Page 2: CES2
I finally see the elusive HD-DVD drive that will mount in a computer. These high-def drives are useless right now and I suggest waiting forever until a better standard comes out without DRM and without this crazy competing standard. That being said, the amount of HD-DVD content was impressive. I read on a news post of ours that the porn industry will be supporting HD-DVD... HD wins by default.
Back to UMPCs, this ruggedized model from Switchback is built to milspec and can take a beating. It is still a product in search of a market because the battery lift is not there. The show on the screen is Future Weapons.
Seagate was showing off their new hardened hard drive in their carputer display. The device runs Windows XP Embedded, but was actually very interesting. The touch screen handles input like a dream. If you want to get to navigation from anywhere, just type an "N" on the screen. That is where things are heading.
Not everything that runs Windows is all peachy, though. The fabled smart home from Microsoft was completely thrown out the Windows in favor of a sales pitch from Best Buy. The so called smart home that they were showing was no more than some gadgets in a house and there was nothing that I saw that I would really need. The interface was also terrible. One screen would display all the devices in the house with no sorting or anything and they said it was the best thing... keep dreaming about this idea. The funniest thing about this display was that they hired actors to play parts in the house instead of having someone familiar with the product do a demonstration. It was not what I expected and I certainly will not pay Really Good Purchase $15000 for a smart home setup.
I saw a Sony sign at the international area at the Hilton... ohh. I just thought it was from Sony due to the "Battery Explosion" comment. I thought only Sony batteries exploded. The writing on many signs at the international area were hilarious. Most were companies like "Best Good Technology" or "World Mastery Technology." It was very funny to listen to a presentation in perfect English have the wrong sayings. "It will not change color or shape to what long time in any way." Imaging listening to that and not laughing.
I did see something I did want. A company was showing off a keyboard that you could individually light each key as a different color. That was one of the coolest things I have seen yet. They also showed off fans that displayed temperature readings and fan speed. I had never seen them before but they told me that they have been out for awhile. I guess I was in the dark on that.
By far the coolest thing at the show was this joystick from Novint. It provided tactile feedback in an amazing way. This is the first step to real virtual reality feedback. For instance, if you hit a solid object, the joystick would not move forward. If you were in a thick substance, the motion would be harder to move. It really was very impressive. They showed the joystick working in Half-Life 2 and it was simply amazing. I am waiting to get one to review to really test how the product works.
Aside from memory makers such as Patriot, Super Talent, Adata and others, Geil had something that really caught my interested. They showed me a concept product that would be able to take power directly from the power supply instead of from the motherboard. This means that the RAM will generate less heat and be much more stable. This is the evolution of where RAM is heading and I am glad Geil thought of this.
Well, I know I said I would provide coverage everyday but when you are having fun in Vegas, it is though to stop and write. There were many more exhibits that I would love to talk about and hopefully over the next few weeks, the companies that I talked to will be sending some cool products out for review for you that are reading to enjoy. Stay tuned because this should be an interesting year.