Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 | 3:34 p.m.
Hollywood stars, musicians and VIPs are set to invade today for this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, among them singer Alicia Keys, New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow and our Strip headliners Carrot Top (Luxor) and Frankie Moreno (Stratosphere).
Extreme adventurer Donald Shultz from The Animal Planet’s “Wild Recon” will even base jump from a Strip hotel before delegates get to meet the daredevil venom expert at Queeby booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
CES is the world’s largest annual innovation gathering and our city’s biggest convention on the calendar. Thousands of electronic devices and gadgets will be showcased once CES opens Tuesday, but it’s trade only, so the public doesn’t get to peek at the goodies. Last year, it was all about tablets and ultra-book laptops.
This year, the spotlight is on smart-phone connectivity, smart watches, self-drive cars and ultra-HD televisions -- as one industry expert said, “HD times four!” Cell phones will “own” your home from the doorbell to light bulbs to the calories you burn in the gym. Two car manufacturers will demonstrate their self-drive cars and in-dashboard and on-window technologies.
Celebrities are tapped to entertain and lure buyers of all products – especially headphones, with everybody from 50 Cent to Motorhead’s Lenny Kilmister and Tim with his Soul Electronics set.
Monster unveiled its audio, gaming and mobile products this morning with actor-singer Nick Cannon, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, actor-model Tyson Beckford, rapper Xzibit and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees at its Mandalay Bay display area. On Wednesday, Monster hands out its Retailer Awards and then spotlights Alicia in concert at the Paris.
Tonight when Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs gives the keynote address at The Venetian, three-time Grammy Award-winning Maroon 5 will perform their hits, including “Payphone” and “Moves Like Jagger.”
Rapper and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will appear for SMS Audio, and seven-time Grammy winner Will.I.Am of The Black Eyed Peas, who founded Beats Electronics, which markets the Dr. Dre headphones, will be a panelist Tuesday at the Next Generation of Innovators session at LVH theater.
Other celebrities making appearances include Danny DeVito for Panasonic; “Project Runway” designer Anthony Ryan Auld for Brother Int’l’s high-tech machines; drummer Travis Barker will show his 1951 Chevy truck with its 2013 Pioneer Electronics audio goodies; and rapper Lil Wayne’s protege Lil Twist will shill for Nikura. LL Cool J from “NCIS: Los Angeles” is here Tuesday on the CNET stage to talk about his Boomdizzle Liquid MyConnect Studio app.
“Scallop Queen” Dana Cohen from Season 10 of “Hell’s Kitchen” will appear all four days of the convention for Haier America; sexy actress Kelly LeBrock will be at The Venetian ballroom booths for Velodyne; and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of “Jersey Shore” will appear at the Zeikos booth before she goes to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets to launch her perfume.
Music mogul Russell Simmons is a speaker at the “Anytime Anywhere Content” session, while younger brother Rev Run (Joseph Simmons) signs autographs at the Jabra booth. Gibson Guitars has set up a tent inside the Convention Center to host performances by Stratosphere’s Frankie, Luxor’s Carrot Top and The B-Side.
Soul Electronics, which is hosting Jets’ QB Tim, also throws a party at Tao in The Venetian on Thursday night with Ludacris (Chris Bridges) as host. Bob Marley’s son Rohan will spend three days at the convention marketing his eco-friendly House of Marley headphones.
CES hosts a “Digital Health Summit” simultaneously, and CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will open that to show that health, wellness and technology can work together. Also on the “Breakfast of Healthy Champions” panel will be Oprah Winfrey’s favorite surgeon, TV personality and author Dr. Oz. Oprah regular Bob Greene will be at the Omron Healthcare booth. AOL head honcho Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of The Huffington Post, will moderate “Body, Mind and Soul” conversations with Deepak Chopra.
I know you’re all heartbroken that TLC has yanked “Sin City Rules” after only five episodes, but Lana Fuchs gets to be seen one more time. She joins boxer Victor Ortiz at the curiously titled Luvvitt booth on Tuesday. Hateitt would be more apt!
On Sunday night, more than 30 startup companies, including three Las Vegas companies, unveiled their technology at Bali Hai Golf Club alongside Mandalay Bay’s Four Seasons Hotel. The three Las Vegas companies: ListSanity, an online DIY lists and gaming company; Walls 360 of Las Vegas offering on-demand wall graphics; and self-investment portal USelfDirect.
The New Media Expo presented by BlogWorld runs simultaneously with CES at The Rio, with UFC President Dana White on hand as one of 170 speakers in social network business.
Apple, Amazon, Nokia, Dell, HP, Google and Microsoft do not have CES booths because they are too big to be part of somebody else’s convention. Korean manufacturer Samsung is tipped to be the biggest player at the show and boast the “iPhone Killer.”
2013 CES will be the biggest ever in its history without them and promises 20,000 products over nearly 2 million square feet of space. In all, there will be more than 1,200 exhibitors featuring 3,000 global tech companies showcasing products and technology breakthroughs to more than 155,000 delegates. Manufacturers expect to ship more than 125 million smart phones to rack up $37 billion in sales this year, tablets are expected to grow 22 percent with $35 billion in sales from 105 million units.
At the greatest tech trade show on Earth, it’s very big business as it continues to revolutionize our lives.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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