It’s nice to have friends in high places. High-rolling places like Las Vegas are even better. I have one who is attending this year’s Consumer Electronics Show 2012 in Sin City. He has his ear to the ground, his eye on the ball, and his nose in the air. Very hard to do simultaneously, but he’s a pro. And he has a twitter account…my own personal ‘inside’ guy. The event kicks off this Thursday and the buzz word is Microsoft. That’s because there’s been a paradigm shift in the electronosphere from hardware to software…making this the season of the app. Yep, staid old Microsoft may be the game changer and they’re barely making an appearance at the show. In fact, many big name companies are keeping a low profile because the show timing doesn’t gel with their product release dates. Having said that, 2700 exhibitors will be there with 140,000 attendees. And that in itself makes C.E.S. 2012 a very B.F.D.!
Microsoft, after some brutal attempts at cracking the smart-phone market, has finally scored. They’ve teamed up with Nokia and HTC with their paned platform that works seamlessly with AT&T’s rapidly improving 4G network. The phones are the first to be designed exclusively for a North American market and are reported to be blazingly fast and insanely simple to use. Replacing icons with panes and creating a universe of productive business apps could very well make it a must have. Critics are raving, but nothing will ever match the consumer tsunami that accompanied the release of Apple’s first iphone. C.E.S. 2012 is also displaying 75 new Windows based ultra notebooks. Many as thin as, if not thinner than, the MacBook Air. One is even purported to be made of glass. At this show thin is in! LG’s 55″ OLED TV is only 4mm’s thick and wieghts just 7.5 kilograms – wow! They also have a voice recognition device so you won’t have to fiddle with a remote, unless you’re chowing through a bag of chips. LG is also working on a refrigerator that will communicate with you while your grocery shopping. “Dude, we’re almost out of yogurt and the lettuce is looking skanky…and don’t forget the beer!” Awesome.
Other fun stuff includes Samsungs latest generation of TV’s which will offer face-recognition that will bring up your favorite apps when you turn on the set. They will come pre-installed with Angry Birds, giving you a chance to kill life-sized green pigs on the larger screens. Panasonic and NBC have announced they will broadcast this years Summer Olympics in 3D…giving you a unique look at athletes long-jumping right into your living room. Cobra iradar Detector is offering up new apps to blend your car and blue-tooth smart phone into a hands-free invisible speed-trap locater which can be shared with family and friends. Available now on iphone and later this spring on Androids. (This will be huge for my pirate mates who will be gunning for their driver’s licenses a little over a year from now). OnLive, a new start-up company, is also demonstrating a new app that will allow you to run a Windows desktop on you Apple ipad, including an office suite of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel with 2 gigs of storage provided by OnLive. Ford and Mercedes will be there exhibiting the future of the well-connected car. And be on the lookout for some annoucements about credit card thin computing smartphones.
The future of gadgetry is alive and well at C.E.S. 2012. But nothing excites this closet geek more than Chaotic Moon Lab’s 30 mile-per-hour skateboard, powered by Microsoft Kinect technology. You use your hands and a built in Kinect screen to stop/start and steer. I would so want to challenge my pirate mates on this one, especially the competive Rock. (you’re going down, kid!!) It would be so cool zipping around the forest trails on our pirate treasure hunts. And then breaking away for an ice cream run. Take a look at the video and dream on.