Starting with the second day of CES, the doors to the halls open an hour earlier. (I presume that they open later on the first day to give vendors more time to get their booths ready.) So, I have less time in the Press Room to deal with things, and this will be even more random than yesterday.
I spent yesterday in the South Hall (upper and lower levels) and then went to one of my favorite events at CES, Showstoppers at night. More on that in a bit.
I was a little underwhelmed by the South Hall this year. The quality was fine, but there seemed a bit of sameness to it. Lots of similar groups that promoted that they were the Best Ever and the First Ever that were a bit difficult to differentiate between them, so I tended to skim past. (I also avoided the Gaming area, as well as Photography and Imaging. Games aren’t anything that interests me much, especially with so much else to see at CES. Photography is vibrant, but cameras tend to be such high quality that they blend into one in my eyes, and imaging follows on the heels of that. However, I did notice that aspect is growing, and there were a few more 3D printers now in a more consumer price range.)
Oddly, there were a bizarre amount of companies offering personal “drones” with cameras attached for the consumer market. I saw maybe half a dozen. I’m sure there were more. If you didn’t look close, they just look like toys, but they’re quite sophisticated – and several were much larger than toy size.
Also a bunch of e-payment options, which appears to be a growing market. More common than other were cards which allowed you to register all your credit cards on this one cards, and when you go to pay, you tap it to the magnetic swiper at checkout. Then a display pops up – either on the card, or the “card device” or whatever – that lets you select which card you want to use. Plasticard, Pocket Smart Wallet and Loop Pay were three that stood out, though I’m not quite sure how viable most of them are.
And the field of “connected homes” are growing like weeds. Some are more on the high end (like Nest, and like-companies) that give you almost full control of your residence. More common are individual Smart products. (“Smart” is the word I saw most at CES…) Smart everything, including Smart toothbrushes. More on them later, too…
I’d read in a non-tech publication how Virtual Reality would be a huge deal this year – and it wasn’t. Maybe there was more in the Gaming area, but that tends to be what I’ve found VR to be at the moment, a growing area for games. But the Virtual Reality I saw seemed less like creating an alternate universe than just adding 3D imaging to the issue at hand. One company, Gamedei, for instance, had VR goggles that cleverly connected to your Smartphone, and let you see your content (games and movies) in 3D. Swell and fine, expect the price…