Some random thoughts and observations wandering the halls after the first official day of CES.
There is a lot of junk in the world that goes for high tech. In fairness, it's not all "junk" in terms of quality (though some is), but most of it is white noise, product that isn't better than what is known and popular, and much of it is not quite as good. So, you wonder how it can succeed. But since the world market is huge, I guess there's a place for it. It's just -- if it's so hard to find things at CES, one booth out of thousands, how does a company break through?
Speaking of hard to find things, there is a PR company I deal with that is absolutely great, the Max Borges Agency out of Florida. They tend to handle really good companies, and do a great job themselves. But they had a lapse today. Before the show, they sent out a "scorecard" of what vendors they're handling and where. Alas, the two booths I went to based on their chart were...er, wrong. One, I happily found by accident. The other, I never did. It was about a half hour wasted, and when you're rushing, trying to cram things in, that's a lot of time.
Worse though is whoever laid out the floor numbering at CES. Each year it's the same thing. I swear they get drunk the night before, and whoever is worst gets the numbering job.
On the other hand, the people who run the press room are great. It's the best press room of any trade show I go to, and second place isn't close.
Panasonic had an incredible looking massage chair. The good news is that it's on sale, and $1,000 off! The bad news is that it's $6,999 on sale.
I met with someone from Nomad that makes some interesting "cord" products. For instance, their Charge Card is in the shape of a credit card that has a build in cord with an Apple Lightning plug or a micro-USB plug, making it easy to carry around for when you need one. And they're introducing models that can simply clip on your keychain, the Charge Key. But the coolest thing about the company is that she said they company has a very "nomadic" identity, of a minimalistic lifestyle, and people can actual get their product by bartering services! She mentioned a few. If you want to check it out, their website is here.
Lots of wearable technology at the show this year. And in conjunction with that, lots of wireless products.
I ran into a rep who was wearing the Google Glasses. They weren't hers, but she had a chance to test them for the day. I must say, they look as absolutely stupid in person as they do in pictures. More so. She laughed and agreed, and said she was the only female she had seen at the show who was wearing them. I said it made her look like a Borg from Star Trek, and she agreed. It's quite a trick to take an attractive young woman and make her look like she should have a sign on her back, "Kick me, I'm a total geek." She agreed. She said that there were some nice features with the device, talking hands free (though that's why they have headsets...), but agreed that it was a technology that had potential, but wasn't nearly there yet. As you can tell, she was a very agreeable sort.
Heading off to the Showstoppers event which starts in a little more than an hour. I always love it, so I'm looking forward to all the vendors they have and the tech they have to offer. Oh, and the buffet.
More to come, and other non-tech stuff down the line...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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