Who knew that CES and turned into a cell phone case show? I didn't. It boggled the mind, row after row of cell phone accessories in every shape, color and texture. I think there may have actually been enough cell phone accessories for the entire population of the world. But I suppose that someone has to buy them. It was overwhelming really.
But there was a bit of other technology at the show too. Unbelievable 4K TV's from the likes of LG, Sharp and Samsung. Plenty of remote controlled flying drones, wearable technology, and about as many headphones as cell phone cases. Oh and there were some cars too. Back to the drones - they were in all shapes and sizes. Some so tiny they fit in the palm of your hand and some so big, they carried a payload. Those were actually a bit scary. One company called Parrot had a stage built surrounded by soft netting to keep drones from flying into people (there were a couple of instances where drones from other vendors did hit attendees...) and every few hours a group of ten drones would come out and fly in tight formations to the thump of techno music. It was very fun and easily drew a large crowd every time. I asked one nearby vendor if they minded the noise and crush, and they said that it drew more people into their booth, so it worked for them too. Score Parrot!
I did not have a chance to see all the TV's but I did see many. I went through the impressive Samsung booth and could not believe how good the new generation of 4K and 8K TV's look. As good as those were, I thought that the one's in Sharp's booth were even better. I thought Sharp won my personal award for best 4K till I went into the LG booth. As a business colleague would say "Boom!", they nailed it. Clear and beautiful, the images were crisp and the depth was like you were looking out a window of your home. I am not sure my paltry cell phone picture even comes close to capturing the clarity of LG's TV's. They were in a word...amazing.
Now lets talk cars. BMW had an amazing facility in a parking lot across from the central hall. Inside were several prototypes (including the i8), but outside was a test track where attendees had the chance to drive an i3, M6 and a few other models. My own personal tight booth duty schedule did not permit me the chance to drive one. Pity... Inside the main halls, Mercedes Benz, Audi, VW, Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai, Toyota and a few other marques had booths. I had a chance to walk them and do a quick visual on each car. The crush of people kept me from really studying the cars, take many photos or spend quality sitting in them, but you can get the idea that all things automotive were well represented.
My winners? Pretty easy...the new Corvette Z06 and the Mercedes Benz GTs. The Z06 is just badass from every angle. And for a change the interior did not make me what to throw up my lunch, it was decent, at least compared to the Chevy Cavalier quality and design of past Vette interiors. The MB GTs, looks great from any angle. The interior is pure sex, it was way over the top. MB hopes to take the fight to Porsche's venerable 911 and they may have the chance. The newest 911 is a bit soft around the edges (Turbo and GT models do not count here). So let's see what the head to head reviews say.
I was one tired CES attendee when I returned and coming down with the Flu did not help. But I guess with all those people...a few germs were bound to spread.
And on that exhaust note, see you all next time.