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Day One at #CES2014: Televisions, televisions, televisions and a time-traveling Delorean

D1-1 Shane by logo

Walking the Floor

In the morning, I really just spent my time getting my bearings. The convention is actually located in numerous locations here in Las Vegas. The main location is the Las Vegas Convention center use off the Strip, and many of the big-name keynotes are at the Las Vegas Hotel right next door. I was bummed to miss Marissa Mayer’s first Yahoo! Keynote in the afternoon, but it sounds like her announcements were pretty tame (although the new Yahoo Smart TV app that I demoed look really slick). There are numerous other events being held in many casinos around town as well, and that’s probably where I’ll focus my time on Thursday.

Despite press hyping this as the year of the Internet of Things, it’s really surprising how subtle the focus is on connected devices and, especially, wearables. I think I still have a hall or two to go through, so maybe they’re here, but it’s not obvious that these are supposed to be the hot items this year. The only big announcement I’ve heard of was Pebble’s upgraded version of their watch, but even that seems evolutionary rather than revolutionary. That’s what I’ll be on the hunt for tomorrow.

In the afternoon, I continued to be shocked at how focused the big brands are on innovations in the television space. Everyone has a Curved Screen Ultra HD set this year, and many are rolling out bendable OLED sets as well. Of them all, I’ve been most impressed with the sets from Samsung – the picture quality seems a tad better than everyone else, and their sets are just beautiful.

D1-2 wall of curved TVs

 

Awesome Audi

Audi has an awesome display this year, too. It was packed in their booth area, so I was only able to sneak in to snap a few pictures of their new in-car computer/nav system. Looks really, really cool, especially when combined with an airplane throttle-like steering wheel. I plan to go back for more insight on that before I leave.

D1-3 Audi steering

 

An eye-opening, custom  approach to TV content

 

D1-4 wall-sized TV D1-5 glasses for wall tv

A main focus area of Sony’s impressive booth space was a gigantic panoramic screen displaying a Spain vs. Brazil World Cup match. What they showed was amazing to an avid sports fan like me –the entire segment of play with the entire futbol pitch on screen, at all times. I loved it – it gives the viewer a distinct sense of actually seeing the match in person, and you can follow the flow of the game however you’d like.

With the capability to select different viewing angles based on what you want to follow, this would be a home-run way to watch a sporting event. The TV itself isn’t realistic, but my guess is we’ll be able to watch the Super Bowl or World Cup like this in the next 5 years.  They also highlighted some goggles, which essentially flashed up the closed captioning of the match, but they didn’t add to the experience at all and were just lame.

Side note: unless I haven’t found it yet, the Playstation 4 was nowhere to be found here at CES. I’m kinda shocked by that.

 

Doc Brown arrives in the Delorean

I closed the evening by stumbling into a fun little event – Gibson Guitar’s use of Christopher Lloyd as celebrity trade show pitch man. Kinda dorky, but was fun to see the old Back to the Future Delorean (with Flux Capacitor & Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor!) roll up and to have Doc Brown jump out 10 feet in front of me.

D1-6 Gibson guitar

 

Don’t forget to follow me on the @cmithun Twitter handle for more real-time updates on my time here at CES, and if you like just a bit more snark to your tweets, I’m sharing random observations of convention life and general nerddom at @snibbor.

 

This is the second post about CES 2014 by Shane Robbins, group account director; find his other observations here:

 

 

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