Electronic Design

Surviving CES

My trip to the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) started out with a bang, literally. The van I took from the airport got into a fender bender (Fig. 1). While I did eventually make it to CES in one piece, surviving on the show floor was another thing. The show, as usual, was massive. It kicked off with keynotes from Microsoft’s Bill Gates (who has supposedly given his last CES speech) and Intel’s Paul Otellini, who prognosticated about Internet connectivity, embedded devices, and opportunities that are on the horizon. And it spanned two spaces: the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Convention Center. That but only tells part of the story, since there were four halls in the Sands alone. I spent an entire week at the show and didn't get a chance to see everything. Many of the booths could have been called shows in their own right. Big companies like Samsung (Fig. 2) had spaces the size of tech shows. When a pair of these areas were adjacent to each other, dark corridors resembling back alleys that you wouldn't want to venture down formed. The main exhibit halls contained lots of new technologies like Sony’s thin, XEL-1 OLED HDTV (Fig. 3) and LG’s 3D display (Fig. 4). Some, like the $2500 XEL-1, are available now, while others are hints of things to come. Off the show floor, there were suites and private booths that spanned many venues including hotels and convention sites. I exhausted quite a bit of shoe leather, monorail tickets, and cab rides to hit only a fraction of these. At Analog Devices' suite, I received a demo of Xsens’ Moven Intertial Mocap Suit (Fig. 5) that utilizes intertial MEMS sensors and ADI's Blackfin processor. It provides real-time positional feedback that can be used in a range of applications from movie animation and special effects to biomechanical modeling. I’ll save most of the details for the reviews, but a few things stood out, like the brainwave-controlled robot from Ologic (Fig. 6) and Buglab’s BUGbase (Fig. 7). This mobile, battery-operated device is a prototyper’s dream. It accepts up to four modules and there are a host on the way. Other products that I was able to explore and tinker with as I survived CES have also made it to the reviews section, which you can check out below. Keep checking back for more posts. REVIEWS A Must-Have UMPC Add-On CES 2008 Display Technology

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