Stories from a CES Virgin: A day on some of the show floor

Category: Features

This is the first CES that I (or anyone from Reckoner) has ever attended. The show, as I’m sure you know, is ridiculously large and instead of even beginning to remotely try and cover it all I’ve decided to write a series of shorter pieces based around what it’s like attending the show for the first time. I’m calling the series Stories from a CES Virgin and you can find all of them here.

CES is huge. I don’t think there’s any other way for me to put into words just how fucking amazingly overwhelming it is to roam around the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC) for eight hours and come out only seeing two of the three halls that exhibited and that the LVCC is only one of the three “official” areas of CES, called “Tech East”. It’s ridiculous.

tech-east

I’ll give you a quick run down as best I can for what was on show in the areas of Tech East and then let you just flick through the bounty of imagery and my unabashed commentary for what I saw.

Tech East, which is the entire Las Vegas Convention Centre (I’m spelling it the correct way, soz ‘Merica) is comprised of three “Halls”. I put hall in quotes because each of them, North, Central & South, is roughly the size of the Melbourne Convention Centre each and some, like the South Hall are multiple levels.

The Central Hall, which is where I started my day, is home to the major electronics manufactures with stands the size of a basketball court and then some. Here you’ll find LG, Sony, Samsung, Canon, Nikon, Huawei and a litany of smaller folk around the fringes of the Goliaths.

The South Hall which runs over two levels is somewhat organised into zones or “marketplaces” as they call them. HALF of the entire ground floor is dedicated to drones alone! Manufacturers for consumers, professionals and in between there’s a drone company for everyone it would seem and most you’ve likely never heard of before as well as the big kids like DJI.

In addition to drones the upper floor of the South Hall contained Xioami in all their full weird glory, Razer, ZTE and smaller TV manufacturers like Skyworth. There was also a lot of accessory brands like Satechi and Australia’s own Gecko.

Lastly the North Hall is home to the automotive giants. Cars and concepts as far as the eye can see. Most, if you’re anything like me, you’ll never be able to afford and many will never see a production line at all.

To be honest it seems to be the most boring area of them all. Car buffs will get a kick but it’s like looking at a bunch of weird plastic models that you can’t really touch or use.

Across the road from the LVCC is a large car park area set up for autonomous car demonstrations. That’s a little more interesting and hopefully, time permitting I get to venture across


