Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Consumer Electronics Show 2013 Day One

My first day at C.E.S. was full of all kinds of exciting things. Here are my highlights:

Dr. Wendy Walsh, Relationship Expert for CNN and author of "the 30 Day Love Detox" spoke at length about online dating. She gave advice for singles exploring a market that are looking for companionship after kids. The advice I took away: 1) Avoid a profile pic because pictures move the discussion away from a carefully crafted profile that is as detailed as possible to intrigue your soul mate. 2) Do not engage in email exchange as words invite the other party to extend their own perceptions about you as a person before you meet in person (possibly setting up disappointment). If you are interested, arrange a quick meet and greet at a coffee shop with the intention of progressing to a first date. 3) Older people are looking to find connections later in their life and embracing technology to rediscover interests that were put aside to raise family.
Panelists at the Silvers Summit
Eric Taub, writer for the New York Times, moderated a panel with current developers of SmartHome technologies. For those of you who don't know smart home technologies, it's where you can go in and have all your environmental controls, lights, and habitat controlled by something as simple as voice. The next step in this is to develop a digital means to monitor life signs or to even predict dangerous falls. All of this stuff is ideal on a bottomless budget (i.e. the 1%), but the fact is, most people won't have the access to the kinds of funds to make this a reality. There's a push by people to get Medicare to pay for all of these Smart Home innovations, which pushes the tax burden onto the american tax payer. But hey, seniors live longer so they can draw more social security, which causes medicare expenses to go up to keep them alive, and medicare and social security continue their never-ending dance with one another until people are 140 years old and still alive drawing down money and entitlements. It's really quite interesting.
I can't tell you which pavilion is more magnificent between Sony's and LG.
The LG Pavilion was filled with 3D ultra HD television sets so sharp, it's like
real life. Sony's debuted its new 4K television sets that were simply incredible.
Justin Rattner, the CTO for Intel, spoke about working with Stephen Hawking. Intel worked with the world famous astrophysicist who is paralyzed, yet still able to do things like advanced calculus in his head. Anyway, Intel went to Cambridge and studied his facial gestures of which he has three: a cheek twitch, an eyebrow raise, and a mouth raise. They want to make computers more accessible for older folks or for people (like Hawking) who really struggle with the technology because they are "differently-abled." You may find this interesting: Hawking can only do one word per minute. When you hear him speak at conferences or to respond to someone's question, that's all been done beforehand so you don't have to wait for him to answer you. The same goes for his writing...all done one word per minute via a word prediction program that tracks his eye twitch and/or movement. So what's coming? Well they're going to eliminate passwords. Intel wants to go to palm secure authentication. Skin is transparent at certain wavelengths of light, so they intend to put an emitter on a computer that can read the infrared structure of your palm. So basically, they want all computers to be more secure through better biometrics.

Finally, Nick Pudar, VP of Planning and Development with OnStar told us of the plans coming for self-autonomous cars. First off, Audi, Toyota, and GM will have them within two years. He said that within our lifetime, you will have to go to Disneyland to actually drive a car. By taking away the responsibility from consumers and employing the use of a bionic eye, more lives will be saved. It's all about safety and how the car manufacturers are taking steps to prevent automobile deaths. When they took questions, I don't think they were prepared for mine. I kinda got that "Who let the Democrat in this seminar?" look. What question would poor old Mike ask you might say? Well it went something like this: "So if cars can drive themselves, what happens to the millions of drivers who have jobs and families that depend on that income?" The answer: "Well, we think there will be resistance to this notion, but those people will be unemployed and have to find other work." So yet in America destroys jobs.
After C.E.S. got out, I went to see the Jersey Boys at the Paris Hotel and Casino. I absolutely loved it. I'll have to do a review later as this blog post is already too long. But here's a video from another show, and it's pretty much what you get at the Las Vegas one. The singing was incredible, and I knew nothing of Frankie Valli but now I'm a fan. It's just really interesting to me how four guys with such incredible talent can randomly coalesce/find each other. Who wouldn't like guys that have voices like angels?

Have a great Wednesday.


  1. "Who let the Democrat in this seminar?" LMAO! You're so lucky to have attended the convention.

  2. Not a democratic question - I like driving my car as well! That's why I hate flying - I'm not in control.
    Scanning one's hand. I can see people losing their hands over that one.

  3. Well as far as truckers go it often takes days to drive things cross-country and until there are self-refueling cars someone will need to put gas in the thing. You'd think you'd want someone in the truck anyway just to make sure things go smoothly and for security.

    Anyway, it looks like taxpayers are really getting their money's worth from sending you to this conference.

  4. Awesome! I love reading your perspective of the conference setting. And seriously, Vegas shows are among some of the best in the world. :)

  5. I don't trust programmers to write code that's error-free enough to handle any driving scenario. I've had enough recalls on cars to know car makers can't even get the simple mechanics right.

    ...I acutally, most of the recent problems with my cars have been computer-related. I say no...hell no.

  6. Generally, though, the new technology opens up as many new jobs as it destroys, so it more like a shift in the available employment, not an overall destruction.

  7. I love the idea of automated cars. My mother has macular degeneration and it's causing her to go blind. My father passed away, so my mother has to rely on family and friends whenever she needs to go anywhere. It's very depressing for her to be so dependent.
    And I just have to giggle. If you've ever read "The Medieval Machine" there is a chapter about the argument in Rome to not build the aquifers because it would put the water dippers out of work. Man adapts my friend...don't fear positive progress.

  8. Getting drived around? Maybe in my 90's. I won't ever give up my right to control my car...and my life. A very conservative viewpoint.

  9. Self driving cars scare me, but as soon as they work out the kinks I'll want one (I hate to drive).

    Did you know that the state of California is already writing legislation for these cars?

  10. I'm actually really shocked that they didn't have a better answer for your very good (yet pretty obvious) question. Also, i like driving, and i don't see myself giving that up

  11. What will they think of next? Ha, ha, ha.

    I saw 'Jersey Boys' in Vegas about 5 years ago and loved it. Good choice.

  12. Wow, what interesting ideas. I don't think my imagination is wild enough to guess where it might go. I think I like the biometric security thing.

  13. Glad you had a great time. How is it that the future is already here?

  14. I saw Jersey Boys here in Denver this last year and loved it too.

    All this incredible technology -- what a brave new world! But as for smart homes: they make sense for the handicapped, whether young or old, but the rest of us can live with setting the thermostat ourselves and turning lights on and off. I'm a tough old survivor that way.

  15. I think if I end up going to Vegas, I'll just email you before and get the list of all the hot spots!