Monday, January 14, 2013

CES Friday

(or....A technology preview of the Detroit Autoshow)

Last day of CES and time to Burn Rubber with the CES Auto Show! I saw more cars and wheeled exhibits 2 and 4 wheels this week than ever before at CES.

Consumer Electronics have made their way into cars for decades but this year things are getting different as the cars are adapting mobile operating systems like android and IOS to the vehicles for more than just entertainment.  We will now be able to operate the vehicle with these devices controlling things like the climate and the different camera views currently.  Functionality will spread quickly, as we will see next week at the Detroit Auto Show, I am sure. Expect to be able to do much more with android and ios in the car than just GPS.  The Tesla has a large 11" tablet in the dash and more are coming.

We saw some new 2 wheeled vehicles for the IOS system mostly that looked like this (and several variations) but seemed useless for anything but a single level room or office the only one with a defined purpose was medical and allowed the doctor to do rounds remotely. Siri on Wheels!

 We also saw many traditional vehicles with killer sound systems and what we are used to seeing in car electronics.... entertainment based devices and systems...

 Some electronics exhibitors did not bring a car so they had a dashboard on a stand like this

Many of the manufacturers found themselves with a CES booth the week before Detroit's huge auto show and inviting the tech bloggers to continue on the the auto show after CES

Most of the better tech outlets will have auto show representation and some will even do shows from there.

Ford is going further at CES

 The coolest car on the floor was the Audi R-18 E-Tron Quattro. This was Audi's 2012 entrant for the 24 hours of Le Mans and in the American Le Mans Series Le Mans Prototype (LMP1) Class. It is also the first closed cockpit LMP that Audi have released in decades.

While many were taking pictures of the Hybrid racing beast there also were quite a few taking advantage of the little SUV shaped USB drive Audi gave to many of us.  The white light everywhere made this a very hard shot.

Audi was not the only group to bring a race car to the show floor this year we had more than ever all over CES not just in the north hall...

 Today we saw that the infiltration of technology into automobiles has reached the point where it reaches the consumer level. Prior to this time electronics were in cars mostly to help the engine run better and to give more stability and control to the drivers standard controls.  These days the functions of in-car electronics are more accessible to the consumer and finally they are helping us control facets of the vehicle and its environment.  They are providing less static and more dynamic real-time feedback or displays providing the driver with more information and therefore and better experience overall. Out with the "idiot lights" and in with the touchscreen data display to visually inform you.  

I can imagine a few advances you will see in the near future from shows like these. If you take the Vuzix future product which is an eyeglass peripheral for your smart phone and build it into the windshield as a Heads Up Display linking all of your apps and mapping on your phone to your car as a control and viewing platform we would have a really cool way to interface with our data while driving.  Adding an augmented reality layer can give us driving vacations that are not boring drives to the destination, but rather an informative educational background on the location as you drive and letting you know when to look or stop on the way to see the important sights you may pass by otherwise.  For now we are driving the vehicle ourselves so this limits out ability to utilize some forms of mobile computing in the car. In the future when we are all in self-driving cars then the whole trend will have even more context in our daily lives. Bottom line we will see many more consumer and safety products in our vehicles going forward. Expect the north hall of CES to become more of a car show every year for a while as well.

Friday was also a day to see things other than cars like Nikon's camera display

The coolest thing that Nikon had to view was this Nikon D4 cut in half including the lens. Not really much new from last year from what I saw.

One other theme I have not touched on this week was the immense amount of waterfalls and aquariums sporting waterproofing for devices.

They all seem to work and many of the ideas like a glorified Ziploc bag are old school while many are new polymer technology...

Just before it was time to go and leave the CES show floor for the last time in 2013 we stopped at our base camp for resting posting and regrouping the Samsung Smart Lounge. What a great program Samsung has built over the past year. These lounges were an experiment at first but now they seem to be part of Samsung's profile and image at these events like CES and IFA.

