It’s technically day -1 since the show starts Monday, which of course makes tomorrow day 0. This might seem a bit odd right now, but if I start with day 1 now, my monday posts will reference day 3, and that’ll be even weirder.
I caught up with Steven Jones and Ron Repking, from Capable Networks (the company whose technology powers my old haunting grounds at SlingCommunity.com). Ron was sporting his new Canon HV10 high definition (1080i widescreen) video camera. I like to tease Ron (and Jones) a bit from time to time about their gadgetry, but I must say, I was jealous! Way to go Ron!
Next up I went to pick up my badge, and walked around the Sands Expo center a bit. It’s nice and peaceful. For now…
CES Unveiled is basically a “pre-show” where several dozen vendors had small tables set up with their wares and demonstrations. The nice part about events like this (and Showstoppers, which is coming Monday night) is that the playing field is even. No huge booths. No light shows. No overwhelming dance routines. Just a table, 3 people, and your products. I always enjoyed these events from behind the table, but it was great to spend the evening roaming the floor. I didn’t take a ridiculous number of photos, since I figured (correctly) the guys at Engadget would have the coverage nailed.
There weren’t too many new products floating around CES Unveiled this year, which was a bit of a disappointment as the event is often such a good showcase. Looks like some companies are waiting until tomorrow’s Digital Experience or Monday’s Showstoppers before unveiling their kimonos. From the buzz around the floor, I’d have to say WowWee’s Elvis was probably the most warmly received product by the attendees. I think it’s possibly a huge winner actually, it’s like a Big Mouth Billy Bass 2.0, only it features Elvis, a beloved icon, as opposed to, well, a fish. For proper disclosure, I will say I am working on a project with WowWee, although it’s completely unrelated to all animatronic singing country stars.
I personally liked LG’s new flip phone, although it’s a bit long, and runs Brew operating system, which completely limits it to Verizon’s service. Not a problem for me, but I don’t see how it can be massively successful with a single carrier. Hopefully they’ll do well with it, being a Verizon customer often means I’m out in the cold for new phones!
One trend that I think will continue to grow in 2007 is digital picture frames. At least 3 vendors were showing them at Unveiled, and I suspect there’ll be many more on the floor. According to one demonstrator, analysts predict as many as 5 million units will ship in ’07. Sounds a bit high, but I really like the concept. To me, the big winner would be a “FlickrFrame” that I could send to someone else (like my parents or grandparents) and designate shared pictures on my Flickr account that automatically appear on the frame. That’s the big winner in my book.
I listened to some HD Radio (wow), checked out the latest Shure headphones (review coming, but wow again), and took a peek at the new SideShow laptop from ASUS. I think someone needs to make a laptop with a full second screen, specifically used by people who do a lot of presentations. Throw in a tablet too, and I believe it’s a winner.
I also saw some old and new friends at the show, including Gary Krakow, Ross Rubin, Dave Graveline, Ed Kohler, and… Madonna. Okay, okay, not really, but not bad either!
Some more fun highlights are below, or check out the rest of the set on Flickr. Lots more pictures should start coming tomorrow as Ron shows up – he’ll be using a new Canon Powershot A640, graciously provided by Canon. Thanks!