Observations of a CES newbie – Day 2

Day two of our first trip to CES went much like day one. We walked and walked and walked! Yesterday we spent most of our day in the South Hall exhibit areas. Today we went through the smaller Central and North halls. In addition to the fact that these two areas were each smaller in floor space than the South Hall (but by no means could be considered small themselves), they both also had many more “mega booths”. Microsoft, Samsung, Sony and others had very large display areas.

A good portion of the North Hall was devoted to high end car electronics. Jennette and I skipped most of that since we weren’t really interested in most of those class of products. The one vendor we did visit there was the Pioneer booth to check out the features of the newest in-dash touchscreen navigation units.

General thoughts on today:

  1. A few companies were displaying renewable energy solutions for the home. Samsung and Sony both had new solar panel technologies on display as well as energy monitoring and management hardware and applications that looked very impressive.
  2. There are only so may booths of iPhone/iPod/iPad cases that I can look at before I stop caring. At some point they all start looking the same (the exception was the Pure Energy induction charging cases I talked about yesterday)
  3. I was sort of disappointed in the Digital Health tech zone. I was hoping to see more medical devices and mobile apps than I saw today
  4. My wife had a great trip through the Mommy Tech zone picking up lots of information on resources she can use in the home school settings with our children
  5. LED TVs and computer monitors are CRAZY thin. One line of computer monitors I saw looked like they were only about 1/2″ thick. Any thinner and we’ll be having holographic displays that require no screen at all.

Three exhibits that got my attention today:

  1. Looxcie wearable camera. At first glance this looks like a bluetooth headset (and it is that as well). It also has a camera in the end of the boom that records up to an hour of 480p video. Apps for your iOS or Android device complement the camera and allow you to email videos or post to social sites.
  2. Native Union displayed a series of both wired and bluetooth handsets for use with your mobile phone and/or computer. Admittedly, these are novelty items but the design and “neat factor” merit their mention I think.
  3. Samsung displayed a next-generation energy-efficient refrigerator with a super slick design. According to the literature, it uses 20% less energy than the average refrigerator on the market today. Additionally, it had a food inventory system built into a touch-screen computer mounted in the door. Lastly (and this is an idea I’m surprised I hadn’t seen before), a small door set in the middle of the main door allows you to reach in and grab a drink from a shelf on the inside of the door without opening the larger main door–which obviously reduces the amount of cooled air that escapes while you’re grabbing said drink.

Overall I didn’t see as many things today that made me go wow as I did yesterday. Still lots of cools stuff out there today though. I did get a chance to go back and talk to the folks at Laser Shot and try my hand with their handgun training product again. Tomorrow we’re looking forward to a somewhat less frenzied day and lunch with some of the folks from Adobe that are here at the show.

Observations of a CES newbie – Day 1

My wife and I experienced the International Consumer Electronics Show today for the first time. The first word that comes to mind is just WOW! We saw maybe 1/4 of the entire exhibit space today and even then my brain was completely overloaded. We spent most of our time today in the South Exhibit Hall which is where most of the “small vendors” are located. As such we walked past a larger number of vendors since most of them had smaller booths.

Some general thoughts:

  1. Tablets are everywhere! Companies that you have never heard of are demonstrating tablets.
  2. 3d televisions and projectors are still big items is year.
  3. Did I mention this place is HUGE? We have seen only a small part of it and it’s still huge.
  4. There were several vendors displaying new models of LED light bulbs. It’s great to see more vendors investing in new LED technologies and bringing a wider range of bulb types and light temperatures to the market

Three exhibits that really got me excited:

  1. Pure Energy was demonstrating their “charging mat” technology for mobile and rechargeable devices. Charging mats are not a completely new concept, but Pure Energy also had a line of very nicely designed charging cases for iPhones, iPads, Blackberry handsets and even Wii controllers that work with their charging mats.
  2. Maker Bot’s Thing-O-Matic. This robot assembly takes 3d drawing files and creates physical items from the drawings in ABS plastic. It’s just amazing to watch. I’m not sure what real use I’d have for one, but I seriously want one at my house
  3. I got to try out a Laser Shot firearms training system that uses a computer with a projector and webcam to teach shooting mechanics and sharpen shooting skills under all types of situations. Nothing can completely replace live fire shooting practice, but this is a super way to teach shooting mechanics and save a few dollars in ammo at the same time. I seriously want one of these

Several other people have said this too, but, if you’re looking to come to a CES, be prepared to be on your feet A LOT! You’ll want some good walking shoes. There’s just so much great tech to see out here. I’m looking forward to seeing things in the other exhibit halls tomorrow.