The holidays are over and it's a new year, so that can only mean one thing: the Consumer Electronics Show. Holiday bonuses have been spent, and people are trying to cut back on eating and simply relax, but James Park and I hopped on a plane, cleaned up and set out to schmooze with tech geeks hoping to sell their latest gadget, gorge over free food, and pack in tens of miles up and down the Las Vegas strip and around showroom floors.
CES opened in full swing first thing this morning, but James and I hit up Pepcom's preshow Digital Experience event last night at the Mirage.
Companies both big and small set up shop in a somewhat more intimate setting with news and product for 2009. Some notable product sightings (and an observation):
- 3M's nifty pocketsize projectors
- Hillcrestlabs's new TV interface (think: your remote turned mouse on a more intuitive TV menu)
- More and more Facebook-, Youtube- and Myspace-compatible devices
- Enough with the digital photo frames already! They were neat two years ago, but there's nothing new or innovative about them now.
- Smaller and smaller notebooks, including adorable netbooks from Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo
One unfortunate observation was the number of ill-prepared booth reps. I'll give them that maybe they're feeling sluggish after the holidays--James and I even passed on our first company-sponsored penthouse after-party last night--but I'd suggest they pay more attention to Entrepreneur. I just wrote an article about the very topic of trade show preparedness in the fall 2008 issue of Entrepreneur's Startups magazine (check it out here).
All in all, it was a good start to the week that will surely be full of action ... via consumer electronics, that is. (I can't speak for those attending the adult entertainment convention also running in Vegas this week.) James and I ended the night with some promising leads, handfuls of business cards, photos of new products (and some booth girls courtesy of James) and full bellies.
Stay tuned as we check in with exciting CES news over the next few days.