Orange County Business Journal

Local Companies Among Pre-Show Hype at CES

Chris Casacchia Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Journalists and analysts got a Monday-night sneak peek of some of the hot product launches at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that opens today.

Home-cleaning robots, smart TVs and cars, and ultra-thin notebooks and tablets were among the attention grabbers at the pre-show press event at the convention center at the MGM Grand.

More than 175 technology companies, including a handful based in Orange County, pitched their products to more than 1,000 journalists and industry analysts from around the world.

Irvine-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. showed off it latest storage devices while D-Link Systems Inc. in Fountain Valley debuted new networking gear for consumers and small businesses to access, share and store content.

Foothill Ranch-based IOGEAR showcased a slew of convergence products, including USB drives, card readers and a 4-port hub that syncs a computer with mobile devices.

Networking gear maker Lantronix Inc. in Irvine presented a plug-and-play print server that’s compatible with Apple Inc.’s iPads, iPod touch, iPhone and other devices running the Cupertino-based company’s mobile operating system.

Other OC-based exhibitors included Kingston Technology in Fountain Valley, which makes data storage chips that boost computer performance, and Irvine-based Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.

Toshiba America, the U.S. unit of Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp., pitched its latest sleek TVs, tablets and what the company is touting as the lightest tablet on the market. Irvine-based Vizio Corp. unveiled its new line of PCs, including an ultra-thin notebook, earlier in the day.

Some big technology companies outside of Orange County generated plenty more buzz—without the need of the open bar and martini booths that some exhibitors offered members of the media.

Bedford, Mass.-based iRobot Corp. had plenty of gawkers following its prototype robots around the conference floor. The company has made big strides selling house-cleaning robots and now is looking to make a move into the medical field.

Lenovoin North Carolina entered the TV market with a smart TV running on Google’s Android 4.0 operating system. Santa Clara-based Intel Corp. introduced a group of affordable ultrabooks in partnership with HP, Asus and LG.

The media spectacle, dubbed Digital Experience!, was sponsored by Pepcom Inc., a Delray Beach, Fla.-based technology event services company.