The official International Consumer Electronics Show may have unofficially started yesterday — but the show doesn’t really begin until Gary Shapiro’s smiling face is broadcast to thousands of people seated in a ballroom at the Venetian Hotel.
Shapiro, the public face and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (which puts on the annual tech trade show), kicks off the event each year with his “state of the industry” address — a chance for him to talk about current trends and technologies.
But this is no dry PowerPoint presentation. Shapiro pumped up the crowd of thousands with a grand entrance to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and Rick Ross’ “Hustlin” — a nod to the show’s dual purpose: a place for enthusiasts to get excited about tech and a playing field for navigating business pitches and making deals.
Shapiro was proud to tout one new business development that parlays into the bigger trend of how consumers want to share their content on screens of all types.
He invited executives from big Hollywood movie studios to the stage to talk up their new partnerships with consumer electronics companies (including LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Vizio, Toshiba, Philips and Sony) on a forthcoming home disc-to-digital cloud conversion service that will allow consumers to stream movies they already own on disc.
It falls under a theme that’s being illustrated across the show — the idea that consumers want to watch the content they want when they want and where they want — and they don’t want to have to worry about where that content actually lives, so long as they can access it from a number of connected devices.
Before handing over the stage to Panasonic for a presentation that talked up technologies such as the Connected Car, among others, Shapiro went on a bit of rant about another top-of-mind concern for executives from both Hollywood studios and consumer electronics companies — the role of government in their industries. Both agree that they need less government and more innovation.
And with that said, CES 2013 was officially open!
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