It was the VCR in 1970 that changed the way people watch movies and even gave them the ability to record television shows. In 1981, it was the CD player and camcorder, changing the format we listen to music and preserve family memories.
With virtual reality, connected homes and high tech cars set to take over Las Vegas, there will likely be more than one star of the show. Spread out among the 2.4 million square feet of hotel and convention center space, attendees will get a chance to interact with technology so new that some products don't even have release dates yet.
"It used to be there is one big hit but that is no longer the case," Gary Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Technology Association told ABC News. At his first CES event he recalled being wowed by compact discs.
One look at the list of more than 3,200 exhibitors and it's clear this year's CES has come a long way from the event's start in 1967.
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy told ABC News he's most excited "about the maturation of home automation."
"It’s been the early days and I think we’re going to see a lot more easy to use devices to control things in your house such as your lights, temperature, garage door, your security," he said.
Virtual reality is also set to have a big year at CES. Moorhead said he's looking for virtual reality experiences that bring content to consumers -- whether it's games or a new way to watch a film.
Shapiro agrees 2016 will include a lot of virtual and augmented reality standouts, but said he expects there will be plenty of other breakout stars to also emerge from this year's CES.