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CES 2015: Day 0 Report

January 5, 2015

Today (Monday 1/5/2015) started off a tad bit later than expected, most likely thanks to that second glass of wine from the last night’s dinner. Nonetheless, by 9:30 I was off and running from SLC on the final leg of my drive from Seattle to Las Vegas for CES. I’ve driven from SLC through to Moab before, and I can confirm that southwest Utah is just as amazing. Here’s a sample…

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While this is intended to be a series about CES itself, I have to share how completely AWE INSPIRING the drive on I-15 was as it pass through the Virgin River Gorge in northwest Arizona. To be honest, I didn’t really pay close attention to the map when planning the route and I didn’t even realize I’d be jutting into AZ at all, so the “Welcome to Arizona” sign caused me a slight bit of consternation at first. Shortly thereafter the scenery turned AMAZING as the highway transitions from the ~6000’ high basin of Utah down to the ~2000’ Mojave Desert. You must make this drive some time in your lifetime. There was some construction in the area, and I’ve never been so thankful for a rolling slowdown. This is just a small sample of why:

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A couple hours later this was my view at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

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And then I got what I’ve been after for years – my CES credentials!

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After getting settled I had a several hours before attending one of the opening keynote speeches. The Samsung presentation was alluring, but I didn’t think I’d have enough time to eat and get in line, so I opted for the Mercedes-Benz shindig over at the Cosmopolitan, grabbing dinner over there.

I had great seats right in the middle of the stage but in a raised section just beyond the tech desk and TV cameras. I’m pretty sure the guy to my left was running one of the MB Twitter accounts live-tweeting the event. M-B used the event to lay out a vision for autonomous cars and future technology. They also rolled out a brand new concept vehicle to the world right before our eyes. The geek inside me was overjoyed at being at a breaking tech news event; it was a great show too. You can watch it via this link.

Mercedes CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche is every bit the German businessman stereotype you’d want him to be. He even perfectly landed a joke in the opening video “Are you a robot?” he was asked? “No, I’m German.” There were a few other good zingers in the presentation as well, including a nice discussion of tech features already shipping on existing C, E, and S class models (we see what you did there). The future Mercedes proposed didn’t come off as much groundbreaking as “OMG this technology is real and could hit the road within the next decade, if not sooner.” The concept car’s design was HOT, but I was just as impressed with the massive display screen that served as the backdrop for the stage. Here are a few pics if you don’t want to watch the video.

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After a long day I enjoyed a nice stroll back to my hotel, including a couple shows of the Bellagio’s fountains.

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Total walking distance: 5 miles (most of it from Harrah’s to Cosmopolitan and back for the MB Keynote)

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  1. January 8, 2015 at 12:05 am
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