Consumer Electronics Show sans hoverboard

by Cam Clark

Last month I got the chance to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. CES is so huge that it is hard to comprehend even after going. It’s 28 football fields of consumer electronics – a geek’s paradise. I spent three days walking the floors and was only able to cover 3/4 of the entire show. Any more and my feet would have fallen off or my eyes would have exploded.

consumer electronics show
One of my favorite areas at the show was the personal health and fitness area. Health and fitness happens to be a personal passion of mine, so combining that with electronic gadgets completely sucked me in.

Taking a look at products like Nike Fuel, MotoACTV, Fitbit and BodyBugg, Wi-Fi Smart Scales and Lose It!, among many others, I started to see a trend toward allowing average people to collect large amounts of accurate data on themselves. Using devices and applications like these will allow you to be able to build a personal profile of all the health-related parts of your life.

You can track your weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, caloric intake and output, and sleep patterns among others. With the help of Application Programming Interfaces (API) in the very near future, all of these devices will start to talk to each other, and you will be able to share this info with your doctor, personal trainer, or family.

consumer electronics show
Another amazing concept at CES was the idea of 3D printing at home. They’ve taken something that for years has been reserved for manufacturing companies with large piles of cash and produced it at a cost in the range of the normal human. Now, home inventors can make rapid prototypes. Missing a piece to your favorite board game? Print one. Your kid’s favorite action figure broke a limb? Print a new one. I personally think 3D printing is as big a deal as color printing.

Not everything at CES was earth-shattering. A lot was ho-hum and some things were just plain weird. Take for example the concept of Celebrities and Booth Babes. If I mention the names 50 Cent, Justin Bieber and Xzibit, images of stadiums or music venues may pop into your head. What if I told you that they were how some companies tried to draw people into their booths at the world’s largest electronics show. In my opinion, it was kind of odd.

consumer electronics show
Now, picture some extremely good-looking women prancing around in skimpy outfits and you may start to think of a beach in Brazil, a club in Miami or the red-light district in Amsterdam. But in the context of CES, you have yourself a “Booth Babe,” beautiful women strategically placed to catch the eye of the wandering geek. Sadly, it works. Unfortunately, no matter how strong the frontal cortex of a man, the reptilian brain is a force to be reckoned with.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time at CES and look forward to the experience again at some point. I’m still hoping that one of these years, I’ll finally get my hoverboard.