Despite the slowing economy, the show must go on and CES 2009 came and went with a few obvious differences.
As with previous shows, the wait for a cab is typically a nightmare. This show was different, Last year I had to wait over 2 hours to get a cab from the airport to my hotel. The queue was a nightmare wherever you went, but in 2009 with less attendees, it was the cabs who ended up waiting in line for a fare.
Opening day did not have its stampede of media, exhibitors, vendors, sales reps, or consumers but the event was still well traveled. According to Jeff Bertoluci of PC World:
"Last week's tech gadget extravaganza in Sin City drew an estimated 110,000 attendees, down 22 percent from last year's audited total of 141,150, according to the Consumer Electronics Association." Read more here.
Some of the big players opted for intimate meetings within luxurious hotel suites, as opposed to expansive booths. This made more practical sense for Photo Companies, being that PMA 2009 is just around the corner in March.
These are my observations and delights from CES 2009. A few pointers for those who intend to visit in the future:
1. Research beforehand, the products you are interested in and their locations within the convention hall.
2. Attack with a strategy and a plan each day. If you wander around aimlessly you may leave the convention feeling that you don’t remember a thing.
3. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Otherwise, by days end you might find yourself pretty exhausted.
Here are a random collection of things I found interesting at the show…
I really enjoyed the LG booth, a nice display and layout drew a heavy crowd.
LED flat panels were all the rage. It seemed that the bulk of the show was a showdown between who makes the best Flat Panel TV, with everyone claiming to be the "thinnest."
Wireless flat panels for the computer. I started to wonder... at the rate at which these monitors are going ever so thin, where do you keep the wires? LG's solution was to make there flat panels with wireless connectivity, save for the power cord.
I found the Sling Media booth and their "Sling" box to be one of the most interesting items. It basically allows the user the ability to control their DVR device from anywhere in the world via Computer or mobile phone.
Since I am often traveling abroad, and miss my favorite TV show "House" or the NFL season, this device allows me to watch these shows real time, or at my leisure via recording and viewing over a high speed internet connection. So, no matter where I am in the world, I can sulk at any moment watching my beloved Cowboys fall deeper into collapse.
the Slingbox Solo
the LENSPEN original:
A photographer's tool which may prove to be indispensable. One of the most effective ways to clean your optics.
Why I love the lenspen:
1. Safe: use on all optical lenses, LCD, plasma, and glass surfaces
2. Effective: nothng removes oily fingerprints and dust better
3. Convenient: compact size, no liquids, and easy to use
4. Custom Design: unique designs and shapes for each application
5. Long Life: Cannot dry out, unaffected by temperature and each pen has a lifespan of up to 500 cleanings.
With a patented carbon compound, the secret is in the chamois tip. The carbon molecles have a unique ability to absorb huge amounts of oils and contaminants.
-from the Lenspen press kit.
Golla personal electronics bags from Finland:With a standout booth presence and clever looking bags Golla made a great first impression with innovative bag design and progressive colors.
Some really refreshing items from the innovators at PENTAX:
With the female market consciously in mind, and keeping along with forward minded direction, Pentax Imaging has come up with a nifty little gem that had mixed reception when announced a few months back, but I'm sure will prove to exceed all expectations this sales year and cater to a wider market then initially planned.
The K2000 and more specifically the white K2000, affectionately dubbed the "stormtrooper's camera" might draw a following from Star Wars geeks, Hobbyist Moms, and simply everyone who wants to be unique. Going along with Pentax USA's new tagline, be interesting... this little tech marvel is truly an interesting tool, gadget, or accessory.
The Pearly White K2000, 18-55, & 50-200
My thoughts on the K2000...
"It has rapidly become my most favorite camera to travel and shoot with. Its compact, its simple to use, but able-bodied enough to have pro features that a seasoned veteran would require. As a travel-lifestyle photographer, its refreshing to know that i can travel with a kit so small and lightweight. Couple the K2000 with a set of DA Pancake Limiteds and you have enough tools to get the job done." -MD
Here is a quote from Nilay Patel over at endgadget:
"Let's just say this straight out: the white Pentax K2000 is one of the hottest DSLRs we've ever seen. It's seriously lustworthy. Considering how great the reviews have been, we'd say it's definitely worthy of a spot on your list if you're in the market."
one of my favorite shots with the k2000:
The Pentax Optio P70
The lightest Optio in the Pentax line, with 12 mega pixels and wide angle coverage (28-112mm) this ultra slim pocket cam is well built with a durable feel. The white p70 would be the perfect companion to the white K2000
Finally, a return to my hotel for some relaxation...
Relaxing at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas.