Back at the Big Show: My Second Year at CES

Shelly Palmer @ CES

The craziness and awesomeness of CES is in full swing once again, and we’re smack in the middle of it.

I’m literally in the middle of it, as I’m writing this from the booth in North Hall from where our Silver Tours are launching. These tours show off the best of the best that CES has to offer. I got to see (most of) that on Monday, as I passed around the signs marking the stops on our Self-Guided Tour.

Some of the team from Boomphones stopped by our booth to drop off a Pocket Speaker for Shelly to take a look at. Before I showed it to him, I opened it up to, uh, try it out for him. For a Bluetooth speaker the size of an iPhone (but a little thicker), it plays awesome sound ... and it plays it LOUD. Ready to charge out of the case, it made the trek from North Hall to South Hall much more bearable. This is an awesome little speaker. (Shelly was blown away by it, too.)

One of the coolest gadgets I got to play with on Monday was the 3Doodler, located in South Hall. You probably already know about 3D printing, but the 3Doodler takes that to a whole other level. Their glue gun-like pen actually builds 3D models … if you’re skilled enough. Their booth features a massive, five-foot tall Eiffel Tower that was drawn with this pen; I was able to make a four-inch squiggle that resembled the tangled mess of iPhone earbuds in your pocket. I’m not quite at Eiffel Tower level yet.

Also in South Hall is all the awesome health and wellness booths. One of the coolest ideas I’ve seen comes from TAO: the WellShell.  This gadget lets you work out anywhere you are – including riding in a car or flying on a plane. But what’s awesome is that you can use the WellShell to play Jetpack Joyride, one of my favorite iOS games. Not to brag, but I’m pretty great at that game – but playing it through the WellShell is a totally new experience. That’ll take a bit of getting used to.

I also saw cars in more places than I expected. The next battleground between tech’s titans isn’t aimed at our pockets, but rather at our driveways. Apple wants iOS in half of all cars within 4 years, and Google has teamed up with Audi to make sure that doesn’t happen. But cars are expanding beyond North Hall, where they’ve traditionally lived. Even Intel’s got a car, and it’s awesome!

Speaking of Intel, they just unveiled a smart onesie for babies. The device monitors your baby’s heart rate and respiration, and can report back to you if anything is off. It’s not a concept either – it’s a real product, shipping this week. I haven’t gotten to see it in person yet, but it’s a sign that wearable technology is here to stay – and it’s here for everyone. Intel also showed off Jarvis (hello, Iron Man!), a personal assistant in your ear ; Edison, a computer the size of an SD card; and processors (conflict mineral-free!) that will power Dual OS computers running both Android and Windows.

There’s plenty of stuff I’m still dying to see. I want to check out Valve’s booth, and take a look at the Steam Box(es) in person. I want to poke around Samsung and Sony and Intel and LG – the bigger booths with crazy security on Monday but even crazier (in a good way) products. I want to go back to the 3D printing area and see Matterform and Afinia and Makerbot in action … and try my hand at the 3Doodler again. I want to see these insane augmented reality contact lenses and Intel’s Edison and question just how small computers can be.

I want to see it all, because CES is awesome and loaded with awesome stuff.