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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

3 Gadget Porn Stars

Last Thursday I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. For those of you that aren't familiar, the CES is the largest electronics trade show in the world, and is widely considered to be the preeminent event for the announcement and demonstration of the cutting edge technologies by the world's foremost tech companies. In other words, for a gadget geek like me, it's pretty much the coolest thing ever. As luck would have it, I only had one day (though the show lasts for four) to walk through this hall of wonders, where over 2,500 companies were exhibiting and the 3.2 million square feet of floor space in the Las Vegas Convention Center wasn't enough so it overflowed to neighboring hotels. But after ten hours of walking, one very expensive and hastily eaten chicken sandwich, three vicodin, a mountain of glossy handouts and a whole lot of cell phone camera shots, I'm happy to report that it was everything I could have hoped for and more - so here are the three best things at the 2010 CES.

1. The Samsung Booth - I wasn't particularly excited to see the big television companies at the CES. Once you've seen a 100" plasma screen HDTV, I just didn't think anything was really going to amaze me about TVs. I was wrong. With literally paper-thin, ultra-bright and sharper than reality televisions as a centerpiece, the visual impact of the Samsung booth was simply stunning. Watch a video of it here that doesn't really do it justice. But aside from the presentation, every corner of their section was stocked with an amazing piece of new technology and a charismatic, knowledgeable presenter. I spent over 20 minutes playing with the new Samsung Optima II phone with the help of a Samsung rep, and for the first time since I bought it - I actually doubted the supreme awesomeness of my iPhone. This was the booth that I dreamed of when I dreamed of the CES.

2. The You Rock Guitar - The gaming section of the CES was relatively small, and with good reason, gaming has it's own convention, the E3, which I was fortunate enough to attend last summer. But in the few gaming booths, there lurked some of the show's coolest new gadgets, and amongst them was the You Rock Guitar. Ever since I heard Nuno Bettencourt on stage tell me to put down my Guitar Hero toy and pick up a real guitar, I secretly yearned to do just that. But guitar lessons were daunting and I still loved to rock out with the help of my Xbox 360. The You Rock Guitar is exactly what I've been hoping for. A real guitar (6 strings, frets, etc.) that plugs into either your gaming system, your computer or an amp - and that works with all 3. And at $175, it was just too good to be true... and yes, I've already pre-ordered one that will arrive in February.

3. The Jaybird Bluebuds - Ever since I found out that my new iPhone would support bluetooth stereo headphones (not to be confused with the douchetastic bluetooth earpiece) I've been searching for a pair to wear to the gym. The Motorola S9 (which I actually beta tested four years ago) was promising, but weren't sweat-proof and, sure enough, a month in began to short out during my workouts and finally quit altogether (who makes a headphone set for athletes that isn't sweat-proof?). The other offerings since then always seemed cumbersome and silly, or clearly not built for gym use - until now. Jaybird, a company that has been making one of the aforementioned large and silly bluetooth sets has come out with a set that is perfect - the BlueBuds. They're small, guaranteed waterproof, with great sound, good controls and even come in black. The only downside? I have to wait until April to get them... and get them I will.

The CES certainly didn't disappoint, and there are some amazing things that were so pervasive and common in the show that they're destined to be a part of our lives before we get to 2011; including 3D TV, easy home media servers, tablet PCs and lots and lots of eReading. There are a lot of great recaps and "Best of" awards out there to help you experience some of the amazing innovations that bringing tomorrow to our today - but I can say, without reservation, if you've ever thought about going to this spectacle of gadget porn, go. I promise you won't regret it.

4 comments:

Swim97 said...

Ok...this is a more managable format to read. Also, I liked the content. Wish I was able to go to CES.

Glenn H. Truitt said...

THANKS ERIC! So good to have you onboard! Well, I'll plan on seeing you at next year's show... we can compare Navy tattoos (and celebrate whatever bowl we'll have just won, lol).

~MMM~ said...

Just when I thought I'd kicked the gadget habit, there you go filling my head with visions of truly tantalizing techie toys... thanks for letting me know where my next few paydays should head! Did you see anything new in the computer peripherals (art, connectivity, storage, communication) section worth mentioning?

Glenn H. Truitt said...

A lot of the computer effort has been directed towards the home network, and media sharing. The web-integrated television and the all-in-one media box were staples of nearly every big company's booth.

Storage and security are firmly headed towards "cloud computing" and to that end, mobile, broadband connectivity is getting faster, cheaper and easier (including in your next car)

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