CES celebrated its 50th anniversary in June, but the show currently unleashed on Las Vegas feels like a considerable milestone.
The first Sin City CES opened its doors 40 years ago, for starters, and the format switched from two shows every year (remember heading west in the winter and east in the summer?) to just Vegas 20 years ago. Bill Gates announced his retirement from the day-to-day grind at Microsoft in his keynote a decade ago this week, and autonomous cars hit the show floor in earnest for the first time five years ago.
But the show celebrates the future, not the past. Some of the gadgets on the following pages could change how we live. Far more than not, though, will flop and be forgotten before the show wraps up Friday.
Here, some of our favorite robots, drones and other tech spread across the equivalent of 50 or so football fields in the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center and across the rest of Sin City. As evidenced by the “C” in CES, many are designed for consumer use, but plenty have industrial purpose — and, like Google Glass, might fall flat among a broader audience before being embraced by manufacturers.