CES 2014 – looking from the outside in – day 1

January 6, 2014
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Chantelle Bellrichard is a journalist from Vancouver who will be imparting a fresh perspective on our CES experience. You can follow her on Twitter here. This is her story – day one.

CES 2014 may not be officially underway but the crowds have already amalgamated. Tonight it’s a Mandalay Bay conference room that’s swarming with techies. You can tell you’re in the right place because of the flashing lanyards and abundance of gadgetry.

It’s hard to know what to expect at this sort of thing. This is my first time at CES and I flew in from Vancouver with a few things in mind: this is a tech conference that boasts about once unveiling the VCR; the tech industry is a fiercely competitive place; and the so-called nerds of the world are about to unite in Las Vegas.

Flying on a jetplaneI understand this event is hardly a showcase of the best of CES but it’s hard not to make some general assumptions about the tech industry by looking around at the exhibitors here. It seems the trends of #CES2014 are coalescing around a few central themes: wearable technology, flexible technology, electronics battery life and audio.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking and writing too much about New Years’ resolutions, but wearable technology seems to be grinding hard against fitness and health here tonight at CES Unveiled.

runner's headphonesOne of the most absurd products I saw was here were these wireless headphones for runners. I can appreciate that running and wireless technology are complimentary concepts. But the problem is, when these wearable technologies are so one-dimensional I wonder how we will justify purchasing such seemingly siloed, and expensive, technologies.

Sure, many of these gadgets would make a great gift for your impossible to buy for father-in-law or whoever. But overall the products seem to be created in overly disparate worlds as manufacturers battle each other in a way that is detrimental to the concept as a whole.

The most interesting piece of flexible technology I came across today was this solar-powered charging panel made by Enerplex. It’s for all of you back-country folk who lament those moments when your battery runs dry and all you really want to do is take a photo, or make an emergency call. I was told it can charge your device to 100% in three hours.

enerplex-Ascent-Solar-Kickr-II

After being spewed a bunch of info about this technology and its patent, I couldn’t help thinking it was being wasted on mobile charging. That’s when i found out this same company is also closely involved with military R&D, and suddenly it all made sense.

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CES 2014 is proving to be an interesting place. The open bar loosened the mood as the hours passed and the press pass folk seemed less inclined to bump into the exhibitors, and more attracted to the open bars that were scattered throughout the space.

This is only day one and my pockets are already full of business cards and a couple USB press kits. So far Urban Ears gets the award for most creative USB here.

As people stream out into the hallways they are now getting locked out of the main event. Open bars are closing. This means it’s time for the gangs of Google-Glass wearing masses to rest up until tomorrow.

Until next time, folks.

Comments

  • Shark Bait

    CES week is here, will make my week off more Interesting, and probably my bank balance lower !

  • MasterMuffin

    Can’t say no to free USB sticks!