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CES 2015: Day 1 Report

January 6, 2015

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.

20150106_192013112_iOSThe 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!

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Drones were huge too. Some figurative (the ones in the blue pic were maybe 2 inches across), and some literally.

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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. 😉

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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.

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Don’t forget about more mundane tech…

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And then there’s the celebrity sightings, like Shaq O’Neil…

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…and Stevie Wonder (who snuck up behind me)…

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…and Marshawn Lynch. BEAST MODE! Go Hawks. (not really there, but I appreciated the Seahawks connection since I forgot to bring my jersey).

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I even got a caricature made, courtesy of RCA, plus a meta picture of a picture being take of a picture being printed. #meta

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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

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  1. January 8, 2015 at 12:05 am
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