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2016 Newsmakers of the Year: Faces In The Crowd

Not everyone who made news in the tech industry necessarily warrants a feature. There is news happening everyday around us and often it takes a while before the full implications of a deal made, or a store opening or a device launching, or someone changing jobs can be known.

So this year we wanted to recognize some of the people in our industry who made a difference, broke a milestone or just deserves a shout-out for a job well done.

We’re not sure if any official records have been kept since 1967 but HWH’s Lois Whitman-Hess will become, anecdotally at least, the only person to have attended every CES in the 50 years it has existed. Frankly we don’t know whether to congratulate her or send condolences but a benchmark like that is a pretty good indication of her devotion to the industry. We are impressed.

Los Angeles-based luxury retail chain, Video & Audio Center (VAC) has long been a pioneer in the introduction of brand new technologies to the retail market. Well, they did it again this year, becoming the first retailer to offer 4K video players, from Samsung) to consumers as well as Sony’s new flagship Z-series 4K Ultra HD TV line. Senior technologist (and CT Hall Of Famer) Tom Campbell and VAC principal Joseph Akhtarzad continue to push the envelope and create excitement at the retail level. Often the enthusiasm is contagious.

Speaking of CT Hall Of Famers, one more shout-out to former TWICE editor in chief Steve Smith on his induction this year as a legendary journalist. Well-deserved and Steve, we promise we won’t mention it again, this year at least.

The explosion of computing in connected devices will rival the Cambrian-era explosion in the diversity of life forms, bringing sensor technology to more than 50 billion connected devices in 2020, according to Intel new-technology senior VP Josh Walden during his groundbreaking CES Asia keynote. The Cambrian explosion occurred around 500 million years ago when multicellular organisms developed better sensors to sense their environments, Walden said. In the coming years, the “sensification” of computing through sensors, natural-language processing, and stereoscopic-vision cameras will drive changes to all consumer technology, Walden predicted.