Can't wait until next year!!!! CES 2014 January 7th-10th

One final thought for the last day of CES concerns a common question to me this week from my friends.

Where are the videos of all the cool new toys???

I did not take video this trip like last year.

If you want to see videos of many of the devices I saw in person then head over to MobileGeeks where Nicole Scott, Sascha Pallenberg, Carsten Drees and the whole MobileGeeks team made over 100 videos last week. Nicole will show you all the coolest things and give you a hands on look in most cases. Just head over to or the German edition This was their first CES as a team and a site and they kicked butt all week long. Judge for your self, but I think these guys are on their way up as a resource for mobile device news and information year round. It looks like Ford and Intel agree as they are sponsors for the site along with a host of other household names in tech.

Just one thing left to do after dinner...

...see a mermaid show at a casino fish tank what else?

Friday, January 11, 2013

CES Thursday

CES Rocks on for another full day of fun! 
Let's check out the show floor and the fun day we had!

Dancing on the show floor should have an award for this show. If there was an award we think it would go like this for 2013.

2013 Robot Dancers vs. Human Dancers

Runner-up TOSY's Dancing Robot

.....and the Winner Is....

That crazy guy on the exercise machines dancing to Gangnam Style

We saw some weird transparent display systems like this Hologram-looking thing called the Albedo Air Display

CES Product Giveaway of the Day, maybe the week!

The Trojan Vibrations Hot Dog Pleasure Cart....

...but the AVN conference was moved to next week you say? 
Well, they gave away 9,000 sample vibrators to conference goers in the first 2 days and ran out of product. I think there is a lot of BETA testing going on but you will never see the reviews. I asked if the majority of the recipients were women and the answer was "well a lot of guys are getting it for their wives"
I forgot to ask which press members were given eval kits before the show..... you know who you are! lol Can't wait to see the reviews!

Mind Controlled everything is coming... from silly little ears that move with your mood to flying Jedi Knight Training orbs there seems to be a lot in the pipe concerning mind control products.

Some things here at CES you will never see again and this is most likely one of them. it is kind of a modern "Lawnmower Man" setup so that you are suspended while playing a game. (no one wants to look like this while playing anything, it is just not cool) 

We saw some pretty strange folks dressed up and walking around the show on Thursday

Even saw a few pro Dancers looking more normal

What was the coolest thing I have seen in 2013 CES, you ask?
This is a close second so far the Mondo Spider vehicle

Coolest So Far?????

Not much could possibly top this other beast from eatART a Canadian Based Engineering Art Group called TitanoBoa. This 50 foot long remote controlled snake is an amazing thing to see and feel the 2,000 pound art project crawl across the ground a couple of feet in front of you.  Credit to Lenovo for sponsoring this to come here.

Another incredible machine we saw this week was the Audi R-18 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype. This car is the next evolution in endurance racing according to Audi.  I worked at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and have worked with Audi's race group many times.  Seeing this car here brings back many good memories.

Stay tuned, I have a lot of car related things in store for Friday (the last day of CES)......

Tweet House @ HYDE Bellagio

We had tickets to the Tweet House Party sponsored by Chevy which was held at the HYDE night club in the Bellagio Hotel. This place is famed for this view and the fact that the water show goes off every 15 minutes right in front of you!  Except tonight... we were sad after an hour of waiting we realized it was not operating.

The view was also a great backdrop for this image I took of CEO Michael McCord and his partner of here at their first CES and they needed a souvenir to remember this night.

During the evening I saw Robert Scoble making his entrance with a very merry group of friends. Margo and I had met Shel Isreal and Mr. Scoble earlier in the day as they were heading out of CES to take a break.

On the way out of the Bellagio we encountered this magnificent scene...

So on the way home we went by the Las Vegas Sign and tried to brave the 25 mph winds at 35 degrees but only got a couple of snaps like this.

The other side is cool too but it was just too cold to shoot it.