Usually when I do a look back at CES it is a pretty lengthy read since it involves me running from place to place and taking everything in as fast as I can afraid I will miss something important. This year was different because only a couple days into the conference I got a flu bug that had me down for the count and hallucinating for days. As a result I like most other people who couldn’t make it had to rely of press releases and b-roll offering that I wasn’t even able to understand until it was old news. So this year this will mostly be a large photo gallery with just a few mentions of things here and there.
Press Days And CES Unveiled:
This is usually when the big boys of technology pit press conference against press conference to try to provide the most interesting and sometimes flashy news. This year to try to make this a little less competitive they split the press conferences into two days so it wasn’t one long rushing day followed by CES Unveiled. The result was a little odd though because a lot of the big flashy boys were still scheduled against each other and the result of the split up meant two really long days with CES Unveiled at the end. CES Unveiled is one of my favorite things about CES because it give you a little taste of some of the bigger companies and a large number of the smaller ones that are spread around the massive space of CES that you probably would have missed in the throng of crowds. The whole Unveiled event is also held in a large room with gourmet food treat stations in the middle and bars full of free booze in every corner. They even have ice carved to say “CES” that they run the alcohol through the top of and it is nicely cooled when it comes out the bottom. As a result some people didn’t abide while others definitely abide WAY too much. Me, I got to try a new IPA for my Untapped, looked at a few booths for thinning hair (I need them), saw a computer, a bed, and a recliner massager all of which would definitely improve my quality of life and empty my bank account and a bunch of other stuff that I can proudly say I looked at having had too many snacks but not alcohol. Honestly I don’t think I saw one thing I didn’t want to try out.
CES Convention Center:
This year CES was celebrating its 50th anniversary which is really quite incredible when you think of an entertainment based organization. It’s saving grace is probably the breadth and width of the conference and it can’t hurt that it takes up pretty much every available foot of space in Las Vegas, 2.47 million net square feet actually. It also has pretty much every imaginal use for an electronic from the way you wake up to how you get to sleep at night. Trust me the how you get places is definitely covered as the automotive area expanded and the how you see places is very well shown by the massive growth of drones over the last few years. Convention floors, hotel suites, even walkways were packed with people trying to show you how they are attempting to change the world.
During the day it is a mad rush to get from one meeting to another then at night if you are lucky and know the right people you might find yourself watching Sting well into the night. Yes that Sting, I’m told. Next year maybe I’ll get into it, next year. Because you can bet there will be a next year of CES as long as the world has a way to power their devices.
One event that isn’t designed to relax you into the night but instead helps you know a bunch of the little folks who may someday prove to be the trending giants is an event called ShowStoppers. It is a great deal like CES Unveiled but there are less of the big boys present, in fact there are often big parties the same night and the exhibitors at this event often don’t even have a booth or suite space in that 2 and a half million feet of show. For them they don’t get days to talk folks into their gadget, they have minutes as part of a few hour night. We get to chat with old time friends like Alex Verrey who this year was working with some nice looking headsets called Lucid Sound instead of where he usually hangs his hat which is at Mad Catz who was showing less audio and other peripherals instead. Soul Sound was having a lot of fun around the place and one of the companies thanked me for suggesting their little robot would help teach kids in school how to get started in coding, they now have 100,000 of units helping children learn in our countries schools. Previous years I had helped get word out about a project to get low cost solar lighting into third world countries. I guess what I am trying to say is ShowStoppers is a place to watch and think of others because you never know if someone around the world may benefit from a suggest of how a product can actually help humanity.
Closing The Show (For Me):
During the Showstoppers I started to feel a little weak, I just thought it was the long hours. I got to meet one of the PR people I have always wanted to meet because of her great announcements and her knowledge of who is moving and whom is shaking. After meeting some cool PR people and getting to check out the awesome GameSir G3s game controller, I went to rest a bit and that rest got long then I realized I was full on sick with the flu and running a brutal fever. Suddenly CES was over early for me with the last days where I get to kick it with a buddy named Keven and give a friend a copy of an old jewelry selling broadcast I used to work at still in my pocket. I still feel cruddy but time waits for no man, I have sumo wrestling and cosplayers at a convention to see tomorrow. And there is always CES 51.