CES 2024: LVCC Show Floor
Article by Angie Kibiloski
Tech in All Directions
We’ve reached the final exhibit space of CES 2024, the show floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, spanning the massive Central, North, and West Halls, as well as spilling out into the Central Plaza outdoor lot. A good portion of the LVCC is automotive tech, which isn’t really up my street as far as coverage, though it’s always fun to roam around and goggle at the pretty concept vehicles. From the other half of the convention space, I have 5 companies I want to talk about, and a special mention celebrating a major milestone. This will all be a brief, preliminary look at each of these companies, and I’ll write more robust individual reviews in the coming months.
Feel the Game
As a gamer, there are a handful of companies’ products that I always drool over, and Razer is one such company. Their booth housed a plethora of beautiful gaming hardware and accessories, but I want to focus on one that is still in development, and also really cool. Project Esther is a haptic experience centering on a full-coverage chair cushion, customizable to fit your favorite gaming chair. The 16 haptic pads across the expanse of the cushion not only react to where you should be feeling feedback in a game, but how and from what source. For instance, during the demo I played a shooter with 4 different types of guns, and each gave me a unique type of vibration from the pads, as well as the controller in my hands. I’m a bit ambivalent about haptics, since I’ve been disappointed in that product type several times before, but Project Esther could bring me around to wanting haptics as a part of my gaming life.
Very Smart Puppy
Loona is certainly not the 1st robot dog to hit the market, but she is arguably the cutest, and has several features that made her a CES 2024 Innovation Awards Honoree. Loona is KEYi Tech‘s latest robot pet offering, and she brings a whole lot of interactive play, companionship, and smart connectivity to your home. Programmed to exhibit real dog behavior, she’ll follow humans around the house, push her ball towards them to play fetch and other games, beg with her eyes to be pet and respond joyfully when you give her a head pat, and do a variety of tricks. She recognizes gestural controls using her on-board sensors, or you can verbally give her commands. She’s also equipped with ChatGPT, opening up so much functionality and verbal communication options. Check out everything Loona has to offer, and don’t skip the adorable videos of her in action.
Powerful Connection for Creators
There’s a ton of new products coming out from j5create this year, but the one I want to highlight is the Quad HDMI Video Capture Station, which makes streaming more streamlined for creators. This interface between your computer and your recording equipment, gaming console, and other audio, image, or video sources allows you to connect and control 4 HDMI video sources at once, along with additional audio and image sources, opening up more convenience, fluidity, and dynamics during a stream. With the on-board controls, quickly switch between input sources, swap screen layout, control volume individually for each source, and mix audio right on the box. It sounds like a perfect setup for any multi-tasking video creator, and reignites my interest in venturing into that arena. The Quad HDMI Video Capture Station isn’t available quite yet, but you can read more about all it’s features on their website, and sign up to be notified when it releases.
A Camera to Covet
Nikon is obviously a leader in the industry, and any camera they launch is going to be amazing, so it’s no wonder the Z8, a more compact and slightly more consumer-accessible model than their flagship Z9 series, is worthy of admiration. It takes up to 8K UHD video, 45 MP stills with stunning colors, can deliver up to 120 fps bursts to capture that perfect split-second shot, and has a variety of file output types to suit your needs. The autofocus feature has advanced subject detection even during low light and fast movement situations, with custom focus range options and precise eye detection. With a truly extensive variety of compatible lenses, you’ll be able to capture exactly what’s in your imagination, and with a range of connectivity choices including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HDMI, you’ll be able to control and transfer the way you like as well. I truly wish I had $4K+ to drop on the Nikon Z8, because it’s a gorgeous camera with incredible features.
No Escaping AI
As I’ve mention in the past, AI is everywhere now, and so is Google, so it makes sense that Google was really pushing their AI features at CES. In their massive Central Plaza outdoor, multi-building “booth” they were showcasing a variety of Google-enabled devices, car-connectivity, and some fun ways to be creative with your devices using AI. Create an emote from any photo with Photomoji, spruce up your texts with the Magic Compose chat assistant, create generative AI wallpapers using text prompts, unlock photo editing effects beyond Magic Eraser with Google One, and easily edit videos with YouTube Create. Beyond personalization and creativity, use their AI to search for items you see in photos or videos, just by circling them onscreen with Circle Search, pull together advanced, interactive search results with Search Generative Experience, and explore some major cities in 3D with the new Immersive View in Google Maps. Now, if Google would just give me an AI assistant robot based on one of their Bugdroid characters I’d be a very happy girl.
Century of CTA
Finally, I’d like to say Happy 100th Birthday to the CTA! The Consumer Technology Association is the company behind CES, and they’ve been bringing tech to the forefront of society for 100 years now, though not always under that name. In fact, CTA is the 6th moniker the organization has adopted, as the technology landscape has evolved, starting life as the RMA (Radio Manufacturer’s Association) way back in 1924. There were multiple 100 Years displays around CES, but I learned that fun fact in the coolest one, welcoming you inside the entrance of the Central Lobby of the LVCC, in which the 2nd zero was a tunnel lined with illuminated panels outlining milestones in tech and the CTA’s history. Other interesting milestones in their history include the 1st CES in 1967, held not in Las Vegas but New York, Closed Captioning being signed into law in 1990, with the FCC adopting the CTA‘s standards, and their contribution to the FAA that led to the development of airplane mode in 2012. I wonder what the CTA will do with their next 100 years?
Looking Forward to More
As I round out my main CES 2024 coverage, I’m realizing just how much cool tech was at the show this year, both from what I’ve mentioned in my 5 wrap-up articles, and a lot more that I didn’t have time or space to include. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on quite a few of these products and bringing you full reviews as they hit the consumer market. If anything I’ve mentioned here, or in my CES Unveiled, Digital Experience, ShowStoppers, or Venetian Show Floor articles sounded interesting to you, please check back for more in-depth coverage in the near future.