CES 2011 Opening Day Report
I started my day in the South Hall where a booth featuring Kenmore products caught my eye. There is a trend here toward more “smart” appliances like washing machines and refrigerators that are connected to an in house control network like a ZigBee-based net or outside the home allowing remote monitoring, control and maintenance. Control4 was also showing off a lot of partners’ products in their home control network. It looks like someday everything in your home will be controlled by a smartphone or tablet app.
Third Party 3D Glasses
Another trend I noticed was the emergence of third party 3D glasses. Companies like Marchon3D and Blick are offering designer 3D glasses. Oakley announced 3D glasses last year. Marchon was just awarded a patent on their special “curved” glasses. A company called Volfoni was showing some “universal” active shutter glasses that work with most popular sets and cost less than manufacturers’ glasses. Could this be a sign the 3DTV market is gaining acceptance?
3DTV Everywhere You Look
Speaking of 3DTV, there was lots of it to look at. LG had 3D OLED displays which looked quite good. They also had a large UHD (ultra high definition) display running in 3D. Toshiba is pushing their glasses-free TVs but personally it didn’t look ready for prime time to me – difficult to keep your eyes lined up and lots of blurry moments.
The Show That Stole Macworld Expo
The iLounge pavilion for Apple accessories is huge this year. This is more like Macworld Expo than the one in San Francisco. So many iPhone cases and add-ons from lots of suppliers, I thought the silicone rubber acoustic amplifiers were clever and there were lots of fun iPod Nano watch bands too.
I finished up the first official day of the show at ShowStoppers, the press-only expo where over a hundred vendors show their products to the press. One of the cooler products I saw there was called Videosurf that is sort of Shazam for video. You point your phone at the TV, send a clip to their service and get back lots of information about what you’re watching. Yurbuds had some innovative earbuds that felt good and sounded good. The Slingbox will have a competitor soon from Monsoon Multimedia. The Vulkano does everything the Slingbox does for a lot less money. A novel product from PixelOptics caught my eye (haha). They offer technology that allows a pair of glasses to turn on and off the “reading” glass magnifier part of the glasses. I’ll have a more complete report on CES with lots of fun videos in a few days.

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