and Ky-mani will perform at the House of Marley booth; pro big wave surfer Garrett McNamara, who broke the world record for largest wave ever surfed, will be at the Body Glove Mobile exhibit; and MMA and “The Expendables” star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will be at Trident cases.
Plus, world chess champion Magnus Carlsen will play against 20 amateurs while wearing his Nordic Semiconductor heart-rate monitor wristband showing his heart rate on a large screen. Apparently the technology will be used in future world chess tournaments to enhance its value as a spectator sport.
Two-time NCAA National Football Championship winner Tim Tebow and MMA star and Spike TV’s “Ultimate Fighter” runner-up Brendan Schaub will both appear at the Soul Electronics booth and at its CES after-party at Tao in the Venetian on Thursday with producer, DJ and NYE headliner at the Joint Juicy J.
Motley Crue frontman Vince Neill will be at Marshall headphones; legendary DJ Tiesto will launch his Club Life headphones for Audiofly; DJ Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia fame will represent Urbanears; and our Luxor headliners Jabbawockeez will perform at the Hisense booth.
Hollywood TV stars will premiere the new Intelligence series for CBS Interactive’s CNET production plucked right from today’s headlines: Marg Helgenberger (“CSI”), Josh Holloway (“Lost”) and Meghan Ory (“Once Upon a Time”) all appear in the series about agents and operatives in an elite government cyber security agency.
Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton will take part in a panel discussion inspiring children to read and promoting the use of technology to support literacy, and our courageous “Iron Chef” winner Kerry Simon, now battling MSA, will cook breakfast for the world’s media Wednesday sponsored by Lynx Grills.
Other VIPs include DJ Ana Sia, seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry, NASCAR racer German Quiroga, National Geographic’s “Digger” stars Tim “Ringy” Saylor and George “K.G.” Wyant, video game champion Justin Wong of Evil Geniuses, pro football player Reed Doughty and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria.
Intel, Samsung, Sony, LG and ASUS will unveil new products today at CES. Also expect to see a lot of people wearing the newest of Google glasses, which industry experts predict will be the rage at sporting events in the future. They let fans wearing them watch instant action replays or different viewpoints from other Google glass wearers watching elsewhere. The idea has already been tested during tennis, basketball and football contests. Bon Jovi wore them onstage to give fans a unique look up close, and CNN anchor Jenny Harrison has worn them on air during weathercast reports for digital news and top alerts.
Google Glass is just one of the new wearable technology making headlines, and that area of invention and innovation with watch phones and fitness products is heavily displayed at CES. Sales of wearable technology soared nearly 300 percent in 2012 to 8.3 million devices; one report predicts shipments of smart watches alone will reach 214 million devices with revenue of more than $60 billion by 2018.
Be it Bluetooth, headphones, oversized TVs and home entertainment systems, the word is wireless; no more plugs or connections! Check out all the new WiFi cameras for video and point-and-shoot pocket products. CES execs say that 2014’s show is a record year with nine automotive tech manufacturers increasing their floor space by 25 percent over last year to a whopping 140,000 square feet.
There also will be a lot of headline stories about Half-Life’s Steam Machines that bring gaming right into the living room. Be sure to read all the CES product reports and breakthroughs by our colleagues here at the Las Vegas Sun and check back to Vegas DeLuxe each day this week for the nightly CES star events and nightclub parties.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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