CES 2012: Justin Bieber, Snooki, Justin Timberlake, celebs descend on CES
There are many things you can count on at the Consumer Electronics Show every year: a crushing mass of humanity; enough tech swag to open a retail store; and the oft-repeated line, "This will really take technology to the next level." Just as predictable: a slew of scheduled and surprise appearances by Hollywood celebs touting their own products (typically headphones) or partnerships with tech companies.
Unfortunately Lady Gaga -- who showed up at CES 2011 sporting a black veil and light pink hair -- won't be at the Las Vegas Convention Center this year, but there won't be a shortage of stars. Here's a look at who has shown up so far and who's scheduled to appear in the coming days:
Justin Timberlake made a surprise appearance at the Panasonic news conference on Monday to hype the brand's partnership with MySpace. In announcing a new MySpace app for televisions, the actor and singer said he hoped to make the television experience more social. "This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions," he said.
Sony had a few surprise guests on Monday as well, bringing out Will Smith during its media event after giving reporters a 3-D sneak peek of Smith's summer blockbuster, "Men in Black 3." Sony Corp. Chairman Howard Stringer closed the event by having Kelly Clarkson sing an acoustic version of "Mr. Know It All" on stage.
50 Cent is promoting his new music company, SMS Audio, and a line of wireless and wired headphones. "It offers something that a lot of the other headset companies that are out right now don't have," he told me during an interview Tuesday. "It's an extension of my passion for music." The rapper will be signing autographs Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
LL Cool J introduced Boomdizzle, an online community he created that enables people to record, share and remix original music and video content. "If LL Cool J was 16, 17 years old and I was just starting out, I think I would grow vampire teeth to sink my teeth into this product because I think it's absolutely amazing," he said at a media gathering Tuesday.
Actress Eliza Dushku is at CES as a celebrity ambassador for the Entertainment Matters program, which aims to bridge the tech industry and Hollywood's film, television and digital community. As part of her ambassadorship, Dushku hosted Spike TV's VIP CES party on Tuesday at Tryst nightclub at the Wynn. During an interview, Dushku said she was excited to walk the show floor the next day and check out the 4K televisions.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of MTV's "Jersey Shore" signed autographs and promoted a slew of audio products at iHip’s booth on Tuesday. She later hosted an iHip party at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
Fitness guru Jillian Michaels chatted about the marriage of tech and fitness on Tuesday and discussed the effect of digital innovation and her recent partnership with BodyMedia, an on-body monitor company.
Haier America hosted former Laker Robert Horry at its booth Tuesday and will have former NBA star John Salley on Wednesday to drum up publicity for the appliances brand. Oddly enough, when I asked Horry what his favorite tech product was, he said: "Apple TV."
Actor Greg Grunberg and actor and singer Wayne Brady are scheduled to appear Wednesday at OnStar for "Tweet House" sessions, the official social media track for CES.
Justin Bieber is set to appear with TOSY Robotics; the teen pop star is expected to help TOSY unveil its new entertainment robot on Wednesday afternoon.
Dennis Rodman is scheduled to be at Paltalk's booth on Thursday to promote the service, which allows users to explore the online world of chat sites with community chat rooms and webcam technology.
-- Andrea Chang in Las Vegas
Upper photo: 50 Cent wears a pair of his new headphones at CES in Las Vegas. Credit: Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times
Lower photo: Eliza Dushku on the red carpet at Tryst nightclub. Credit: Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times