The 2012 CES Unveiled

The first major press event at CES, scheduled to start at 4 pm on the day before the Press Day, is something called CES Unveiled, described as "a pre-show look at who will be making news headlines before the show officially opens...catch all the latest products in one room." This description is a bit...well...exaggerated. The exhibitors are mostly small companies, with no representation from heavy hitters like Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, etc. The high-performance audio companies also pass on it.

However, CES Unveiled certainly attracts a lot of press attendees, which may be because (a) there's nothing else on at that time, (b) they serve food and have an open bar, and (c) the event does provide an opportunity to see some neat gizmos (mostly accessories for smart phones and tablet computers) and it's the first opportunity to see—behind glass—products that are recipients of the CES Best of Innovation Awards.

I was surprised by the lineup for CES Unveiled last year, and thought that, since this year CES is supposed to have tightened the criteria for who qualifies as "press," the lineup would not be as long. But the lineup was even longer! There were people lining up a full two hours before the event, and once the doors were opened it took ages for people in the lineup to be admitted. I went away, looked in on some of the audio companies that were setting up their exhibits, and came back at just before 5 o'clock, and even then there was still a bit of a lineup.