The Coolest Things I Saw at CES 2017

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Compared to what I checked out at the Las Vegas show, televisions, phones and drones were not that exciting.

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1. Hello, Vegas

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2. VR continues to amaze

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3. Not a pinball wizard

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4. Solar powered

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5. Through the lenses

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6. Morphin' time

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7. Tiny 'Bad Dudes'

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8. Cool rides

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9. Balancing act

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10. Wunderbar

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11. Holy 3-D printed!

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12. A sexy ride

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13. The future of carpooling?

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14. Bring on the future

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15. Indiegogo on wheels

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16. Virtual dork

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17. Nap time

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18. Oh, hello

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19. That's smart

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20. Smart gym

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21. Life saver

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22. Check

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23. Pollutants, keep out

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24. Randi and I

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25. CES at 50

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As much as you read or hear about CES 2017, nothing really quite prepares you for the show.

The techology conference is huge in scale -- it takes up three halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Expo and a few of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. That is a lot of new flashy things.

And, oh, were things flashy. There were, of course, new televisions, computers and mobile devices. But there were also cars, motorcycles and at least one boat.

Click through the image gallery to see what I thought were the most memorable. (Note, that I am one person and couldn't possibly see much of what CES offers, so treat this like the subjective view it is.)

The view from my hotel room on Wednesday, Jan. 4. The calm before the storm.

HTC Vive held a press conference later that day. One thing the company showed off was a training simulation for firefighters, using a firehouse connected to one of its new trackers.

Related: CES 2017: HTC Wants to Drive the VR Revolution -- and It Needs Your Help

One of my first stops on the opening day of the show, Jan. 5, was Stern Pinball's booth.

Related: Why Running a Business Is a Lot Like a Game of Pinball

I randomly met Adrian Solgaard, an entrepreneur who successfully crowdfunded a solar-powered backpack.
During my interview with the founder of Vuzix, I tried out the company's new augmented reality glasses, the Blade 3000, for the consumer market.
Qualcomm had a huge presence at the show, as its technology is in smartphones and vehicles. A power ranger from the upcoming movie appeared at its booth.
I was enamored by these little arcade machines by My Arcade (formerly Dreamgear).
I was surprised by the number of cool cars at CES. Here is an autonomous Ford Focus prototype.
Honda unveiled a motorycle with Riding Assist technology, which allows it to stay upright even when no one is on it.
Volkswagen showed off its gorgeous self-driving I.D. vehicle.
This stunner was apparently 3-D printed by Divergent 3D.
Divergent 3D also showed off this motorycle.
This electric and automous vehicle from China's UiSee is kind of dorky, but looks practical. The seating goes around a curve, and you can watch the road on a monitor inside.

Toyota's Concept-i vehicle features artificial intelligence, and uhh, sorry, I'm totally distracted by how cool this car looks.

Related: The Most Innovative and Eye-Catching Cars of CES 2017

While interviewing the CEO of Indiegogo, I was introduced to, from left: Dr. Jay Sung of EcoReco Corp., maker of an electric scooter; Tim Ryan of Modobag, creators of a rideable suitcase; and Phil LaBonty of Cycleboard LLC, another electric scooter maker. All three companies successfully raised money for these products on the crowdfunding platform.
Virtual reality is amazing, but wearing large, heavy headsets on your face isn't. Chinese Dlodlo VR showed off a prototype of Dlodlo V1, which looks like a pair of sunglasses. The headset, which connects to PCs and smartphones, worked fairly well on the show floor, but there are definitely some kinks to work out. There's no word from the company on how much it will cost or when it will be released, but I'll be on the lookout for it.
CES can get pretty exhausting, so I understand why dudes were just straight up sleeping in Skyworth's booth.

I made my way over to Eureka Park, the section of CES dedicated to smaller companies. 

I was struck by the cute design of REMI, a crowdfunded alarm clock "that goes to sleep with your little one and wakes up with them in the morning."

Don't want to buy a smartwatch? Consider a smart band from CT Band. The strap's small screen displays information such as steps taken, heart rate and notifications from your phone.
This thing looks like a good solution for travelers or those with limited space. The Move It is an exercise kit that features an ab wheel, pushup stand, resistance band and jump rope. But here's the twist: The set features smart handles that connect to each of the aforementioned pieces and tracks your exercise in an accompanying app.
I have ridden a motorcycle and am going snowboarding next month, so I definitely see the need for In&motion. The company has created a vest that deploys an airbag when its algorithms detect an imminent fall. Currently, In&motion has vests for skiers and riders of motorcycles and horses.
Aatur Mehta, co-founder of Infivention Technologies (right), shows off Square Off, a crowdfunded chess board that allows you to play against artificial intelligence or against anyone in the world with the board or on the Playchess server. How? Well, you move the pieces, your opponent moves theirs and then the pieces move by themselves on the board. It's like being in a haunted house!

I'd like to visit Beijing sometime soon, but I'm worried about the city's horrible pollution. Wair may be an answer. The scarf features a filter and a sensor that monitors pollution and can even offer routes to avoid bad air via an accompanying app.

Related: Razer's 3-Screen Laptops Stolen From CES Booth

I had the opportunity to interview Randi Zuckerberg in American Greetings booth. The booth surprised me and was my favorite thing at this year's CES (I'll explain why in another article). 
CES celebrated its 50th anniversary with this show, and people were encouraged to write messages on this sign. Attending the conference was an interesting experience that featured cool products and the people behind them, but it did get to be too much. I'm glad to be home in the totally quiet New York City!

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