LAS VEGAS — International CES officially marked its 40th year Monday at an opening day celebration hosted at the ESPN stage in the Las Vegas Convention Center where its sponsor, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), gave recognition to its roots by honoring its founder and a group of exhibitors who also were on the first show floor.
The event was hosted by CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro, who turned the stage over to Jack Wayman, the retired CEA president who launched the show in three hotels on New York City in 1967. Wayman presented some of CEs’s most loyal supporters with awards commemorating their 40-year CES history, though not all had on-floor displays at each of CES’ 65 expositions.
Companies honored with plaques include: Harman-Kardon, Hitachi, LG Electronics (as parent of Zenith), Motorola, Panasonic, Philips (as parent of both Magnavox and North American Philips), Sanyo-Fisher, Sharp, Sony, TEAC, Thomson (as parent of RCA), Toshiba, U.S. Electronics (originally Unisonic) and Westinghouse Digital (which only a brand-rights connection to the now defunct Westinghouse Electric).
One original exhibitor missed was SDI Technologies, a still family-owned marketer that started out as Realtone Electronics, later adopted the name SoundDesign and is on the show floor at the 2007 event. Also apparently skipped was Emerson Radio, originally a maker of portable phonographs that was at the first CES and later acquired the Emerson brand.