History of CES Ilustrates Electronic Device, Gadget Evolution


A forecast into the year ahead for consumer electronics will kick off the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. But before looking at what the future holds for the consumer electronics market, it's a good time to look back and review how the industry evolved.

The trade show known today as CES was spun out of the Chicago Music Show back in 1967. Consumer electronics had become a large enough market that it could make it on its own, standing tall on two trade shows for a while: the New York City Consumer Electronics Show, held during the summer, and Chicago's Winter Consumer Electronics Show.

The first CES was held from June 24 to 28, attracting approximately 17,500 attendees, then CES was spun into two events, from 1978 to 1994, before the summer show was canceled, leaving just the winter conference in Las Vegas.

While Microsoft still has a large presence at CES, video game hardware and software began to disappear from the trade show in 1995. During that year, the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) had its inaugural run and video games proved that, like consumer electronics in 1967, it had a strong enough market to stand on its own.

Before video games got their own trade show, CES welcomed the Atari Pong home console back in 1974 and the Commodore 64 in 1982. It saw the introduction of Nintendo in 1985 and the rise of Tetris in 1988.

Here are some of the other consumer electronics products that have debuted at CES shows over the last four decades:

The '70s:

Videocassette recorder (VCR), 1970; Laserdisc player, 1974

The '80s:

Camcorder, 1981; Compact disc player, 1981

Early '90s:

Digital audio technology, 1990; Compact disc - interactive, 1991; mini-disc, 1993; Radio data system, 1993; Digital satellite system, 1994

Late '90s:

Digital versatile disk (DVD), 1996; High-definition television (HDTV), 1998; Hard-disc VCR (PVR), 1999

Early 2000s:

Digital audio radio (DAR), 2000; Microsoft Xbox (2001); Plasma TV (2001); Home Media Server (2002); HD Radio (2003); Blu-ray DVD (2003); HDTV PVR (2003); HD Radio (2004); IP TV (2005)

Late 2000s:

Flood of digital content services, 2006; marriage of content and new tech, 2007; OLED TV, 2008; 3D HDTV, 2009


Tablets, 2010; Netbooks, 2010; Android devices, 2010

Connected TV, 2011; Smart appliances, 2011; Android Honeycomb, 2011; Ford's Electric Focus, 2011; Motorola Atrix, 2011; Microsoft Avatar Kinect, 2011

Ultrabooks, 2012; 3D OLED, 2012; Android 4.0 tablets, 2012

Ultra HDTV, 2013; Flexible OLED, 2013; Driverless car technology, 2013; 3D printers, 2013; Sensor technology, 2013; Curved UHD, 2013

Quantum dots, 2014.

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