CES 2015: Day 1 Report
Today’s plan was to sleep in a bit and hit the Las Vegas Convention Center shortly after the doors opened at 10a. Well, I got a bit of a late start and didn’t make it out of my room at Harrah’s until about 10:30. The nice thing about staying here is that the Monorail has a stop right next door – a trip down the elevator and a short walk away. I don’t even have to go to street level. There was a short queue for the train and, 3-day pass acquired, I set off for LVCC.
When I got off the Monorail I was faced with my first big dilemma: South Hall or North Hall. I could have done some extensive planning via the CES website and/or their mobile app to plan out my attack, but since my goal is to effectively carpet bomb the whole show floor while I’m here I didn’t bother. I started heading North … then noticed the BMW driving experience where they’re showing off their new BMW i3 with test drives, etc. in the South-side parking lot and headed that way.
Oddly the security folks at the entrance for BMW were shooing some people away when I got there, even though the whole experience didn’t seem like it was VIP or Press only, nor very full (in fact I was excited that there didn’t seem to be much of a line). Whatever the reason, I skipped BMW and headed inside. I’ll try to hit BMW tomorrow morning first thing.
Getting in the South Hall was a bit of a feat in itself, and required dodging countless people in suits who were stopping in front of the entrance to take pictures of each other. I eventually got inside and quickly formulated a plan. The South Hall has 4 areas: 1-4 on two floors. I figured I’d walk everything in 1 then 2 on the first floor, then head upstairs to tackle 3 and 4.
I’ve been to a couple TechEd conferences before (30,000 people crammed into the Orlando Convention Center) and am used to throngs of people, regardless of how much I hate big crowds, so I was planning for the worst. What met me though, wasn’t so much of a crush of humanity as much as a daunting and never-ending array of vendor booths. There really wasn’t an opportunity to take a picture that showed the extent of everything, but trust me – there was a lot of stuff.
The South Hall has a lot of medium-sized firms with big display areas set up. What did surprise me is how many small Chinese manufacturing firms had booths on the fringes of the floor. On one row I walked down the company name on nearly every booth – probably 50 displays – had “Shenzhen” in the title (a major industrial city in China), and most were all displaying various versions of the same things: cell phone cases, USB and HDMI connector cables, portable chargers, and USB hubs. Oh and headphones. It used to be a contest to see who could make the smallest in-ear audio devices … no everyone’s going large. Some have taken things a bit too far. 😉
Speakers were everywhere in the South Hall too. Some sounded amazing, some were crap, some were bigger than me. The ones on the right below were about 8 feet tall – perfect for my living room at home!
Drones were huge too. Some figurative (the ones in the blue pic were maybe 2 inches across), and some literally.
They dance too…
One of the few things that I honestly would consider buying personally is the new X7A Modular Computer from Xi3. These awesome little computers are a cube just a few inches in each side, but the pack a massive punch. If I was going to build a new home theater PC this would be the platform. Plus that have lots of colors to match any couch. 😉
At long last the South Hall was complete … after walking 4+ miles! I headed for the cross-over to what I thought was the North Hall but discovered there was an area called the Central Hall. This one looked to have all the big names: Intel, Nikon, Sony, LG, Samsung, Qualcom, etc. And it kept going and going and going. I liked the new 4K TVs and curved displays, but not enough to make me want to replace our TV at home (that’s a year or so old). I definitely wanted some free samples from Nikon though! They even had a 360 portrait rig where you could jump and have a “bullet time” portrait. Pretty spiffy.
Don’t forget about more mundane tech…
And then there’s the celebrity sightings, like Shaq O’Neil…
…and Stevie Wonder (who snuck up behind me)…
…and Marshawn Lynch. BEAST MODE! Go Hawks. (not really there, but I appreciated the Seahawks connection since I forgot to bring my jersey).
I even got a caricature made, courtesy of RCA, plus a meta picture of a picture being take of a picture being printed. #meta
Daily miles walked: 8.2
CES miles walked: 13.2
Daily reward for thrashing my titanium left knee: Blue Moon on draft in a mason jar