Media Day 1 started out with excitement, led to some headache and heartache and then to some tech time
CES Media Day 1 started out full of excitement until we experienced badge issues yet again. Last year we had incorrect badge titles with Blogger, Service Provider, and Media. It took us nearly an entire day to correct this and roughly 5-6 miles of walking. This year, we thought everything was going to be different. This year CES and the Las Vegas Monorail joined forces to provide a RFID reader into the badge, preprogrammed with your Monorail ticket. Emails were sent from the Monorail company and you could purchase a week long ticket, on your badge, for $50. This is a small deal when a normal week pass is $56. We are staying at the Excalibur hotel, which has a tram to Luxor and Mandalay Bay. We need to walk to the MGM to get onto the monorail. As we were planning our day, we started with a walk to the Mandalay Bay, through the Luxor. We got there and decided that we needed to head over to the LVCC to get our media gear. We walked back to the Excalibur and then Rebecca, the 6th member of our crew arrived. We met up, got her settled into her room and planned to go towards MGM. Normally, you can use the sky bridges to walk from Excalibur to Tropicana to MGM. Well, not today. They were working on the bridge and you could not get across. Thus, we walked from Tropicana to Excalibur to New York New York and then to MGM. From there we tried to ride the monorail. Alas, my badge did not work. 2017 claimed another death, my CES Badge.
Security allowed me to board, I contacted the CES Monorail number and they said that they did not know why this was not working. I was instructed to head towards the NXP building near the LVCC. The monorail experienced a delay of about 15 minutes, with an announcement roughly every 5 minutes alerting you to this fact. We arrived at the LVCC Monorail port and then headed towards registration. They did not know where the NXP tent was located. They did not know what was wrong with my badge and alerted me to the fact that they had nothing to do with the Monorail. The people in “Ask Me’ hats again did not know any information. We walked back towards the convention center and noted an NXP sign on a tent that was being constructed. There were a group of five people standing at the tent. We politely interrupted the group, asked where we would meet the NXP crew and Ingrid noted that she was the person who we needed to talk to. She gave us her card, took photos of our badges and then talked to her Tech team. We found out that we are a day early for the CES 50th celebration and then we walked around LVCC Central Hall as they were working on construction. It appears that an extra media day was added but the work did not start any earlier.
We had CES Unveiled to attend at 5:00 pm. John, Rebecca, and Amy headed out from LVCC around 3 pm to get back to the Mandalay Bay. This year CES provided shuttles from many of the hotels to the LVCC. This proved to be very convenient, with shuttles running every 20 minutes. JD, Nick and I were at the LVCC waiting for Christophe and waiting to have our badges fixed. We had to walk back through the NXP tent, and then back through registration with Christophe. He took us back to the registration tent and again they had no idea why we were there. The media registration team stated that they had nothing to do with monorails. We then had to meet with the head of the badge department at LVCC north who instructed the registration team to re-print the badges. The three of us boarded a shuttle, headed to Mandalay Bay and arrived for the CES Unveiled 2017. For a tech conference, I have been disappointed in their utility of tech.
CES Unveiled 2017
Other than meetings at 1 pm Chrysler/Fiat and 2 pm Qualcomm, Unveiled was the only major event of the day. The crowds began to arrive about 2 hours early, our group arrived about an hour early and they were still about a hundred people behind. There were 3 rows of lines and several hundred people waiting to get into the event. Upon entry, they had open bars set up at the corners, food in the middle and 140 booths to peruse. Overall the initial impression of Unveiled was blah. There were many people who hovered to the booze and food. Others were meandering the halls and not caring about manners or personal space. We talked with many companies who were present last year and demonstrating the same gear. It seemed that good sleep was a major trend this year. 2breath Technologies Ltd @2breath4sleep had a device designed to improve sleep and to lower blood pressure. This is not a medical device, not FDA approved but provides a sedating ambiance. They do have hypertension lowering, FDA device, but this is not the 2breath device. This system works by placing a module on your chest, connected by an elastic strap. As your stomach rises and falls (diaphragm movement) the sensor links with an app and your breathing data are analyzed, The app creates a musical melody to suggest that you prolong the exhalation, which allows you to relax. The device costs about $180 dollars and can be purchased from the company website.
Another option was Dozer from sleephones (AcousticSheep LLC). The company had 2 different offerings this year. One of the options was a soft headband, fitted with comfortable headphones. The goal is to provide easy listening to promote sound sleep and healthy lifestyles. Receiving a CES 2017 innovation award nomination for the fifth straight year, the company is also working to provide you with the means to a healthy night of sleep. Dozer, the plush sheep is a motion sensing, speaker laden smart toy that is designed to help children sleep. This is currently in production and is not yet available. Sleep number was also present with their new 360 smart bed, which is designed/marketed to transform the way you sleep. With an included proprietary algorithm (powered by SleepIQ tech) the system is designed to adjust to your sleep and to promote healthy sleep. Sorra also brought a new set of LED lighting options, which link over your home’s copper wiring to create a zone. These lights filter out blue light throughout the day and replace it with violet light. This light was much better than many of the other LED options that I have seen. The blue free light is not a weird orange/yellow coloration as they have replaced it with violet. This lighting system is not yet available but will provide lighting options for you in the near future. They designed this system to be “futurable”, with bulbs lasting upwards of 5-10 years and the communication tech updating every 2-3 years. There are upgradable modules that can be inserted, which will work to enhance the environment.
Along with sleep, other medical/wearable devices were presented. I had the pleasure of talking with the CMO of Reliefband, a wearable for anti-nausea. They were at CES last year and presented a new and improved version of their device. It is exciting to have tech/devices to reduce motion sickness, nausea during pregnancy and other forms of nausea and vomiting. Another company A&D Medical are introducing a new biometric Blood pressure monitor and linking with a company that has a home monitoring biometric hub. This product links to a BP monitor, scale, fall alert, pulse oxygen levels. The product service is $50 per month. The individual components are individually purchased for a single fee, but the monitoring device itself is a rental.
Wearable tech seems to be a huge hit again at the CES 2017. From watch bands that make any watch Smart (CT Band from Rifft), to smart anti-pollution air filtered scarves from Wair (combine with Supairman app), to actiTENS device for patients in chronic pain from SUBLIMED to immersive robotics, Unveiled seemed to promote wearable tech. There were haptic feedback shoes to enhance
Unveiled proved to be a fun experience, but again it seemed to be a little underwhelming. I invite you to read additional reviews from CES 2017.