While the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center looks like Forklift Central tonight, by tomorrow, the doors of the world's largest consumer electronics show will fly open and thousands of expected participants armed with passes will stream in to find flashing lights, cameras and lots of action.
Since 1967, CES has been the show where companies unveil new consumer electronics -- from the VCR in 1970 to the original Nintendo and first PlayStation.
Back then, 17,000 people showed up. Tomorrow? The expectation is for that number to hit 150,000. They'll traverse 2 million net square feet of exhibition space, keeping a sharp eye out for the Next Big Thing.
This is my 9th Consumer Electronics Show. I first covered it in 1990 for WSYX-Channel 6 in Columbus, Ohio. I was star-struck back then, when it really was just a mishmash of small cameras, weird talking robots and car-alarm companies. Now CES has become a huge show that has outgrown the convention center and spills over to surrounding hotels for a total of 15 miles of show space.
CES is heavily covered by the media and criticized by some experts who say it's "not what it used to be." Why then, will hundreds of companies roll out some 20,000 products? Because CES still has 'it'… unless you're Apple (which never shows) if you want to be in the consumer electronics game, you better catch a flight to Vegas.
It's the gadget version of the Detroit Auto Show. That means some of it is 'concept'---like the Ford Taurus with the De Lorean gull wing doors that never quite caught on and hit dealerships, while others will grab the collective attention of the consumer. CES has some hits and a lot of misses. It tends to amplify what 'could' be the next hot product.
Which leads me to tomorrow. Before the doors even fly open, FOX Business will be starting at The Venetian hotel, where we've landed the FIRST interview with Chinese electronics giant Lenovo. Maker of the (formerly IBM) ThinkPad, they're unveiling the 100 millionth ThinkPad--- we're told it'll be presented like a Faberge Egg--under glass and alarmed. Why? Because it represents the dream of Lenovo's co-founder who toiled years earlier delivering old, re-habbed PC's on his bicycle.
We'll then rush to the Convention Center as the doors open and we'll show you the super-secret but highly 'buzzy' SmartScooter by Gogoro. It's a FOX Business exclusive. Samsung is giving FBN it's first interview as well. Samsung's booth is a can't-miss---it's huge, and attracts a massive crowd.
The CES party kicks into high gear at 3pET on Countdown to the Closing Bell. I'll be with rapper Curtis "50 cent" Jackson, founder of SMS Audio headphones. This entrepreneur is the first rapper to turn his headphones into a fitness tracker.
You can't miss Daimler Benz Chairman Dieter Zetsche, who will show me what is expected to be the most 'insane' concept car, uber-connected to track drivers' eye movements.
Ford CEO Mark Fields will carry the connected car torch which was passed to him by former CEO Alan Mulally. FOX Business was the first network to show you Ford's initial foray into car connectivity back in 2009. What will they come up with next?
Wait til you see Ricoh's tiny camera made specifically for the selfie-Instagrammer in all of us. It's a FOX Business exclusive.
And at 4pET, the rapper who's turning the music industry upside down. RZA of Wu Tang Clan will be with me EXCLUSIVELY to show me how he's embedding never-before released songs into Boombotix speakers. You want to hear the song? Buy the speaker! It's a brand new way of selling music.
So, pump up the volume and I'll see you tomorrow for Day 1 of CES 2015!