Solar powered Kindle cover. It has a reading light and they claim the cover provides three hours of reading for every one hour of sunlight, but at $80, this thing makes no sense. A Kindle needs so little power to operate that you could charge it for a few minutes by USB and have a lot of reading time. And if you’re in the desert of some place without power, you should get a general purpose solar panel with battery, like the Orange Joos.
Here’s an obscene portable PC gaming machine from Razor. This is weird. But people who used it said it’s a solid way to play PC games, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Limke is a little dongle that charts your pulse and charts your oxygen levels and compares them to your friends online. Cute app, but if I wanted this kind of information, I’d live in a hospital full time. Heart rate and oxygen levels are symptomatic and it would be more constructive to track walking with something like a fit bit. I’m a little bit over health tracking at the moment. I find it a distraction to actually taking care of your health. Exercise, get a juicer, sleep well.
The Lenovo Yoga is a concept for a laptop that turns into a tablet but it is ultimately flawed because laptops and tablets have different power and battery life profiles. Ignore.
Cable and satellite are screwed. This is probably the most desperate gadget of the show. Dish is making a mega-DVR that can play video in many rooms and capture every prime time show from every major network with one click. They’re also previewing their satellite channel lineup for free for 24 hours–through the internet. All of this seems like a desperate try to stave off the inevitable march towards watching internet streamed TV on tablets while we bathe, cook, lay in bed, and sit on the can. Good for old fashioned mansion-ites who love live television.
The OLPC 3.0 Tablet is a tablet for poor kids designed by rich people. $100. Solar charged. Not junk, per say, but not relevant to most of us. I really appreciate it for its attempt to computerize the rest of the world.
More BS: Haier made a see through TV. Sharp is making 17 different LCD panels that are bigger than 60 inches, but that’s useless because LCDs are too expensive at those sizes. Friends at Televisioninfo.com believe it’s a way for Sharp to earn business partners by showing their manufacturing might. I buy that. They’re also making battery powered TVs up to 60 inches. This is simply dumb.
Lenovo is making a TV with Android built in. It’s not built on Google TV, though, which is Google’s interface for TVs? This is a clusterfuck. For Lenovo and for Google. Focus!
Also, too many people are making waterproof computers and tablets. Stop it.
The first thing I notice every year when I settle into a hotel at CES is that no matter how fancy the hotel, the tap water smells like eggs. They say the memory of smell is powerful although elusive and I use the memory of the smell of the tap water to wake me up when my eyes start glossing over at CES.
CES can buckle a strong man’s knees. The quantity of data and visceral noise on the show floor causes many junior reporters to whine and go cross-eyed and sometimes catch a cold from all the hubbub, hand shaking, and fondling of dirty gadgets. This is my 10th year visiting the show. I’ve learned the key is to wash your hands every 120 minutes and to avoid touching your eyes and nose. Also, to take the monorail, not the cab line. Get a trailer to write from if you can.
Another key to being at CES as a writer is to avoid worrying about CES’s terrible signal to noise ratio and instead, do something about it. Ignore the bullshit, shoot down the overhyped, and focus on the most interesting. If a writer complains about CES and writes 40 posts about it, it’s a little hypocritical, no?
The last key is to enjoy Las Vegas with people you only get to see once a year and get into a healthy amount of trouble. Living a fun life and escaping the news machine will give any reporter the time and perspective to think a bit more about what’s real in all the manufactured news, in a manufactured show, in a manufactured town filled with mirage. If a writer can do that, they can avoid being part of the problem and get the space to think and write at the pace of a human, not at the pace of a robot.
Quiet is cool.
Copyright 2012, VentureBeat