CES Day One Recap

LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) - The glitz and glamor of Las Vegas is certainly an appropriate backdrop for the Consumer Electronics Show, as companies demonstrate their best and brightest products for the world to see.

From televisions to tablets, to smartphones and flying cars, CES 2013 has certainly been interesting, with companies clamoring to show off their new wares. Some firms offered creative ways to get their message across, from QR codes on business cards containing in-depth presentations to rubber bracelets containing NFC chips. Companies at CES are doing everything they can to woo consumers.

Here are three of the more interesting announcements/unveilings during the first day of CES:


Samsung put on a brilliant show during its press event, and clearly has Apple ( AAPL) on the brain, announcing several new stunning televisions.

Samsung's new television sets for 2013 are not only beautiful, but allow for more connectivity and interaction with the devices than ever before. Samsung Smart TV provides more interaction with content and partners than any other TVs. The new Samsung flagship F8000 television is a sight to behold, with its LED screen and incredibly beautiful picture. The OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) TVs with built-in speaker systems look like a work of art. If Apple is going to make its own television, it has its work cut out.


Even though Apple does its own product unveilings away from the frenzy of CES, it's clear the tech giant's on people's minds in Las Vegas. This was obvious when I visited Nest, which was showing off its new thermostat technology, and just so happens to get its inspiration from Apple. Founded by two former Apple employees, Tony Faddell and Matt Rogers, Nest offers a new take on the thermostat, helping consumers save money on their heating bills by regulating temperature via iOS and Android smartphones. Taking a page out of Apple's book, the thermostat is sleek looking and incredibly easy to use. Though Rogers wouldn't tell me how many customers Nest has, I can bet it's quite a few. This is one name to watch, for sure.


As this is my first time at CES (and Las Vegas), I was taken aback at the sheer scale of the event, and also how well organized it is. Reports suggest that around 200,000 people have come from all over the world for the show. I was amazed to see everything run like clockwork, with minimal delays and no hitches. Bravo to the people at CES for continuing to put on amazing shows.

Here are three of the more uninteresting things from day one at CES:


Sharp's presentation felt pretty bland, particularly compared to Samsung's exciting event. The Japanese consumer electronics maker announced several new televisions, but lacked the pizazz and panache synonymous with Vegas. Sharp, which has gone through financial troubles in recent times as losses continue to mount, told the audience it will have 21 televisions of 60-inches and above. 21 models? Why do we need so many choices? That seems like overkill to me. You want your customers to buy the products, not spend all their time trying to figure out which one they want.

2. HP

HP ( HPQ) is another company that doesn't get it. Appearing at Pepcom, HP had a few tables to show off its latest notebooks and desktops. The problem is, as a consumer, there were nearly 10 notebooks on the tables, and those are just the new ones. Again, too many choices. HP unveiled something called a Sleekbook, which looked anything but. Models looked as if they were crafted in 2003, not 2013. Perhaps that's why the company's stock is down more than 40% over the past year.


Being a car guy, I had high hopes for Ford's ( F) panel, but it just didn't resonate. The Michigan-based automaker, which has done a wonderful job turning itself around after the financial crisis, and is now solidly profitable, announced its developer program for its Applink system, to help make in-car communications a lot more exciting than than just traditional radio. The problem is, Ford has done pretty much all it can. With Applink and Sync by Microsoft ( MSFT), Ford owners have access to content from Pandora ( P), I Heart Radio, and several other partners. Ford brought on nine new partners, including Amazon ( AMZN) Cloud Player, but it just felt like more of the same. It didn't feel like anything special. Perhaps the developers will prove me wrong over time.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in Las Vegas

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