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CES 2016 Day 2

January 7, 2016

Today was an earlier start for the show than yesterday (9a vs 10a) and I took advantage of the fact that everybody else was out too late partying to get a bunch of the show floor knocked out before things got a lot busier later in the day. With that bonus time and some experience under my belt on how to best navigate the show floor, I was successful in knocking out the rest of Tech East at CES 2016 (the Convention Center).

I started out getting the last bit of the Central Hall at LVCC that I missed yesterday after my unfortunate crash and burn. Thankfully my knee was in decent condition this morning; swollen and a bit sore to be sure, but functional.

I got a quick view of the Samsung area without half a billion people in it. Pretty impressive!

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Nerd porn alert, as always, from the Celestron booth. Good grief some of those telescopes are huge! It’s amazing how much tech is on those things too, from image capture and stabalization, to tracking, etc. It’s not just a couple of lenses in there.

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I spent some time in the Sony area and, since there weren’t a ton of people yet, actually got to talk to a few folks about what they were showing off. We’ve got a ~4 year old (?) 55” Sony Bravia hanging on the wall at home, and the image quality is superb, but some of these new panels put ours to shame. I don’t think Sony had anything that wasn’t 4K on display, to be honest … and now that I think about it I don’t think many others did either (unless it was a display on a fridge…). Also notable was a front projection screen that is meant to sit right infront of the wall it’s displaying on. WOW did it look nice, and a cool form factor too.

I also got to see their GoPro competitor Action Cam line; the image stabilization was really incredible (I got to hold a camera with a live viewfinder and give it a good shake). I think I still prefer GoPro from a physical format perspective since Sony’s cameras are like a pack of cigarettes on it’s side with the lens pointing forward from the top, vs. GoPro’s smaller rectangle with the lens on the wider front surface. I’m sure you could find applications for both physical formats, and I’m sure the tech specs are very similar – other than that image stabilization.

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Driving simulators are everywhere at CES this year, even for companies that I can’t figure out what their relationship to cars is. I’m guessing Konica was showing off the screens???

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I saw probably 5 or 6 floating speakers today. I guess they’re all copying the one that I believe won a CES innovation award last year. INNOVATION! 😐

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Kodak: We’re not dead yet either! What can we make you? You want a drone? How about an action cam? Oh, maybe a Virtual Reality rig? What else are the kids into these days? PLEASE LOVE US AGAIN – it was cold, dark, and scary in the land of dispair and bankruptcy, we don’t want to go back. Can you just give us a hug or something?

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Samsung Gear lemmings (the seats moved with the VR action). Pass – I wasn’t impressed when I tried this out at Faraday’s booth yesterday.

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Qualcom: We don’t make the things, we make the things inside the things. All the things.

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Intel: If Qualcom didn’t make the things in your things, we probably did. We also have cool statues in our area. Oh, and our driving simulator has a camera that watches you so we can shift the field of vision as you turn your head (that was pretty cool).

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Creative: We have to be creative because we’re really just selling the same stuff we always have, but our marketing makes it look like it’s all new.

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And now, I bring you “CES 2016: Attack of the Drones”. They were everywhere, though thankfully behind nets so they couldn’t destroy us. Big ones, small ones, all sorts of colors and lights. I will say they were all much quiter than last year. Also, I *really* enjoyed the breeze from the rotor wash – quite refreshing.

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Cool gear from Razer for multimedia (mic and 3D video capture)

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The cutest little NAS you’ve ever seen (takes 2.5” laptop-sized drives) from Synology. They also had a fancy home WiFi router that does just about everything you could want (including inbound VPN to the home and IPv6 support), plus it can do “beamforming” to direct a better signal to where your device is. I’m sure math is involved, and I’m sure I won’t understand how it works. $149 coming in April. It was already out elsewhere in the world (thanks FCC!).

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Duracell: We’re not just batteries. We’re all sorts of other cheap crap we can pay someone to put our name on too.

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Linksys had a nice booth, though a bit blue. Their new WiFi range extenders have a really cool app that helps you figure out optimal placement (not too close to waste the extender, but not too far to have a weak signal itself to deal with.

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The e-Ink both was also very cool. Not just Kindles. Their bigger displays (think a menu board or orther big display) were frankly stunning. They’ve got curved/flexible stuff too.

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Optical lens anyone? Any size – it was there.

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Lots of outdoors gear, especially solar powered charging panels. Seems to be coming of age. I really liked the little mini lantern from GoalZero. Folding stand, dimmer, you can turn on just half of it if you want, it can charge something via USB, it’s magnetic on the bottom to stick to something, and it has a tripod mount. A great little gadget to keep in a car’s emergency kit.

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Cool hearing protection gear for construction sites.

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“No” or “Meanwhile in Japan…”

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Tribe has some really cool gear. Might need to get some. They mostly sell through retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s etc.

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These guys joked that Microsoft should just buy them after learning I work on Sharpoint. At least, I think they were joking… ?

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No.

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I’ve got 3 people who work from me that are remote (work from home 2000 miles away). These rigs from Beam were very intriguing, and sure would be better than our current solution of locked down Microsoft Surface RT’s running Skype. We might not get the “mega” model, though – it might not fit in our hallway. I got to drive one around in Kansas City from here in Vegas and terrorize a couple of their employees in their support office. FUN!

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Leyard’s LED displays were absolutely stunning. This one has a 1.6mm dot pitch, and from just a few feet away you couldn’t tell it was LED (looked like a regular screen). No heat, super thin, very bright. I wish these were available when our church put in screens in our sanctuary, these would have been perfect. Too bad at the time the LED screen tech wasn’t nearly as nice. They even have panels that with a 0.9mm dot pitch, and some with a glass overlay that provides touch input. WOW!

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NASA!!!

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Very spiffy activity tracker and semi-smart device (notifications, etc.) from Garmin. Only $150 for a touch-enabled device that has most of the features of the Microsoft Band; a much better pricepoint than the $250 device we sell in my opinion. They’re still making GPS units too!

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+10 points to Happy Plugs for product packaging design: earbuds that look like musical eighth notes.

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I FOUND THE REMOTES YOU’VE ALL LOST OVER THE YEARS!

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Yet another new USB plug format – I’m suprised they went bigger given the trend to shrink everything.

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Seriously though, this booth was from Pilot Brand that has come up with a AA battery where the positive (pointy) end is held on by a magnet – remove it and it exposes a USB plug so you can recharge the battery. They also came up with a great way to expense a Ferrari. Cool!

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Sennheiser had a good both, including a 3D microphone to help you create VR experiences.

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Many people felt like this guy, so the massage chair booths were very popular.

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Star of the show at LVCC: AT&T’s WiFi network kicked ass. I uploaded all my photos to OneDrive and Google Photos yesterday and today very quickly. Unfortunately there’s no AT&T WiFi in the South Hall, so I walked back over to Central to do today’s upload.

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To round out the day I decided to treat myself with a solo test drive of a BMW 750i. The gesture control of the radio, heads up display, comfort, and raw power of this beast were remarkable. I need one. Not want … NEED.

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