To be clear up front, this is neither a “Best of” nor a “What’s Hot” type of list. It’s literally the stuff I saw. Further, I purposefully avoided the most popular stuff, which you can read more about here, here and here (though they somehow missed the whole 3DTV meme, which was fairly unmissable). I unfortunately only have a few of the videos I made, as the quality was so poor, but I did get a handful of only semi-grainy Droid-cam pix. So here are some of the things I saw, in chronological order:
Saw new headphones designed by DJs for DJs. New models at CES have the “Aviator” influence. I could so see Tom Cruise sporting these (pre-jumping the couch crazy Cruise that is):
My long-time favorite in-ear headphones have new updates shown at CES, coming later this year. Quick interview with them:
I think a lot of the pico projector as concept. Optoma now has 4 different models for you to consider:
Chat with Roku’s Brian Jaquet
Met up with my old Sling Media officemate, had a fun chat about convergence, new media vs TV, 3Dtv, etc.
3DTV & 3D Gaming
If you managed to get through any CES coverage without hearing about 3DTV, well… I just don’t think it was possible. Virtually every company I saw displaying any kind of TV was also showing some type of 3D demo. Personally, I’m highly skeptical of 3D for TV, but also very bullish for 3D gaming. More to come on the topic in the next few days.
The era of the black laptop briefcase is definitely at an end. I saw some very cool laptop cases, sleeves, backpacks, and more from a variety of companies. Here’s a shot of a laptop sleeve from Built that I really liked:
Additionally, there were just as many (maybe even more) cool iPhone accessories and cases (virtually none for Droid – more later). Here is Griffin’s custom iPhone case designed by Threadless (three great things that go together).
I wasn’t able to find ANY Droid or Droid Eris accessories! I will blog about this shortly, but in a nutshell, there’s simply no “made for Droid” program. Not good. But I did find a nice screen protector from BodyGuardZ:
Really, really, really, really thin TVs
There was a 7mm thick TV set from LG at CES this year (pictured below). It was just a prototype, but clearly an indicator of what we’ll see next year. A slightly under-hyped bit of CES 2010 was the prevalence of LED TVs, and while purists will complain on their picture quality, they were unquestionably sexy-thin.
And if you didn’t believe me on my word alone, Peerless (one of the major players in flat panel mounts, and the brand I personally purchased) launched wall mounts for thin TVs:
Cinq laptop monitor
I’ll blog more about these guys later this week (and I have a video interview to boot), but a company I’m on the advisory board of launched this week (disclosure: I’m on their advisory board). The product is called Cinq, it’s a portable lightweight laptop monitor. If you recall my blog posts on a dual-display laptop, this is probably the closest thing to it that’s actually coming to market.
While they are ostentatious in virtually every way, there were some very cool booths at CES. And since the show is held in Vegas, which is ostentatious in virtually every way, I guess it’s hard to argue against it. Ideally it would be less brightly lit and more eco-friendly (considering there is a “sustainability” pavilion at the show – more below), but I don’t think that’s coming anytime soon. My favorite booth, in terms of design/presentation, was Samsung’s “kaleidoriffic” display:
Another category I’m really not bullish about is e-readers. I think there’s a market for the Kindle, the possibility of an Apple device, and that’s about it – and I’m being generous. This is still a niche segment for those with a lot of disposable income, and I don’t see the mainstream (aka paperback) book-buying market investing heavily in a gadget that brings them more expensive (though cheaper than hardcover) anytime soon (especially not pre-rebound economy). However, should someone figure it by devising a new model for e-book purchasing, like say, subscription-based, I think there’s a shot. One of the readers that got people pretty excited this year comes from Plastic Logic:
This is a tricky one. I’ve personally woven more sustainability into my day-to-day life, and still look for ways to improve. It’s clearly “buzzy” to be green, despite the tremendous amount of greenwashing going on. So when you’re in Vegas (a city in the middle of a desert) at CES (with huge displays on all the time) and there’s a sustainability movement, is it ironic or noble? Hard to tell. But I do applaud the numerous LED technologies, batteries, recycling, and other effort to help improve the overall consumer electronics industry. My highlight was probably a chat with the folks from Greenpeace, who also issued this year’s “Guide to Greener Electronics“:
More to come…
I have a lot more to say about CES 2010, the hot (and not), the trends, my predictions, etc. Will try to get one post up per day all week with the thoughts and more.