CES 2016 Day 1
Today was the first day of the main show, and I saw a ton. I started off over at the Tech East area, also known as the Las Vegas Convention Center. I hit the North Hall first, and then made it through most of the Central Hall before I had an unfortunate accident and slipped on a wet floor, crashing down and slamming my bad knee into the concrete. Not cool since I had a knee replacement 3 years ago. Needless to say that cut my day a bit short as I got some ice and pain meds and made my way back to the hotel. Rest assured I’ll finish up the Central Hall tomorrow (Sony and a few other big booths to finish up).
Another note – I wrote a LOT last year, and it kept me up long into the evening. I’m going to try to just post a bunch of pics this year and do some limited commentary and snarkery. Hopefully I can get more sleep, and hopefully you can forgive me for not writing an epic tome.
I got to the show before the main doors open, so I got to be part of the early crowd that flooded in right at 10am. There were a ton of people in the loby, and several companies had displays out there separate from thair main booths. Engadget had a stage for interviews and some seating – much appreciated. They also have a charging station where you can secure your device behind a locked door while it’s filling up. Pretty cool!
10am – ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH!
Thule – we’re more than expensive stuff on your car’s roof.
Last year I killed the battery in my point-and-shoot camera on day 1 and nearly drained my phone using it as a camera. This year I’ve got a couple batteries I’m carying with me. This would would have matched the R2-D2 case on my phone a little closer, though.
I was very impressed with the Libratone speakers. They sound amazing, and you can network them together throughout your home. Lots of different sizes, and they’ve got batteries so you can have portable tunes. Check them out if you’re in this market.
Noke had a really impressive bike lock that doesn’t have a physical key – rather it’s unlocked by your phone. That also means you can share a “digital key” with your buddy and they can borrow your bike one time or on a schedule you set. Pretty cool if that’s something that you think you’d need. If not, they have Bluetooth padlocks too!
Toast from Portland, OR was displaying some incredibly intricate laser-cut wood designs that you can put on phones, laptops, etc. While you probably need to have a bit of patience and a steady hand to install them, they’re well worth the time. They’ve even got one for the Microsoft Surface Book that covers the flexible hinge! I’ll definitely be checking out their stuff when I get home and making an order.
There are A LOT of booths like this.
So how do you get people interested in your stuff if everybody else makes the same thing? CaseLogic served coffee. It was a popular booth earlier in the day.
I’ve always been a fan of Ogio’s bags, so I spent a few minutes drooling. My wife loves them too, and even has one of the handbag models.
If the standard Xbox controller is too small for your liking, perhaps this waist-high model will suit your needs.
I’d never live with myself if I bought one, but PureGear gave me one for free. It’s Bluetooth too. LOOK OUT WORLD!
Incipio had a nice booth too.
I’ve you’ve got a Macbook, check out Henge Docks. These are really cool, and quite similar to the design that Microsoft uses for our Surface tablet docks (simply extending all the various power, USB, and other ports into the device). They also have a traditional flat model too if you want to use your laptop keyboard.
Iottie has a pretty clever design for a power station launching soon. It’s a Qi wireless charging dock that you can put your phone on (many Android and Windows phones support wireless charging natively, but there are also cases, etc. that can enable your non-wireless device – cough – iPhone – cough). But it goes further – there’s a 4000mAh portable battery that fits in the middle and also charges wirelessly, and they’re thinking of LCD displays that could show notifications or the time that could also plug into the mix. Very cool indeed.
Otter Box – cool booth, big cases, and across the aisle Incipio was letting people trying to destroy an iPhone “dunk tank” style to show their stuff isn’t half bad either. Lifeproof was next door too.
When I travel I have a lot of tech gear and gadgets that I typically bring around, and not a great way to keep it organized and protected. I need to get some of these little padded “Safe Pockets”. They look perfect.
Next up was the auto tech area. This is a mix of car makers showing of new tech, component makers selling to the car makers and other customizers, and speaker/audio companies with booth babes cranking bass-y beats too loud. Here’s a sampling of the swanky stuff (and Volkswagen hoping you forget they’re purposefully killing the planet – Think New … or at least think about something else!).
Dodge had a full-sized car as a driving simulator that actually moved (leaned side to side and forward and back). The guy driving when I walked by was INTENSE.
Ford had a self-driving Fusion with 4 cameras on the roof spinning around a a high rate of speed. You could see the computing powere in the trunk, and on a screen above the car you could see the car’s view of all the people standing around. I’m the orange one.
