CES 2014 – Part 1

intl ces
Welcome to CES 2014

I attended CES again this year, as I have in previous years. This year I spent the better part of the first two days of the show walking the floor, meeting celebrities and checking out a few products that garnered my interest.

lvcc ces sign
CES held at the Las Vegas Convention Center

This year’s mammoth trade show was mostly focused on 4K TVs, wearable computing and all sorts of cameras.

ces show floor
CES show floor

The floor is non-stop people. Getting around requires a lot of patience. People carry all sorts of bags for their gear and swag they pick up at the show from the various booths. I was no exception with my one bag of gadgets and another with brochures, magazines and the occasional t-shirt or pen.

Celeb Sightings

50 cent
50 Cent at the SMS Audio booth signing autographs

The rap star 50 Cent was on hand to promote his line of SMS Audio high-end headphones. These are quite the quality headphones, competing with the popular Beats headphones. Click here to hear a 10 minute interview that Engadget did with 50 Cent on promoting his headphone line.

vince neil
Best photo I could take of Vince Neil

I’ve been a huge Mötley Crüe fan since their start in 1981. So it was pretty cool to meet Vince Neil at the Zound Industries booth, promoting Marshall products. There were no photos allowed with Vince, but I did my best to sneak a photo through an open area where he was standing.

christopher lloyd
Christopher Lloyd with unnamed guitarist at Gibson tent at CES

Gibson Brands celebrated their 120th year of making guitars with a Back To The Future-themed event, complete with a DeLorean time machine and an appearance by Christopher Lloyd – the actor who portrayed the iconic Doc Emmett Brown in the movie trilogy.

chris lloyd stage
Christopher Lloyd on stage at Gibson tent

It was so cool to see Mr. Lloyd in person. He had no problem hamming it up for the crowd, shouting out “GREAT SCOTT!” when introducing legacy guitars being showcased.

delorean
A replica of the DeLorean time machine used in the Back To The Future movies

Doc Brown drove up in a working replica of the DeLorean time machine [time travel and flux capacitor not active] to a crowd of excited fans and press. The car was the first time I’ve seen one up close.

marty delorean
I got to sit inside a “real” time machine”

They even let us fans sit inside the time machine, which was way cool for this big fan of the Back To The Future franchise. Smiles everywhere, as you can see above.

Cameras

canon 70d
Canon 70D – impressive for a DSLR under $1400 with lens

As a fan of all things cameras and video, I have to see the latest. My first stop was at Canon’s booth to see what they had to offer. I was very impressed with the 70D, which is a nice mid-range DSLR that takes incredible photos and has a seamless autofocus when shooting video that blows away even it’s lower-end DSLR models like the Rebel T5i. Plus it’s compatible with the line of STM lenses. It’s available now.

sony actioncam
Sony Action Cam HDR-AS100V- now in white

Sony upgraded it’s GoPro competitor – the Action Cam – in the form of a white model. The HDR-AS100V is capable of shooting video at 1080p/24fps and slow motion at 720p in either 120fps or 240fps. There are various cases and covers for the entire camera or the just the lens to keep any active outdoor types protected when using this camera to record their moments. It’s even splashproof for those who use it without a case. The camera is $300 and is available in March 2014.

Wearable Computing

fitbit flex
Fitbit Flex – wristband fitness tracker

Wearable computing was a big thing this year. There were no shortage of companies that had smart watches, fitness trackers and the such on display. The biggest vendor was Fitbit, who had many of their wearable devices on display. The Flex is their wristband product, similar to Nike+ Fuelband and Jawbone Up. The $100 Flex is less bulkier than the Nike, but wider than the Jawbone. The Flex also tracks your sleep patterns, which is a nice feature – so long as you don’t mind wearing the Flex to bed each night.

fitbit one
The tiny – but feature-rich – Fitbit One

The Fitbit One is a much smaller device that you pop into a pocket or attach to your shirt. It also tracks sleep, steps and movement. And it syncs via Bluetooth to your smartphone, avoiding direct USB tether like the Ultra device of previous years. This is the one I will be getting as it’s the least intrusive and the most feature laden. It’s also $100.

fitbit force

The Force is another wristband, but it adds a non-fitness feature that might pique interest: the display doubles as a caller ID function, letting you know who’s calling your phone. For $130, this might be a win-win for those who don’t mind a bulkier wristband to track activity and be altered who is calling.

Rundown Coverage

I did see a lot more and will do a Part 2 to cover some of my thoughts on the show and what else I saw.

For everything CES 2014, you should visit The Verge to see a good 30 or so articles they did on what they saw at the trade show.

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