The largest technology show on Earth took off in Las Vegas on Monday with Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking centre-stage as the wonder kid of tomorrow's world, promising to bring in sweeping changes in everyone's concept of technology.
The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and other places would showcase products and solutions from almost all the tech giants, bringing in latest innovations and gadgets which would be available for buying or adopting in the coming months.
The Consumer Technology Association, which owns and produces the show going on annually for the last 50 years, estimates the number of visitors to touch 1,70,000, with 3,900 exhibiting companies from 150 countries offering more than just the latest developments in mobile technology, Virtual or Augmented Reality and AI during the tech week. Also present are over 7,000 media representatives.
Many in the tech world were already looking ahead after the mobile phones and wearable devices had stolen a march over personal computers, which triggered off the technology revolution bringing into the homes of the consumers all that is possible through innovation. An epitaph of sorts was being written for the PC.
But as developments in the personal computing spaces show here, the predictions of the demise of PC may have been premature. As David Rabin, Vice President, Commercial Marketing at Lenovo (PC&SD) says: "The PC market is not dead or dying. Those who say so are wrong. We see a strong growth in this segment and the numbers prove it."
The smart office market, which extensively uses PCs, is in an expansion mode and is expected to hit $100 billion by 2020, he said, adding that the PC is adopting the changes that are rapidly sweeping the tech world across areas.
This year's tech show comes under the shadow of news that Intel, AMD and ARM chips, that are at the heart of most computers, are vulnerable to security flaws. The news came just days before the show and sent a shock waves through the companies and millions of users.
Because chipmakers had remained unaffected by security issues even as news about major breaches have regularly erupted in some of the best-known companies. Stealing of private data of tens of millions of users has time and again roiled the tech world.
But on Monday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stepped on stage, aiming to allay fears of the breach through "Meltdown" and "Spectre", the two vulnerabilities which have affected the chips used in the last two decades.
"Our primary goal has been to keep our customers safe. We have not received any information that these exploits have been used to obtain customers' data," Intel CEO told the audience during his keynote address here, urging everyone to patch their systems as soon as these are available.
Microsoft and others had discovered "Spectre" and "Meltdown". All the big tech giants -- Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others -- have pushed out updates for their devices to fix the vulnerabilities.
This year's tech show also comes with an array of star speakers and performers from the field of music, movies sports, and technology.
"We're bringing the stars to Vegas. Nearly all of these entertainers and other celebrities are involved in some of the most interesting technology efforts out there. So it's exciting to have star power on hand," said Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President, CES and corporate business strategy.
The celebrities include singer and actor Ray J, Rapper Iggy Azalea, rock musician Joe Perry, actor Neil Patrick Harris, guitarist Tommy Shaw, Olympic medallists Usain Bolt and Nastia Liukin, Rock Band Styx, dormer NBA star Shaquille O'Neal and Baron Davis and Star Gigi Gorgeous.