CES Day 1: Robotic Balls, Naked Girls and Network FAILS Oh MY!
Well Day 1 was spent exactly like my Rookie experience at CES. Walking around getting my bearings while catching elbows in the sternum from people clearly more important than me and in far more of a rush as well. I still wonder where they are going with such blatant disregard for human well being, but I guess that is neither here nor there.
Ignoring the massive day one crowd estimated at 140,000 (A CES record) we made our way around in search of the innovative Tech that drives such a massive crowd to the Strip in the first place.
Before even reaching the floor of the convention center, companies have set up a barrage on the Monorail system to take advantage of the outrageous foot traffic coming off the public transportation system. Boarding the train Nokia is offering break dancing, Bo Staff demos and Coffee and Bananas. I kindly take a Banana and move along.
Upon arriving at the Las Vegas Convention center and heading off the train...We encounter DISH network packing a 8ft Dressed up Kangaroo and a live Baby Wallaby. Seriously, Cute Baby Animals. Have you people no shame...So after stopping and ogling over marsupials, we made our way to the entrance.
Walking around the first thing that stuck out to me was quite a few Kinect style knock-offs for the living room. The first being BodyMetrics. While this seemed to be focused on Dancing and a few "Apps" it also showed off the ability to control TV/SAT with motion controls...but in the end did very little other than offer Kinect without the Xbox 360.
Then there was Sphero, The magic Robotic Bluetooth controlled ball. I will not lie to you I Pre-Ordered one of these in late November, with their supply issues during launch I am still awaiting one so the opportunity to goes hands-on was a welcome turn of events for me. Let's just get to it and say I was NOT disappointed. The Sphero team has really got a great product on their hands. While $129 might keep these out of the mainstream, no self-respecting Techie should be without one of these little balls.
The booth set-up really was the most interactive I have seen anywhere, anytime at CES. The Sphero team did an amazing job at setting up a booth that both displayed their product and played to the strength of their product. While I will cut other companies slack in that CES might not play to their products strengths as perfectly as it does Sphero, I still commend the team for really seizing the opportunity to showcase a wonderful new product on a big stage.
The Sphero team has come up with quite a few control options including Tilt-Sensor controls. Simple slide directional controls and a more advanced RC style control that I could not figure out in the short window I demoed the ball. According to a Sphero representative, Sphero has a range of about 50 - 60 feet. So while not the most life changing or productive toy. It certainly packs enough tech to justify the adult price tag. I have the feeling this will be a word of mouth type piece of tech that once you see or handle one you will most likely want one yourself.
Then came the Supertooth booth...I do not know what they are selling but I was (along with hundreds of others) sucked into a Pussy Cat Doll style performance full of beautiful half naked hot women. While I will have to return to this booth on "Off" hours at least from one of their "Performances" to see what they are offering, I did enjoy this booth immensely...See the pictures and see for yourself. Possibly NSFW depending. You are warned ha ha.
Having enough of the crowds we made our way to the Intel Keynote address in order to see what the chip maker had planned for the short and long term futures. Intel did not disappoint...Unless you count will.i.am as part of Intel.
From Transistors to transformation was the theme of the Keynote. Throughout Intel maintained their aggressive mobile device strategy with the Sandy Bridge and soon to be Ivy bridge platforms. Along with the promise of smaller, faster devices came the mantra of a "Consistent Experience" across all devices.
Along with the Senior VP of Lenovo Liu Jun, Intel announced it would "Officially" be moving into the Smartphone market. Starting with the largest Smartphone consumer market in China. With the introduction of the Lenovo K800 Intel was in the mobile game. These phones will be shipping in China around Q2.
On the other side of the world Intel kept pace by signing a multi-year, multi-device partnership that includes smartphones which Motorola will begin shipping later this year using Intel Atom processors and a custom build of Android. This combination is aiming to end some of the compatibility/fragmentation issues that Android users face as well as offering unsurpassed battery life to the tune of 14 Days Standby and 8hrs of talk time.
McAfee seemed to be a big part of Intel's mobile strategy too. The acquisition of McAfee seems to be intended solely for this purpose as it was very clear that part of Intel's "Consistent Experience" included keeping your personal info just that, Personal. McAfee mobile security will be integrated into the future Intel phones.
Last but not least, what would the Keynote be without mention of the Ultrabook. The Buzz word at this year’s convention. Intel certainly upheld their commitment to the Ultrabook and for the first time in a LONG time Dell came through with a truly spectacular device.
Jeff Clarke the Vice Chairman of Global Operations for Dell came out to present the Dell XPS 13. This magnificent little darling came out to the tune of, 6mm thin. Aluminum and Carbon Fiber materials weighing in at under 3lbs and a 13.3" display w/ Gorilla Glass. A very nice package that will begin taking orders in February.
