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CES 2016 Set To Be A Logistical Nightmare, As Security Heightened

CES which last year attracted over 176,000 visitors to Las Vegas for the annual tech event, is set to be a logistical nightmare for many this year due to heightened security and a show that is bursting at the seams.

CES which last year attracted over 176,000 visitors to Las Vegas for the annual tech event, is set to be a logistical nightmare for many this year due to heightened security and a show that is bursting at the seams.
 
I am already in Las Vegas and compared to prior year’s security has been heightened with identity being checked at several locations. All visitors to floors at the MGM Grand have to have a room key.
 
This year, unlike prior years bags are also set to be checked with restrictions placed on certain bags.
  
CES organisers have this year also moved to better control qualification for the 2016 event which is tipped to attract between 150,000 to 170,000 trade visitors. 

 
“It should appear a little less dense,” said Gary Shapiro, long time president and chief executive of the Consumer Technology Association. “The issue for us is getting around Las Vegas.” He told the Wall Street Journal.
 
The event will grow again in other ways; Mr. Shapiro is quick to point out. Exhibit space, for example, is slated to expand to 2.4 million square feet this year, from 2.23 million in 2015. The action is now divided into three clusters of facilities-dubbed Tech East, Tech West and Tech South.
 
CES, which kicks off with a keynote speech by Intel Corp.’s CEO Tuesday night and extends through Saturday, is expected to draw 3,600 exhibitors.

 
Originally known mainly for living-room gear like TVs and stereos, CES has steadily expanded as products like personal computers, smartphones and tablets have reached mass audiences. More recently, CES has embraced categories like 3-D printing, virtual reality, mobile apps and drones, while also showing a willingness to add vendors targeting businesses rather than consumers.
 
Dedicated zones called marketplaces this year will focus on fields such as cybersecurity and products and services for corporate technology buyers, Mr. Shapiro said. In another sign of the corporate focus, International Business Machines Chief Executive Virginia Rometty was added in mid-December to the roster of seven keynote speakers from the business world.
 
Electronics giants like Sony, Samsung Electronics. and Panasonic. have scheduled news conferences Tuesday. So have some major auto makers, which have increasingly flocked to the show as part of a push to differentiate themselves by adding more electronic features to their vehicles.
Ironically struggling organisations such as Toshiba and Sharp have abandoned their much sought after press conference slots. They have been snapped up by the lies of Fitbit, Ford and Huewei.
 
Nine major car makers are exhibiting this year, Mr. Shapiro said. General Motors. Chief Executive Mary Barra is scheduled for a keynote speech, as is Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen AG passenger car brand.
 
Intel’s Brian Krzanich, in his third consecutive CES keynote, is expected to again focus on his quest to take the company beyond chips for personal computers. Besides providing technology for smart jewellery and eyewear, the Silicon Valley giant has been stressing three-dimensional camera technology called RealSense that can be used for purposes such as helping drones navigate without human assistance.
 
Where hardware development was once mainly the province of large companies, CES has lately become a focal point for a new wave of start-ups. Many have raised money through online crowdfunding sites rather than from venture capitalists, which have tended to shun the risky sector. More than 500 start-ups are expected to take part at this year’s show, up from 375 in 2015.
 
Much of their activity reflects a movement dubbed the Internet of Things, a catchall phrase used to refer to adding sensing, computing and communications capabilities to everyday devices like toothbrushes, door knobs, lightbulbs and washing machines. Many more connected devices are expected to be shown this week, including smart dog collars, robots that mix drinks and sports bras that measure users’ exertion.
 
Though such novelties tend to capture headlines, long time CES watchers say exhibitors are starting to shift their attention to more important concerns-particularly devices and services that improve users’ health, safety and security. Auto makers, for example, are increasingly stressing technology to help avoid collisions and deter carjacking, said John Curran, a global managing director at consulting firm Accenture.
 
“It’s say goodbye to cool and hello to practical,” he said.
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