CES 2017-Show Floor Wrap Up
By Angie Kibiloski
This year marked the 50th anniversary of CES, which is obviously a huge milestone. This year’s show also broke records, once again, in attendance and exhibitor numbers, further attesting to the wide success of the world’s largest technology trade show. CES expands every year, covering more and more of the Las Vegas Strip, and including companies from all around the world, both large and small. Only a few years ago, the main show floor was confined to the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, but now it fills not only the LVCC, but the Sands Convention Center too, as well as meeting rooms and suites in the Venetian, Aria, Westgate, Renaissance, and other hotels, demonstrating without a doubt the immensity of the ever growing international technology industry. You can well imagine the controlled chaos of such a massive, yet incredibly well organized event, and the undeniable excitement of being in the middle of it all. This was my 12th year attending with Computer Times, and the experience has yet to get boring. The exhibiting companies span all aspects of the industry, like smart cars, connected home devices, high-end audio, Bluetooth accessories, drones, VR/AR gaming equipment, TVs, fitness trackers, robotics, and much, much, MUCH more. Pretty much any kind of technology you can think of can be found somewhere at CES. As a final wrap up of the show, I’m going to highlight a handful of products I found on the show floor, just like I’ve done for all the Press events I’ve written about this year, to give you a little taste of what CES had to offer.
First up, let’s look at 2 fitness related companies, the first of which is TomTom. Widely knows as a GPS company, this year they’re debuting a fitness-tracking app called TomTom Sports. This app is compatible with many of their fitness wearables, including the Adventurer, Touch, Spark 3, and others. The device pictured is the Touch. The app can collate up to 12 different activities, like running, biking, climbing, and swimming, to really keep a total record of your exercise routine, no matter how diverse. You can see a history of your various sporting activities, and view your personal best in time and performance for each one. You’ll also be able to look at the route you took during your last activity, overlaid on a map, by using the GPS in your tracking wearable. Impressed with your performance one day? You can share it through social media right from the app. Not so impressed? Get helpful advice on ways to improve right there in the app. The app should release for Android and iOS near the end of January. Check out www.tomtom.com/sportsapp for more info on the app and www.tomtom.com for all of their wearable tracker products.
The other fitness brand I want to touch on is Under Armour. I know, you’re think this isn’t a tech company but a clothing company, and you would be right…a smart clothing company. They released their new line of Record Equipped shoes at the show, which connect to the MapMyFitness app to provide you with workout recommendations tailored to your personal fitness level. Just by jumping up and down, the shoes and app can measure your muscle fatigue and recovery rate, and judge what intensity your workout should be that day. The shoes never need to be charged, and they’ll even notify you when it’s time to get a new pair. They’ve also come out with the Rest Win Repeat pajamas, touted as athlete recovery sleepwear, which are said to improve the quality of your rest by using Far Infrared technology. The bioceramic print inside the clothing absorbs your body heat and reflects it back in infrared waves, which can reduce inflammation, aid in recovery, promote a more restful sleep, and regulate metabolism. See all the available styles of each apparel line at www.underarmour.com.
Now that we’ve tracked our run, swim, or hike while wearing our new connected shoes, I think we’ve earned a tasty reward. PicoBrew has been around for a couple of years now, with their easy and fun consumer level micro-brewing devices. Their Pico machine lets you brew your favorite craft beers at home in a matter of hours. This is done through the use of PicoPaks, pre-packed containers with all the ingredients to make exact replicas of your favorite brands of craft beer. This year, they’re introducing the Freestyle PicoPak, available online on their BrewCrafter page. You start with a baseline for your favorite style of beer, which you can then customize by adjust the specifications of all the various ingredients to really make it your own brew. The BrewCrafter wizard will guide you through each customization step, and even let you know if you might be creating a frothy disaster. Your personal blend of hops, grains, and whatnot will be shipped to your door, ready to be put into your Pico machine for brewing. Jump on over to www.picobrew.com and take a look for yourself, at this new customization feature as well as their great Pico machine and other brewing accessories.
What goes better with beer than some good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll? Gibson Brands showcased a variety of products this year, to help you listen to your favorite music in style, or create your own with some truly beautiful instruments and accessories. Here’s a peak at 2 product lines from their associated brands, which were housed in the vast Gibson tent at the LVCC. The Widget line of plug-and-play microphones, from Neat, offers 3 very cool designs, combined with high-quality, professional grade sound capture. Strum, plink, sing, or yodel your way to a top-notch recording with these attractive, quirky desktop mics. Philips has released new models in the EverPlay and ShoqBox Bluetooth speaker lines. Listen to your music on-the-go, with trendy looking devices in a variety of colors and cool shapes. They all have great battery life, long Bluetooth range, and strong sound output. The Philips speakers aren’t quite on the market yet, but you’ll find them at www.philips.com when they are. You can see the Widget mics at www.neatmic.com, and all of the great Gibson Brands products, including some gorgeous new electric guitar styles, at www.gibson.com.
Finally, I want to show you some new offerings from my favorite cell phone case company, Speck. Their booth always has products to please the eye and protect your devices. This year, they were featuring the Presidio GRIP and Presidio CLEAR+PRINT cases for the iPhone 7. The GRIP has an astonishing 10 foot drop protection rating, raised rubber ridges for a no-slip grip, a shock barrier, bezel screen protection, and comes in a variety of attractive colors. This is a variation on their past cases of similar style, and among my favorite designs in both form and function. The CLEAR+PRINT has an 8 foot drop rating, dual layer protection, scratch resistant finish, and is imbedded with multi-layered, eye-catching designs. I’ve always been impressed with how durable and protective their clear cases can be. They have many great cases for most popular Apple and Android phone models, and many more style lines than these 2 mentioned, so pop over to www.speckproducts.com and feast your eyes on all of them.
Obviously, this article only represents a very small selection of product categories exhibited at the show, chosen simply by what caught my attention while wandering among the seemingly endless labyrinth of show floor booths. CES is really something you have to experience to understand the sheer scope of it, but I hope that I’ve given you a little insight into the delights to be found at this amazing trade show, through the last week’s worth of articles. Congratulations to CES for making it to their 50th year, and may they have 50 more stellar years to come! If you haven’t already, check out my coverage of the 3 large Press events I attended, Discover Blue, Digital Experience, and ShowStoppers, and some of the cool products I found at each.
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