CES 2014 – What did I see?

The Consumer Electronic Show 2014 started last Monday, January 6th. and lasted the whole week. Las Vegas hosts this enormous event with 150,000 attendees and thousands of exhibits spread over the entire Las vegas Convention Center (LVCC) North Hall, South Hall, and Central Hall. One can not cover the entire show in a week. There were hundreds of exhibits at the Venetian hotel also. Attendees come from all over the world. It was a logistics nightmare for taxi lines, dinner reservations, and everything else. Hotel prices are jacked up at least 3 times the standard rates. But amidst all this chaos, there was lots of excitement.

John Chambers (Cisco), Marissa Meyer (Yahoo), the CEO of Sony and Samsung, CEO of Qualcomm, and many other executives spoke about the Internet of Things. The new themes this year were wearables and connected homes plus new gadgets for healthcare. Of course, the usual display of 110 inch TV or the curves screens from Samsung, or the 3-D Huge TV screen from LG were there. The new 4K TV technology is amazing with its clarity and color, specially from Sony. Automobiles were present in a big way. BMW displayed its electric model and Toyota showed the future electric model. Wifi-enabled door handles, smoke alarms, thermostats, light controls were in full display for the connected home of the future. Nest labs that sells nicely-designed smoke alarm and thermostat, just got acquired by Google for $3.2B yesterday. There was a whole section on 3-d printing and it was fun watching how various shapes are carved out in front of your eyes. This will alter the manufacturing scene drastically.

I got tired of seeing so many smart watches – where you can do email, make phone calls, listen to music, besides of course seeing the time. Robotics was there too with iRobots showing their new gadget for scrubbing the wood and tile floors with a new cleaning robot. Parrot company displayed the drones (small helicopters flying in tandem to great music), that some day will deliver packages within the same day (Jeff Bezos mentioned it in a 60 minute segment recently). There were hundreds of booths showing smartphone and tablet cases, mostly from China. One of the best experience I had was enjoying a massage chair from Inada, a Japanese company, that works on all the muscles of the body. The 45 minute demo session was timely after walking the halls for hours. You can get one of those chairs for $7-8K from Amazon.

What can I say? It was tiring, but exciting to see where technology is going over next few years.


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