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[Herald Interview] ‘CES to expand footprint in Asia’

LAS VEGAS ― For more than 40 years, the International CES has been keeping the world’s largest electronics trade exhibition under its belt, providing chances for consumers to witness the most innovative and trendsetting technologies in the world.

Gary Shapiro, the president and chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association, the organizer of the CES, said his organization would make further efforts to reach more global markets to provide hands-on experience and help bring about innovation.

“In 2014, we were able to hold a series of events in Moscow, Paris, Israel, London, New York, Las Vegas and Japan, and will try to continue to expand our footprint in 2015,” he said at a press meeting during the 2015 International CES, which ended last Friday. 
Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro
Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro

The CEA is slated to hold the first CES Asia in Shanghai in May, and tech giants and automobile firms including IBM and Intel have confirmed participation.

The first Asian CES will take place on the heels of the CES in Tokyo, an industry-only event scheduled to be held in February in the Japanese city.

Regarding the increasing number of businesses from different industry sectors participating in the trade show each year, he said that the electronics fair would continually serve as a venue for diverse innovations down the road.

“Ten year ago we did not have drones, robots, ultrahigh definition, wearables and 3-D printing,” said the CEO, adding, “Ten years from today, we will have new categories that we don’t have today.”

A record number of 3,600 exhibitors ― including 10 automobile firms and 375 startups ― from around the world participated at this year’s CES held from Tuesday through Friday in Las Vegas, and around 2,000 new products were launched during the event, according to the CEA.

Among around 170,000 spectators who flocked to the trade show, 1 out of 4 were from outside the U.S.

Big names in a wide range of industries, including Universal Pictures, Disney, Volkswagen, and Microsoft brought more variety to the show, also indicating that cross-industry efforts to connect various products are on the move.

Delivering a keynote speech on the first day of the trade show, Yoon Book-keun, the chief of Samsung’s consumer electronics business, placed emphasis on the Internet of Things as he promised Samsung would make its entire product lineup interconnected by 2020.

Answering a question about the security of the world’s largest electronics show, which attracts more than 100,000 people each year, Shaprio said the CEA would try to keep the show safe from any possible threats by working closely with local authorities.

By Kim Young-won, Korea Herald correspondent
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