LG W7
LG’s new “Wallpaper” series are unbelievably thin! Shame about the giant Dolby Atmos brains required to run it. Does sound pretty good for an included soundbar however.
Hover Camera
This tiny fold up drone includes face tracking (shown in image), auto follow & more. Flies for up to 15 minutes. Available now from https://gethover.com US$599
Chang 184
Here for the second year the Chang personal drone vehicle looks just as unlikely to be a thing as ever before.
CNet's day started out a little "deflated"
Cnet’s day started out a little “deflated”
Yunteec drones
Yunteec were stuck next to the DJI booth so to make their drones look more impressive they had a full sized plane brought in! Insane.
DJI booth
DJI were there and of course completely pwned the competition when it came to their showcase. Their latest reveal the new Inspire prosumer model
Suning
So many brands you’ve never heard of with products you may never need or use. Suning were showing off these crazy little scooters
HDMI
Standards have their own booths too! HDMI, Display Port, IEEE and a bunch more all showing off their latest versions and upcoming roadmaps
Kodak had a giant booth that was getting some attention. It seems they've come back from the brink of death
Kodak had a giant booth that was getting some attention. It seems they’ve come back from the brink of death
Skyworth TV
Ever heard of Skyworth? I hadn’t. Well they make OLED TVs now too *AND* they sell them in Australia! http://www.skyworthau.com.au
There is some random shit when you get down to the end of some of the halls. Jukeboxes anyone?
There is some random shit when you get down to the end of some of the halls. Jukeboxes anyone?
Chilling out at the end of the CES world. Smaller stalls with cables, speakers, phone cases, you name it, there's a booth hidden away at CES.
Chilling out at the end of the CES world. Smaller stalls with cables, speakers, phone cases, you name it, there’s a booth hidden away at CES.
Just a random cross section within the South Hall. That shows about 1/30th of the thing.
Just a random cross section within the South Hall. That shows about 1/30th of the thing.
Seen WALL-E? Well apparently we're not that far off our fat-seated-human-future. This was one of about 10 massage chair booths I came across in one day. It's big business.
Seen WALL-E? Well apparently we’re not that far off our fat-seated-human-future. This was one of about 10 massage chair booths I came across in one day. It’s big business.
Wireless VR
DisplayLink’s Wireless VR solution for the HTC Vive was on show. It works, there seems to be a tiny amount of lag but with so many wireless signals around it was blamed on that. This is where VR needs to go!
Yet another selfie drone, this one was quite popular when it's trailer came out last year. They didn't have it operational however.
Yet another selfie drone, this one was quite popular when it’s trailer came out last year. They didn’t have it operational however.
Rova
Very similar to the Hover Camera the Rova was of interest to me mainly because the name is trademarked in Australia?!
Mesh Wi-Fi is all the rage at the moment. This is TP-Link's entry into the market and does all the things you've come to expect. No word on Australian availability however (just like all the others).
Mesh Wi-Fi is all the rage at the moment. This is TP-Link’s entry into the market and does all the things you’ve come to expect. No word on Australian availability however (just like all the others).
Mmmmmm... Droooooone. This thing had a range of like forever!
Mmmmmm… Droooooone. This thing had a range of like forever!
Razer Project Valerie
Razer Project Valerie is a prototype machine with a GTX 1080 powering a foldable three screen display on a laptop. It’s nuts, completely impractical but awesome too.
Karl Lagerfeld
Even iPhone accessories have a spot here especially when they’re backed by old mate Karl.
Mi MIX
Designed with Philippe Stack this was Xiaomi’s flasgship fashion mobile on show
Mi QIcycle R1
Who knew Xiaomi made road bikes as well?! Not available outside of China, just like pretty much everything it was interesting to see none the less.
USB fan, USB light? Xioami had those on display too!
USB fan, USB light? Xioami had those on display too!
Xiaomi's lineup of high end LCD TV's.
Xiaomi’s lineup of high end LCD TV’s.
A lot of attention at the Xiaomi booth but ultimately let down by the lack of announcements for the US markets.
A lot of attention at the Xiaomi booth but ultimately let down by the lack of announcements for the US markets.
ZTE Kinect
Someone finally found a use for the Microsoft Kinect. Using it for some weird VR demo at the ZTE booth.
C|net
Big media boys had media setups with guests from every aspect of the show. Here’s C|Nets but Engadget had their own, The Verge have their big trailer and many more
Rest
Grab a seat anywhere you can however you can. You need rest! I’d walked 15km in the first day at this point.
This is Samsung's "no gap" bracket which allows their TVs to sit flush against the wall. It's actually really impressive!
This is Samsung’s “no gap” bracket which allows their TVs to sit flush against the wall. It’s actually really impressive!
Samsung cable
On the new QLED TV’s Samsung has introduced a new invisible cable connector that’s only 1.8mm thick. It’s a fibre optic that runs down to their breakout box and is virtually invisible against the wall.
Samsung cable
This is the new fibre cable from Samsung installed against a black wall so you can see how thin it is.
Samsung's new QLED
Samsung’s new QLED TV. Looks amazing and while they boast it to be just as good as OLED I’m still sticking to the LG OLED side for now.
Samsung Fridge
They’ve shoved a giant Android tablet into their fridges as well as a camera so you can see what’s inside it from anywhere. Not sure what you do when the tablet breaks though.
Samsung Family Hub 2.0
Samsung Family Hub 2.0 works in Australia with Woolworths so you can order from your fridge directly to the store. Yay?
Samsung
This is the size of the Samsung booth walls enclosing their domain at CES. You could fit a soccer field inside easily.
Canon were there with some updates but the most interesting thing at the booth was the Solidiphy guys using 173 Canon SLR's to take the perfect 3D image of you that could be used for 3D printing.
Canon were there with some updates but the most interesting thing at the booth was the Solidiphy guys using 173 Canon SLR’s to take the perfect 3D image of you that could be used for 3D printing.
Xperia Projector
The Xperia Projector turns any surface into a touchscreen. Only problem was the Sony staff attending the stand didn’t want anyone touching it! Weird.
Sony Bravia OLED
Sony’s Bravia OLED’s are gorgeous and unlike LG’s have no extra soundbar to annoy you. They do have a speaker but it’s behind the glass which adds to the TV’s thickness but only barely.
Sony Bravia OLED
The 65″ Sony Bravia OLED
Huawei MateBook
Huawei’s answer to the Surface. Felt really nice to type on.
Huawei Mate 9 Pro
They have a very Aussie theme to them Huawei, everything is “mate”.
Restrooms
Just in case you didn’t know where they were gigantic signs make sure of it. Expect a queue in the mens though!