My First CES

When you tell someone that you’re going to Vegas, they think slot machines and showgirls — unless it’s January and they are seriously tech savvy. Then they assume that you’ll be at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), otherwise known as tech heaven. I just spent two-and-a-half days there, seeing all of the top gadgets and gimmicks 2012 has to offer. It was an electronic toy store with everything from smartphones to tablets to transparent displays.

Bus lines

It was my first time attending CES, and I was not prepared for the other 100,000+ attendees. The atmosphere was extremely busy; even waiting for the buses back to the hotel took over an hour. Once I got past the crowds, I noticed that this wasn’t your typical convention. There were no flashing lights or “booth babes.” The feel was more business-oriented than I thought, but the vendors had a lot of great stuff to offer.

There wasn’t anything especially mind-blowing on the floor, just smartphones, tablets and laptops that are better versions of what’s currently on the market. Ultrabooks are a great example of that. These thin (1/2 inch thick) laptops trump the Macbook Air because they have the latest Intel i5/i7 processors, loads of memory, solid state drives, and long battery life. The downside? Most of them won’t be released for 6 – 9 months.

Photo of Ubuntu TV prototype
Ubuntu TV prototype

If I had to pick one product demonstration that actually seemed futuristic it would probably be the Ubuntu TV. It’s still a prototype. They promote it as: One interface, one device and one remote. Ubuntu TV integrates television features with online services such as online movie rentals, Youtube, and local network media viewing.

I heard there were a bunch of celebrities there. I saw people getting really excited and crowding around in spots, so it might have been a famous face they were trying to get a peek of. But with this crowd it was just as likely to be about some new electronic gadget.