Ahead of CES, the tech world took over Las Vegas for the AT&T Developer Summit

During a busy tech week in Las Vegas, AT&T held their Developer Summit at the Palms Casino Resort from Jan. 3-4, 2017. (Jami Seymore | KSNV)

It's the first week of 2017 and the tech world is taking over Las Vegas, one gigabyte at a time.

The Consumer Electronics Show kicked off its 50th year, accompanied by a myriad of technology-related events around the valley.

Telecommunications giant AT&T held their annual Developer Summit just days before CES opened their show floor.

The summit, held on Jan. 3-4 and headquartered at the Palms Casino Resort just off the Las Vegas Strip, served as a meeting of the minds bringing the future of technology.

From a virtual and augmented reality competition to track sessions to guest speakers and celebrity star power, attendees were treated to the latest tech trends and opportunities with industry experts.

Two competitions were also showcased at the summit.

The Hackathon Invitational, held across the country in various events during late 2016, encouraged participants to embrace mechatronics through mechanical engineering and electronics. The resulting solutions could help a wide range of fields including healthcare, sports, homes, and more.

An additional competition, the VR/AR Challenge, brought innovators in virtual reality and augmented reality together with the latest technology for films, healthcare, and learning. The AT&T VR/AR Challenge, which was announced in September 2016 and received 67 submissions, featured six finalists, including:

Both competitions had grand prizes valued at $20,000, with second place prizes at $10,000 and third place at $5,000.

During the summit on Wednesday, actor and founder of HITRECORD, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, made a special guest appearance, discussing technology and art through the power of the Internet.

Touching on everything from the future of the journalism industry to the concept of crowd vs. community, Gordon-Levitt brought an interesting touch to the technology summit.

"There's another side of human creativity ... the value of doing it for yourself," said Gordon-Levitt.

The summit closed with a bang -- literally -- with the high-energy rock trio Blink-182, performing a show for the summit finale at Rain Nightclub inside the Palms.

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