Lastly, I’d be remiss to leave out the new media darling from Faraday Future, the FFZERO1 concept car that is supposed to be giving Tesla a run for their money. And money it will surely take you – this think looks EXPENSIVE! They had a crappy VR experience that I tried – it was a Samsung rig. Video quality sucked and the experience of driving through a couple different sci-fi worlds left me ever so slightly nauseated. Meh – stick to the car, guys.
I headed over to the Central Hall next at the Convention Center and jumped into the fray at LG’s gigantic area. Pictures can’t do these new TVs justice – they’re absolutely beautify and incredibly thin. But I have no intnention of going out and buying one just for the sake of upgrading – the content delivery of 4K, HDR, etc. just isn’t there. But if you need to get a new TV and have the means, I highly recommend a 4K OLED screen from LG or Samsung.
LG also had a bunch of home appliances (because all these companies took the Best Buy model long ago). LG’s new thing there is a dual-washer, replacing the drawer in the pedestal with another washing unit because … they could. There’s also a door-in-door setup for their fridges now, which I guess makes sense for my kids who find it impossible to see behind a small bag of carrots to what’s back on the shelf.
LG also had a very cool model display where they were showing off cell phone camera features. I thought the display was cool – a good camera in a smartphone is table steaks these days.
And behold, because 4K content isn’t even mainstream yet let’s go 8K!
TiVo was there, and I got to thank them for back-porting some of the very cool new features from the new Bolt device to the older Roamio series, especially QuickPlay (running a show at 1.3X speed while keeping audio at the right pitch – no chipmonks). New from them is the ability to stream recorded content to an Amazon Fire or Fire Stick. Much cheaper than their TiVo Mini, and in theory it will work over the Internet. COOL! Oh, and the automatic commercial skipping feature from the Bolt is rolling out to Roamio users hopefully soon too – already live in San Franciso as a test market.
Victrola – remember us? WE’RE NOT DEAD YET! Here, have some retro designs.
I was shocked to not see more of this crap this year – but there’s always tomorrow. Hello, kitty.
Drones!!! I’m sure I’ll see more of these over the next 2 days (I overheard there’s 3X more floor space for drones this year over last), but market leader DJI was the first I saw. I enjoyed the breeze from the blades.
People still look stupid with VR glasses on, even if the glasses are “sleek and stylish.”
Tonly had a speaker with a floating tweeter unit on it because … reasons.
AR (Acoustic Research), known for super high end speakers, was displaying some of the first outdoor speakers that look really nice – and not like a rock. Speaking of AR, they were part of a hugh complex of displays from a parent company. Pretty common these days.
Great tag line from Klipsch.
Had a great chat with some folks in the GoPro booth. I got a Hero 4 Silver for Christmas (thanks Amex points!) and did some time lapse videos on my drive to Vegas. I’ll do a blog post on that soon. Was able to provide a couple product suggestions that were well received too! They had some impressively massive LED displays that wowed the crowd with their quality … and I guess the content too. One was a the size of half a tennis court!
I took a trip through the Nikon booth for camera porn. They didn’t disappoint.
Marley Speakers are absolute works of art, and sound great too. Worth a look. The little ones look like drums (of course lots of things look like drums to me – I’m a drummer).
The Samsung are was rediculously packed and horribly designed for traffic flow (unlike LG’s area). That said, I couldn’t tell the two companies’ products apart if there wasn’t a label. The massive screen on a fridge looks a dumb as you think it would.
Microsoft in the house!!! (at Samsung’s PC/tablet table)
Corning “invented” a giant “surface” that’s a touch computer. Gee, why didn’t we think of that? Oh yeah, we did that almost a decade ago.
New Segway “ninebot” that was demo’d at the Intel keynote last night.
And then it was crash and burn time. Janitorial staff at LVCC are assholes (it was effectively my fault for slipping, according to the idiot who was standing outside the restroom that had no slippery floor signage but had water everywhere). CES Info Booth people and LVCC first aid team were awesome and hooked me up with some ice, pain meds, and a trip in a wheelchair to the front of the taxi line (complete with embarrasment on my part). MEH! I’ve got a nasty lump on my knee where I basically pile drove it into the floor, but I don’t think anything is actually broken.
Time to find some late dinner and hang out with my wife’s Aunt who’s in town tonight to see Celiene in concert. Here’s to a better day tomorrow!