A Look Inside the 2014 CES Computer Electronics Show

IMG 20140111 080345a A Look Inside the 2014 CES Computer Electronics Show

CES 2014 offered the usual heavy hitters in the electronics industry like LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, etc., along with a few pleasant surprises. It’s always fun to find those little booths with the really cool gadgets that you’ve never seen before or startups who have taken an already established tech and expanded it into something awe-inspiring.

One can easily surmise that when it comes to the arts, everything has already been done, that now it’s just about reinterpretation. But while much of the tech industry does that as well, the possibilities truly seem infinite as far as where this all is headed.

Probably the most exciting thing to see at CES was actually next to Intel’s booth, the Oculus Rift Crystal Cove virtual reality gaming headset. Sadly, by the time I happened upon the scene, the line to sample the VR goggles with a first person shooter was too long for me to wait around in, but this product is likely to change the face of future gaming, if it hasn’t already.

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Back toward the middle of 2012, Oculus Rift raised $2 million on Kickstarter to fund their company which is now located in Irvine, CA. While they do design their own games like horror games and first person shooters, they have also partnered with games like “Mirror’s Edge” and “Skyrim,” and the Army has started using their product to help train recruits. You can go to their website here: http://www.oculusvr.com/. Click on the image to view a video of the Oculus Rift Shark Attack experience.

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One exhibit visibly popular with attendees was a gadget called Sphero. Set to launch in Fall of 2014, this is a remote controlled ball or barrel shaped thing that travels at a pretty good speed and can stop and change directions on a dime. The adept user can even launch a Sphero high into the air using ramps or similar shaped objects (or launch your dog high into the air chasing it). The website calls it a “programmable robot” that can also be controlled on ios or android by bluetooth and can link up and communicate with other Spheros using infra-red technology.

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There is also an app that combines Sphero with augmented reality where you can superimpose 2D and 3D animated characters over the sphero and control their movements by moving the ball around. Of course, you would have to view the action on an iPad or monitor as in the real world, all you see is a ball rolling around. But it looks like something that kids and adults alike could have a lot of fun learning how to manipulate and program while creating their own live action/ animated videos. For more information, go to www.gosphero.com.

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CES Drama – While the concept might not seem realistic coming from this type of crowd, there actually was a lot of drama and gossip going around this year’s CES. Apparently, there is a code of conduct standards for CEOs who crash parties thrown by competitors: don’t show up sporting your company’s bright, pink logo shirt or you’ll get escorted out by security. And they won’t let you stay to watch Macklemore perform, either.

Of course, it wouldn’t have anything to do with T-Mobile CEO Legere saying stuff like this about AT&T: ”I’m going to send a cease and desist letter to AT&T telling them to stop their ads saying they are the fastest. You know how many billboards they are going to have to take down?” And ”AT&T is a total source of amusement for me. They are the ones that take my bullshit. They take the bait.” And in response to AT&T’s offer of $200. to switch to them, Legere straight-up called AT&T to the dance floor: “Why don’t you have the balls to answer the question: Is this targeted at T-Mobile because they are taking a piece out of you?”

AT&T could not be reached for comment. They let Leger’s shirt speak for itself.

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Public speaking, in particular, can be pretty daunting sometimes and a lot more people struggle with it than you might think. If you haven’t heard about director Michael Bay’s (Transformers) public on-stage meltdown at CES, here’s a clip of that uncomfortable moment:

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Anyone can register for free to get a pass to the CES exhibit floor if you do so before the deadline. If you’re into this kind of thing, why not take a few days off and head to Vegas for the week or even make it a day trip? You can check back at www.cesweb.org for more information about CES 2015.


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