While we’re waiting for Leticia’s roundup of all the cool things she found at CES this year, I’m here to say that CES is a marathon.
Head to Vegas in the middle of winter with 177,000 of your closest friends to geek out over huge TVs, prototype gadgets, and everything in between. Besides the big name companies with massive booths there’s a ton to explore and discover. I walked almost the entire 2.47 million square feet of the CES show floor to bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly of CES 2017
Homemade 360° VR Camera
I spotted this guy walking the startup Eureka Park section of CES one day and I grabbed some video. The next day I ran into him again at the Samsung booth.
A big shout-out to this DIYer! He built his own lower end version of GoPro’s 6-sided VR camera rig and appeared to be recording 360° footage of the entire CES floor. His home-built camera rig was attached to his head and cushioned by what appeared to be a hotel hand towel. You are the unsung hero of CES!
Rollin’ with My Homies
One of the most awesome things I saw at CES was the battery powered, ride-on rolling carry on bag from Modobag. These guys, based out of Chicago know what it’s like to traverse a massive airport when you’re late for your flight. Their transformer-like suitcase has a pop-up handlebars, stow-away foot pegs, and —get this— even a USB charger for texting and driving. While it lacked any cupholders, it was way cool. There was limited space for test-drives inside their 10×10 booth, but people made it work.
Sleeping in Public
Sleep is the one thing at CES that no one has. Many exhibitors arrive to CES a day or two early, finding that their demo plans were too ambitious, or what worked at HQ doesn’t work on the show floor. People are up all night getting their stuff in order before 177,000 of their peers judge them.
Vendors from Asia at are even more of a disadvantage from jet-lag and timezones. I spotted people sleeping in the halls, on the floor, even outside the suites at the Venetian. But nothing was as good as this entire booth that just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt bad for these guys so I blurred out their company and product names.
Given the lack of sleep, coffee is a necessity. I had purveyors of coffee that I want to recognize here. The best cup of coffee I had all week was at Lenovo’s espresso cart inside Aquaknox. Your cafe mocha helped me rally me on day 3 when when I couldn’t walk anymore and I just wanted to die.
Sadly, the most disappointing coffee I had of the week was the drip coffee that I had inside the same Lenovo venue when I was too embarrassed to go back to the espresso cart for round two. But it was my fault. How fresh was the big urn going to be at 4 pm?
In coffee technology news, these guys at Bubble Lab in the Eureka Park venue built an awesome robot that makes lattes with style. It grinds the beans, runs the espresso maker, froths the milk, stirs the drink, and even makes patterns in the cappuccino. I got this awesome video of their machine in action.
It was the best cup of coffee that I did not get to drink this week. Fast forward little bit to watch the machine swirl the cups, and properly tilt the coffee cup as the frothed milk is added, drawing a heart pattern. Pretty amazing.
Lastly, I gotta give a shout-out to the Coffee Shop at Treasure Island. They’ve got the cajones to charge $4.50 for a cup of plain old coffee. Hey, at least there were free refills.
Karaoke Jukebox LED Horrors
There is an abnormally large number of booths cat CES that display gaudy karaoke machines and/or massive speakers with embedded LED light shows. Some were flashing, some blasting music, and some were powered on waiting for the next Kelly Clarkson to show up and put on a show.
On Saturday afternoon, one enthusiastic show-gower was putting on his own one man show on the mic, using his best Radio Announcer BIG Voice as the self-appointed MC of CES. I also found a company who had shrunk the entire Karaoke machine into a gold colored microphone.
Toilet Close Up
Everyone is filming pretty much everything at CES. I was taking a stroll past a booth and looked over to see a professional camera crew hovering over a pimped-out Asian toilet. Extreme close up!
Health Mate had a booth with infrared saunas. I snapped this photo of a gentleman taking a conference call in this half-height sidecar sauna. At least I think it was a sauna. The wooden housing could have also concealed a portable toilet. I didn’t feel like asking.
In the basement of the Sands Expo hall there are sections of startup companies from all over the world, including a large contingent of booths from France. It’s more exotic, low-budget, and perhaps where you find the things you were least expecting.
Unfortunately this La Douche booth was not giving away bags. There were plenty of those to be found elsewhere in Vegas.
Fro Yo Vending Machine
Frobot has developed a fully functional frozen yogurt vending machine. You slide your credit card and the machine pours frozen yogurt and even portions it out by weight. I’m told that it has cameras that track supplies and machine cleanliness so it knows when someone needs to go give it a wipe down. If you’d like to try this, their first machine is located at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. My sample of vanilla frozen yogurt was quite tasty and ended up being my entire lunch for the day. Thanks Frobot!
3D Printed Pancakes! Who wants one?
This company was showing 3D printed pancakes. Pretty cool, but honestly I was afraid to eat one. Do you blame me?
…they have run out of storage systems. Does anyone know where they all went? This clever company built their entire CES booth out of Ikea Kallax Bookcases.
Food at CES?
Las Vegas may be the land of excess but if you’re hungry late in the day at CES, you’re gonna be disappointed.
What was this about?
Last but not least, I spotted this demo of a “fitness machine” at the Sands Expo Hall. There were two women in exercise pants on this vibrating platform. Click to play the video if you dare. It’s borderline NSFW.
CES Wrap Up
- 4 days
- 20,000 steps per day
- Standing from 9 am to 11 pm
- Lots of coffee
- A backpack of Diet Coke
- A few beers
- 4 granola bars
- 1 pack of hand wipes
- 1 pack of Mango HiChew
It was exhausting but I hope that this post has managed to give you a glimpse of the craziness that is CES!
No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own.