Second-screen, device integration and social media sharing were among the most prominent themes during press day Monday at the 2013 International CES.
Later this year for example, LG Electronics is releasing a new line of home appliances featuring connectivity technology. Want to check your laundry while sitting on the sofa without moving your baby off your lap?
At its press conference Monday morning, LG announced its smart refrigerators, washers, dryers and ovens that feature technology to remotely monitor the appliances. Check how food is doing in the oven from the family room or see what's in your refrigerator from the grocery store - using your smartphone, of course.
The event helped kick off the 2013 International CES press day, which was devoted to product announcements and open to press and industry analysts only.
In front of a white backdrop with the signature pink LG logo, Wayne Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics USA, addressed the standing room audience at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Above the movie theater-sized screen, the phrase "Touch the Smart Life!" was printed, the same motto that's featured on the larger-than-life magnetic banners hanging outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. They want you to remember this.
Skott Ahn, LG's global president and chief technology officer, told the crowd that companies everywhere are introducing "smart" products and the word "smart" is everywhere in the consumer electronics industry. But, he emphasized, products need to enhance the quality of life to have value.
"We must solve problems that others feel are minor," Ahn said.
Other new products and their features announced at LG Monday include the door-in-door refrigerator for energy efficiency, which has not one but two main refrigerator doors of the same length, with the first being inlaid in the main door for easy access to frequently used items. And in March, the organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, TV will be released in the United States at a retail price of about $12,000.
"The wait is finally over," Ahn said, calling it the ultimate display.
In a far less flashy presentation, Stream TV Networks unveiled its glasses-free 3D system, which features an Ultra-D 2160p powered display. The technology incorporates the Ultra-D 2160p SeeCube real-time conversion set top box, which provides 2-D to 3-D without glasses and 3-D with glasses to 3-D without glasses content conversion.
Stream TV's technology can convert almost any content that comes from satellite services, cable, iPads or smartphones.
The first Ultra-D enabled televisions from technology partner Hisense, a major TV brand in China, are expected to hit shelves in the second quarter. Stream TV's technology works on screens of any size and is adjustable to suit individual tastes. If you're not thrilled with a ton of "pop," you don't have to have it.
After a 90-minute wait to hear what Samsung had for the 2013 CES crowd, Samsung Electronics President Boo-Keun Yoon took the stage in front of a wall-size video screen.
"We have delivered the TVs that respond to people's lifestyles," Yoon said.
And in true Samsung fashion, the company announced its latest LED TV design Monday, the Samsung LED F8000, marking the fifth year Samsung has launched an LED TV. The new product will be available in sizes up to a 75-inch screen and feature voice interaction.
Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, called the new F8000 Samsung's flagship TV.
It also features a redesigned user interface for organizing an entertainment world that you navigate with a remote control or gestures. The interface also will make content recommendations based on time of day.
Samsung also unveiled its Evolution Kit, a brain transplant of sorts for your TV. Insert the kit into a 2012 model and the 2013 features spring to life.
"It could not be much simpler," said Joe Stinziano, executive vice president, Samsung Electronics America.
Samsung's OLED TV and its 85-inch Ultra-HD TV also were announced before the company moved on to its home appliance innovations, which included a refrigerator/freezer combo that allows you to change a portion of your freezer into a fridge. Change it back when you're finished.
Samsung Senior Vice President Michael Abary revealed the Samsung Series 7 Ultra laptop that features an eight-hour battery life. The laptop, only 17 millimeters thick, has an Intel i5 processor inside.
In his nine months as Sony's president and CEO, Kazuo Hirai said he's been "aggressively" pursuing innovation in new growth categories.
So it stands to reason that Sony unveiled the Xperia Z, the brand's flagship smartphone that features full high definition on a 5-inch screen at a speed of 4G LTE. The phone also can withstand being dipped in water, a feat that was demonstrated at Sony's exhibit booth.
Along with the phone, Phil Molyneux, Sony's president and chief operating officer, showed off a slew of near-field communication accessories including a one-touch speaker, audio ball or a sound bar.
"I carry my pink balls wherever I go in my bag," Molyneux joked.
With the new Bravia TV remote, users can transfer videos directly from their phones to TV.
"That's Sony at its best," Molyneux said.
Sony also showed off its 4K Bravia 55-inch TV that Molyneux called "simply breathtaking." Along with that, the brand will be offering 4K video distribution service for owners of the Sony 4K TV.
Sony also announced the expansion of its Cybershot camera lines and the creation of the Next Generation X headphones, which feature a slimmer profile and more color choices than previous models.
The 2013 International CES, open to trade only, is expected to draw an estimated 156,000 attendees, about the same as last year's show. More than 3,100 consumer electronics companies will display 20,000 products from today through Friday . The consumer electronics industry is a $206 billion industry, and the show is estimated to bring a nongaming economic impact of $197.3 million to the city, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at email@example.com or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.