I generally stay away from thinking about CES until the week is up and I can look at the big picture. For all the whining that goes on about FUD in the Information Security industry nowhere is there more hype and hyperbole than the annual consumer electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas. Here is our take on the events and products highlighted at this years CES event.
The annoying marketing gone crazy technology looking for a problem award goes to 3D TV
This year it seems everyone was talking about 3D TV's with CNet, Engadget and others all talking about 3D tv's like they were the second coming of Christ. I'm not sure who's good graces they were trying to get into but let me say what everyone else is secretly thinking: 3D TV's are stupid. Despite the obviousness of this, it didn't stop CES from announcing the Panasonic VT25 as "Best in Show". It just doesn't make sense to make everything we watch 3D. I don't want to watch the evening news, Old School or any movie with Matthew McConaughey in 3D. Ever.
And then there are the glasses. If you don't have glasses on, then you get a headache. Anyone who walks in the room while you are watching a 3D show is going to get insta-frustrated. Oh and you look like a total idiot. The only reason this works in a theater is because everyone looks like an idiot so everyone keeps their mouth shut.
No, no one is going to run out and buy a new TV for this unless they have money to burn. Here is the big secret however that no one wants you to know, every TV will soon be a 3D "capable" TV and if your TV can refresh faster than 96Hz already (ideally 120Hz), it might already be ready (the HDMI 1.4 requirement might be a hiccup). This feature is going to be thrown in for free by the end of the year and right now is just a marketing gimmick to justify the cost of higher end TV's. I expect Vizio to be carrying 3D capable TV's at Costco around the middle of the year for the same price you would pay today for a regular TV. Unless of course the TV manufacturers try and create some sort of 3D hardware standards monopoly which is likely because that's just what hardware companies do. For example everyone is pushing their "Full HD 3D" solution which requires shutter glasses vs. the cheap things you wore when you saw Avatar 3D at the IMAX theater last weekend.
The real winners here will likely end up being the content providers who will try and sell you 3D versions of movies you already have.
The totally pointless but yet I want one so bad award goes to the Parrot AR.Drone
You know something is going to be a success when people are already talking about all the scary things you can do with something and the Parrot AR.Drone has all kinds of awesome scary tricks. Like hovering outside your neighbors windows recording video all controlled by your iPhone scary. The moment you can equip these things with missiles is when I suspect the fun will come to an end but until then, I want one. Unless this product ends up being somehow fatally flawed and not living up to the hype expect every kid on the planet to be begging their parents for one. Parents everywhere are going to be rushing out to get these things too because they all secretly want this thing as well.
The should have gotten more attention because it's going to change our life award goes to the RCA Airnergy Power System
Two words: Wireless Power. The RCA Airnergy system sucks up WiFi signals and turns it into electrical current. Let me say that again. WiFi signals go in, power comes out. Despite making everyone suddenly get worried that the WiFi signals in their house are frying their brain (it doesn't, chill out) the idea of wireless power has the potential to change our lives forever. Think about the sort of devices that become possible when you suddenly don't have to worry about plugging them in or charging them. I suspect this product is only the beginning of a whole series of new technologies that will branch out to absorb all kinds of energy and convert it to power. Despite the utter coolness and trans-formative nature of this technology it's getting almost no attention right now. This either means it's too good to be true or people just can't believe it. Kudos to Engadget for also saying what was also on everyone else's mind: The Airnergy gives RCA a reason to exist.
And the best of CES award goes to...
The product that is going to make the entire CES event seem like a distant and pointless memory, the upcoming Apple tablet. According to John Paczkowski over at AllThingsD the announcement is planned for January 27th 2010. I still stand by my predictions that I made back in August as well as my expectations that the new tablet will be called the Apple MacBook Touch. Stay tuned!