I finally made it to CES for the first time, which explains why I have not been active on this forum for a week. This is a beast of a trade show.
CES showcases about 3,600 exhibitors in about 2.5 million square feet for over 170,000 attendees. Exhibit hours are from 9:00AM to 6:00PM (34 hours over 4 days). This only allows about 34 seconds per exhibitor if you want to see them all. Even if you don’t want to see every exhibit, you still need to walk at least 50 km to walk past each exhibitor. Most exhibitors showcased many individual products, so the total number of things to see exceeded 1 product per second.
Attending this trade show is a grueling physical ordeal that will cause significant physical discomfort – sore feet, ankles, knees, legs, hips, back, neck and arms. Top notch walking shoes are essential and a good backpack is needed if you are collecting literature. In contrast to the physical aspects, the intellectual aspects are a massive candy store of fabulous technologies. I wanted to see as much as possible, but had a particular interest in wearable technology and especially augmented reality technology.
The information available is copious and much of it is not available elsewhere, but assimilating even a small fraction of it is a gargantuan task. I took 268 photos and collected several kilograms of literature despite trying not to collect much beyond contact info. This blog will only touch on a smattering of photogenic items and items of particular interest to me - in no particular order...
There were a plethora of 3D printers on display from $99 models to multi-material systems that could print fully functional vehicles:
Some technologies were just amazing, for instance there were holographic haptic controllers that allowed haptic feedback while interacting with holographic video - you could feel the holographic object right out in the middle of the air.
The 4K 3D video displays that did not require any special eyewear were also quite impressive, as were the 8K video displays and gigantic wall sized video screens.
There was a large section of multimedia products, cameras, audio products, phones, tablets etc..
Although it was mostly consumer technologies, I there was still a significant amount of electronic modules scattered around:
3D VR systems and haptic simulators were everywhere, including some large theme park ride style machines. After spending several hours trying out various VR systems, I ended up with a pretty sizable headache - not all systems had seamless operation.
Note the element14 backpack...
I was much more interested in augmented reality:
There were any number of robots and drones with impressive sensors and software from matchbook size all the way to person sized:
Most of the large car manufacturers were there showing off radical concept cars, electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles.
Here is Twizzy with a Marvel theme:
This Sony vehicle from the show drove up to my hotel after the show.
Honda showed a self-balancing motorcycle - it was also autonomous - it could operate without a driver:
There were large sections of smart home products - everything from smart pillows and blinds to refrigerators and video doorbells. I liked the fridge door that would become transparent when you knocked on it.
Another huge section was showcasing health technologies and another showing wearable tech, although this was dominated be zillions of smart watches of every description. Here is a small selection of watches from a single manufacturer:
Thought control using a system in a (black) module 10 inches behind the head - not touching, that could sense thoughts and control screen activity:
Another system used a headband to allow full control of a robot - the robot arms mimicked motion of the users arms:
There were of course some obligatory minions in attendance:
CES has been on my bucket list for decades and although different from what I expected, it was very interesting. The biggest surprise to me was how much new technology was on display that I would never find with an internet search, partly because I wouldn't get the search terms right and partly because a lot of it is not yet on the web.