Aaah Las Vegas. Think Sin City and you are probably picturing Elvis in his jump suited burger-addicted 70s prime, Tom Jones cooking up a storm for the laydeez and a thousand British boxing hopefuls returning home with their tales between their legs.
Vegas is, on a slightly less glamorous tip, the home of the convention and every week in every year you can find everyone from pest control experts through to photo copies sales guys nervously wandering their way round the hidden parts of hotels in a bid to check out the latest gear and drum up new business.
The one convention though that even the hard-bitten locals would like to crash is CES, the Consumer Electronics show, which kicks off on Monday. For half a week the convention centre and several nearby hotels are turned into an Aladdin’s cave of gadgets, tellies, intelligent cars and more as the world’s leading tech manufacturers pitch their vision of the future to journos, bloggers, dealers and anoraks.
Over the years the show has witnessed the launch of the digital camera, the MP3 player and more recently smart televisions and oh, the Angry Birds board game. This year promises to be a corker with several new technologies starting to mature and are now ripe for innovation and development.
Away from the aircraft hanger style halls where the big names parade their wares are the smaller halls and the back rooms where enterprising far eastern companies come to pitch their offerings. Sometimes these companies can throw up something that has the big guys looking over their shoulders in that it delivers innovative features, clever operating systems and most important of all ultra competitive prices.