Setting the Stage for CES 2017

By Motley Fool Staff Markets Fool.com

Nearly 200,000 people are expected to make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas this week in order to attend the Consumer Electronics Show, one of the largest technology trade shows in the world. With thousands of exhibitors, companies, and executives gathered in one place, CES 2017 will set the stage for leading tech companies to unveil their newest products and innovations.

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The Motley Fool has sent its own team to the conference, and in this video, analyst David Kretzmann shares some of his experiences from day one in Las Vegas.

A full transcript follows the video.

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DAVID KRETZMANN:

Greetings from CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm David Kretzmann, the Mission Lead for Odyssey 2 in Motley Fool Supernova.

Our Motley Fool team is here on the ground at CES and today was more of an introduction day for CES. There are a lot of vendors and businesses still setting up on the show floor, but we did get a chance to visit a few events today and get a taste for what we'll be experiencing the rest of the week here at CES and much more.

One of the highlights for the day was a visit to HTC Vive, an event that HTC put on to showcase the Vive virtual reality platform. It's a virtual reality headset and platform, and it was really interesting to get a chance to be up close and personal with a variety of virtual reality games. So whether you're a firefighter putting out a fire in a kitchen and feeling the heat on your chest and the pressure of the fire hose, or you're in a shooter game, where you're feeling the bullets hit your vest and you feel the weight of the gun, you can definitely see the potential for the virtual reality platform.

Obviously it's still a space with a lot of fragmentation. Whether you're talking about HTC with its Vive platform, Facebook with its Oculus platform, [or] Google with Daydream, there are a lot of players in this space. There's not one clear winner, but it will certainly be an interesting space for us to watch in CES and beyond.

Another highlight for CES this year will most certainly be self-driving cars. Today we had a chance to take a test drive in a self-driving car that Hyundai has been developing largely in-house. The technology is still early stage compared to some of the other solutions out there, but we were able to be in the car and get a sense for how that technology works [and] a sense for how the sensors and the cameras work to create or enable that autonomous driving experience.

And that really leads into what was certainly the highlight of the day and could prove to be the highlight of CES, which was the NVIDIA(NASDAQ: NVDA) keynote presentation. NVIDIA covered a variety of topics, including self-driving cars. The founder and CEO described the company's efforts with self-driving cars as the most important thing the company is doing today -- the most influential thing the company is doing for the good of the world -- just in terms of being able to use self-driving technology to reduce the amount of accidents and deaths caused by human failure when it comes to driving cars.

NVIDIA announced a whole lot of partnerships, including one with Audi, where the companies are essentially committing themselves to creating an artificial-intelligence-powered vehicle by 2020. Within the next three years they should have an AI-powered, self-driving capable car.

So NVIDIA continues to be a powerhouse of a company. Obviously the company had an incredible 2016. It was the top-performing stock in the S&P 500. It more than tripled. The company has released a slate of new products and new partnerships.

And the company continues to power ahead in the video game space. The company today announced essentially an on-demand video game platform where players, even if you don't have a high-powered computer with an NVIDIA processor or an NVIDIA computing system [will] still be able to subscribe to this cloud gaming platform and play a variety of games from Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, and a whole lot of others. So that's certainly a first in the video game space, and that could have broad implications for PC gaming and video gaming in general, going forward.

So that was certainly an interesting announcement. There's a whole lot more from NVIDIA that we'll cover in our daily dispatches, but for now that gives you a summary of what we experienced at our first day at CES. Stay tuned for more from the Motley Fool crew here at CES where we will share with you all of our findings on trends, products, businesses and where we think investors should be watching for long-term rewards.

Thanks for watching and Fool on!

David Kretzmann owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard, Facebook, and Nvidia. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.