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CES 101: What you need to know

  • Digital guru Mario Armstrong breaks down the Consumer Electronics Show basics
  • Essentially, it's the best place for companies to reveal their hottest upcoming gadgets that impact your life
CES 101: What you need to know

Editor's note: Mario Armstrong is HLN's Digital Lifestyle Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter @MarioArmstrong.

The International Consumer Electronics Show, or simply “CES,” is the largest technology conference in the world. This event is like the Super Bowl, no scratch that, it's more like the World Cup of technology conventions.

Every year it brings over 130,000 people from over 110 different countries to the Venetian Hotel and the Las Vegas Convention Center for 4 days of non-stop tech overload. It's almost impossible to see everything because the show floor is absolutely ginormous—over 2,500 exhibitors take up more than 1.7 million square feet, yes I said million.

Stop and think about that for a sec, that's like putting 30+ football fields side by side and filling that space with nothing but electronics, gadgets, gizmos and the latest tech.

As if that's not enough, adding to the chaos and hype are tons of celebs hawking new products. Last year Lady Gaga announced a pair of glasses that took photos, the year before Dr. Dre unveiled Beats by Dre headphones. Roll-outs this year involve, Justin Beiber, LL. Cool J and Jillian Michaels to name a few.

What can you find at CES?

But hey, why should you care about CES? Because, it’s the premiere place for companies to reveal their hottest upcoming gadgets and devices that will impact your life in the coming year.

When I say impact your life, I really mean from TV's and entertainment gadgets that are fun, to important devices that can help you be more productive, better manage your health and get you time back in your life. This show gives you a first peek at what to expect to see in stores in the coming year, which will help you make smart decisions about what to buy now but more importantly, what to hold out for.

At CES, my job will be to help you get up to date and show you how tech can really make a difference in your life. I can look at thousands of products and try and translate which products are hot and which ones are complete duds. And trust me there are some duds, but their marketing is so clever you have to really watch out for the smoke and mirrors, sifting thru a ton of stuff to find the true gems.

What will be the hottest new tech trends?

A lot of what I end up doing requires me to read and predict trends in the marketplace.

For instance: will this be the year that 3D televisions finally break into American homes in huge numbers?

What kinds of new computing technology is going to captivate imagination this year?

Will it be the absolute latest in tablet technology or will new form factors I’ll discover this week end up being game changers?

I don’t have all the answers (yet), but the first step is trying everything out and see what works and what doesn’t, and which products will really matter to you. But, hey that’s just scratching the surface of what CES embodies.

Follow all my CES coverage on and look for our video segments on air. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter @marioarmstrong to get live updates from the show floor! 

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