Recap: CES 2013

CES 2013 ended on Friday, and I just arrived back in Seattle this morning. This year’s CES was the first I’ve attended, and there are a few products and companies that surprised or impressed me.

The Good

LG’s Booth

The first booth I walked through was LG’s with their 3D TV wall. This was an extremely impressive (and large) wall of 3D TVs looping some decent 3D footage. It was extremely smart for LG to have setup their booth this way– it was essentially a gateway to one of the halls, and it definitely drew you in. Their 4k TVs weren’t bad, either.

4k OLED TVs

The 4k televisions from various manufacturers (LG, Sony, etc) were also extremely impressive. I was slightly disappointed on my first look at some of these TVs because I was expecting a better level of black or brighter colors, but it may have been the content itself, because upon seeing another video clip it was slightly more impressive.

Th curved OLED TV seemed useless though. At a distance, the curved screen is useless and seems like it’d actually be annoying to watch. This seems like a case of “we did it because we could.”

Project Shield

NVidia’s Project Shield was hidden away from eager hands inside of a glass box, but from the outside, the device was certainly impressive. If you’ve never heard of Shield before, imagine an Xbox controller with your phone taped to a hinge on the top of the controller.

I will be curious to see what the battery life on it is– after all, it is not a small device. I’m expecting a monster battery in the thing, and will definitely be disappointed if this thing gets any less than 8 hours of battery life. There’s definitely physical room inside of the controller’s body for a large battery, and Tegra 4 should help lower power consumption.

Razer Edge

The Razer is pretty heavy and bulky for a tablet, and with the controls, it’s pushing being portable. But even so, the amount of power the tablet packs is impressive. When tablets eventually gain powerful dedicated video cards, as the Edge does, and a decent (4+ hours) battery life, I’ll consider replacing my desktop with a monitor/dock and the tablet. But until a tablet beats my GTX 580, I’ll stick with a tower.

Cookoo

Along with a couple of other Kickstarter projects, I stopped by Cookoo’s booth during CES. Cookoo was the only Kickstarter project I visited that actually had their product on display– the others were put away by the time I arrived on Friday. Peter Hauser, the project’s creator, was pleasent to talk to about the project’s development and the Kickstarter process. It showed that he cares about his business and project, and is looking for ways to improve Cookoo.

My initial impressions of the watch itself are good– it’s fairly good looking and solid, and though a little thick, is comfortable enough to wear. However, I cannot remember ever having worn an “analog” watch before– only those will digital faces, and cheap ones at that (the watch I occassionally wear on vacations and during timed tests probably costed $10 or less). It took me a few minutes to figure out how to set the time on the watch, but that’s kind of my fault. Funnily enough, I am so used to checking my phone for the time, I still do it, despite wearing a watch. This will probably change over time as I acclimate to wearing a watch again.

So far, the Cookoo has worked as promised. I do not receive a lot of phone calls, but the Facebook notifications are working great. For the future, it’d be good to have Twitter notifications as well.

Once the new update for iOS is released (to fix the issues with the watch disconnecting from the phone), I’ll be able to test the watch out more thoroughly. I’m also looking forward to being able to control music playback through the device, since I often have my phone put away in my bag while riding the bus and listening to music.

Meeting Dieter Bohn

During the WebOS and PreCentral days, I talked to Dieter Bohn about several of my apps and being interviewed by the local news. I seeked out The Verge‘s trailer and kind of barged in, but I (finally) got the chance to meet Dieter in person.

The Weird

USPS

The USPS was at CES…hosting a basketball shooting competition. I’m not entirely sure what they were actually showing off, since I didn’t really stop by. What I do want from them is a form of package or letter tracking. UPS and FedEx do it, so why not track every piece of mail that goes through the USPS too?

HAPIFork

CES certainly had a lot of Bluetooth enabled accessories present. From watches, to fitness monitoring equipment, to forks. Yes– there is a fork that measures your eating habits and will vibrate if it detects you eating too fast. As you might imagine, this will be available on Kickstarter later this year.

CES was a ton of fun this year and it was cool to be able to see technologies such as OLED televisions. You could definitely see Kickstarter’s influence on the show, and with Microsoft gone, CES definitely benefits from the increased number of small vendors popping up.

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