More than 100,000 people attended the week-long electronics show in Las Vegas looking for the next hot gadget or technological upgrade. Many of the industry's biggest names and companies made presentations of their latest product offerings to the public.
Here's a look at our biggest winners and losers from the 2012 International CES.
Motorola got a lot of popular buzz for some of its newest products, including the Droid Razr Max. The product is similar to a Razr already on the market, but offers users a significant amount more talk time and movie viewing time, according to Mashable's Lance Ulanoff. Products like that one led to Motorola becoming one of the most talked about companies at CES on social media. Motorola checked in as the second most discussed CES topic on social media, according to Simply Measured analytics, which is a huge win for a company that has had its share of recent struggles.
You can debate just how relevant OLED televisions really are -- we'd argue they are overrated -- but few companies got the buzz that LG did for its 55-inch OLED TV. LG's incredible television was named the Best of CES 2012 by CNET News and was one of the most trafficked attractions at the entire conference. Throughout the week, LG had exhibitors standing as bodyguards around its precious, yet-to-be released television. Whether LG can continue to ride the CES buzz to when the television is finally released -- the company is predicting it will ship in the third quarter -- is the biggest question.
Apple didn't have an exhibit or a booth at CES 2012, but yet still ranks as one of our big winners. How exactly did they manage to do that? Well despite a lack of an official presence, Apple related products were all over the Las Vegas Convention Center. There were hundreds upon hundreds of different iPad and iPhone covers throughout the show - showing just how big of an impact Apple has on the industry. The staggering amount of products plus the buzz Apple got for its upcoming educational presentation -- Apple ranked in the Top 10 most talked about topics on social media at CES -- puts it in our list of winners.
We've already called TOSY Robotics' dancing robot a disappointment, but the Vietnamese robotics company still finds a way onto our winners list. The amount of buzz that Canadian pop star Justin Bieber created for the relatively unknown company makes it a clear winner at CES 2012. Bieber created a staggering amount of attention for TOSY -- my ears are still ringing from all of the women screaming out his name -- that the company will hopefully try to utilize in its push for further worldwide recognition. The pairing of Bieber and a Vietnamese robotics company was a bit peculiar, but it's hard to argue with the strong results -- read press coverage -- that it caused.
Microsoft might have had Ryan Seacrest, but had little else in its last keynote speech at CES for the foreseeable future. Microsoft was one of the most talked about companies during the week, according to the social media analysis, but most of the conversation seemed to center around disappoint in the company's lackluster keynote presentation. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer didn't say anything of note during his speech, which is a bit sad considering this performance could be the last of a long history of CES keynote speeches.
For a company expected to seek bankruptcy protection, Kodak didn't deliver much to assuage fears that the company doesn't have much of a shelf life left. The company is hoping to sell off 1,100 digital imaging patents to hold off bankruptcy, but without innovation -- we certainly didn't see any this past week -- a patent sell-off would only be a short-term solution. The company is hoping to bank off social media giant Facebook with its new EasyShare Wireless Camera M750, but that product alone isn't going to save this sinking ship. Kodak has a fairly large exhibit booth at the show, but had little overall substance -- especially its collection of relatively boring printers.
Research in Motion
Similar to Kodak, Research in Motion was in desperate need for a big splash at CES, but simply didn't have the goods to deliver. The Canadian-based company had a miserable 2011 and hasn't exactly gotten off to the hottest start in 2012. The company saw a slight stock price boost with a recent hiring announcement, but the lack of any major product debuts in Las Vegas -- a software update for its lackluster PlayBook tablet was its biggest new thing -- won't lead any investors or analysts to put confidence in the struggling company. It also doesn't help matters that the BlackBerry maker's lack of innovation was easily compared to all of the other innovative companies in Las Vegas for the show. RIM isn't on the verge of bankruptcy like Kodak, but is inching closer and closer with every month that passes.