GREAT, I MEAN GREAT! Here it is prepare for blast off it's the closing finale. The time to completely annihilate any senses you have left...The Ultrabook Project with will.i.am
Hmmmm, Sounded good on paper I bet, but the execution left a lot to be desired. I mean from the time will.i.am walked out on stage until the the very last line he delivered with the enthusiasm and clarity of an underpaid actor, it just never worked. The Ultrabook Project was actually a "Cool" idea but it had 0 business closing out a show that showed so much promise and gave you a feeling we will still go farther than we can imagine when we have already come to a point we never could have imagined just 15 years ago.
Let me close it out with a few complaints I have about the convention here as well. The Lack/Overkill/Crosstalk of Wi-Fi networks is a killer for a lot of these booths. Main exhibitors were unable to properly showcase a device due to lack of signal. Add to this the mobile networks being slammed and it leads to so much technology being stuffed in a space that you are actually unable to use any of it. It would seem with a bit of better planning this situation could have been addressed to smooth things out.
All in all though...a hell of a day 1. See you guys tomorrow. Be sure to follow us on Twitter as well if you have not already @_TechSpy_
DISH Network playing dirty pool right off the Monorail, with a baby Wallaby to sucker you in.
Damn that cute Wallaby. Almost HAD to order DISH network.
Crowd pouring in early to CES, 140,000 estimated attendance.
Welcome to International CES 2012.
NOKIA keeping it pretty.
Stress testing phones NOKIA style.
Torsion testing. Ouch.
BodyMetrics, a Kinect like device for the living room.
Verizon doing their best Minority Report impression.
Mmmmmmmmmmm, Galaxy Nexus.
10" Galaxy TAB...
Day 1 was Hectic.
You sweet, sweet, magic little ball.
Like a Beacon, calling you in. Giant Sphero.
Sphero Booth, a personal favorite from day 1.
Like a Boss. (Ya, not really I couldn't drive it)
Sphero Track, Gotta build one.
Home DJ laser instrument.
Syko and Snoop_Dizzle's best Reservoir Dogs impression.
ESPN putting on Friday Night Fights in 3D, Live @CES.
Snoop in 3D (Glasses)
Syko, Looking "Special" in some 3D glasses.
Fujifilm Instax offers Instant photo satisfaction.
Samsung Ultrabook. The hottest word at CES.
Phone? Tablet? Galaxy Note...
Waterproofing is important.
Galaxy Player, Samsung's iPod. Offered in a few varieties.
Just a good picture of Rubber Band Balls, deal with it.
Giant iPods? No...Induction burners not available in the U.S.? Really Samsung? Get these things here!
8K??? 2043 wants it's TV Back?
Nice A....I mean Motion controls.
Eton booth had some great "Survival" type gear for the digital age.
RAZER's new Laptop.
Who's the masked Photog' taking all these great photos?
Trexta Sketch-up, Cool company with an innovative product.
Trexta Booth, Some of the nicest folks on the floor.
Jigga What? Jigga Who?
Not sure what SuperTooth was selling, but EVERYONE was buying.
I Appreciate a company with good assets.
I think she dug our Cameraman...Or Camera(Wo)man o_0
Tiger, Tiger Woods Baby!
You're doing it wrong.
Or maybe it's right. Eh, F it...where's the beer cart?
Great Product, Not to sure on the name though.
21st Century Digital Boy...Who needs an Etch-a-Sketch?
Boogie Board variation with the ability to save to a .PDF file, Retails for $129. A great product for artists and writers.
XEMA had some great Bluetooth Keyboard solutions for Smartphones and Tablets.
Great compact Bluetooth design.
Unbuntu...More to come from this booth in day 2.
Photography Titan Nikon. More to come from this booth as well.
TCL with a Eye melting booth to show off their touch screen displays.
You think they get Sunday Ticket? (U.S.centric Joke) Sorry =)
Stunning 2012 Design's by Panny.
Is that your wall of TV's?
Seriously, just tell me how much out the door?
Camera didn't have 3D Glasses...Which seemed to be required for the LG Booth this year.
LG 55" OLED from the side. No, Really. look closely.
LG 55" OLED, at least you can see it from this angle.
Organic Light Emitting Diodes. How I love thee.
This is where I parked for CES...Why you laughing? It's true damnit!
Diesel, a foreign concept in the states. What a machine though.
Intel Keynote Pre-Game
Nice backdrop Intel
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. Opened the Intel Keynote.
Smartphones were a big focus of the Intel Keynote.
It was a full assault on Mobile devices by Intel.
Intel teamed with Lenovo to infiltrate the Chinese Smartphone market.
Lenovo Senior VP Liu Jun and Intel talk Asian market strategy.
Chips in every mobile device seemed to be Intel's strategy.
Battery Life was among the top claims from Intel (On the Android Platform).
Dell made a strong impression with the XPS 13 Ultrabook.
Ultrabook Project Announcement.
Will.i.am closed the Intel Keynote with the Ultrabook Project.
Minnie Mouse didn't make the Intel Keynote...
Uh Oh, I think Minnie has a problem.