Repetition. There was a lot of it at CES 2016 this year. Multiple booths claiming to be the first, the best, the most innovative, but mostly they were about 300 feet from another product that made the same claims.

The TV announcements were all about bigger, better, blacker, more pixels, and claiming they were absurdly thin while having a non-detachable base that added at least an inch and a half to thickness.

Press day, which was Tuesday, there wasn’t much I was particularly wowed by. Huiwei had some nice looking smart smartwatches, but there was not much new inside and it was mostly that they looked like a fashion piece as opposed to what tech companies generally claim a fashion piece is.

Over the course of CES I saw about 20 other small time watch manufacturers who had watches that looked similar.

All the TVs looked nice that I saw this year. This is the first year I can remember where the colorblind man couldn’t tell that the colors were messed up. Last year I saw a wall of flat screens all with reds that didn’t match the reds on the next TV over.

Floating speakers

Floating speakers are here and they all (that I saw,) suffer from the same problem – the floating part needs taken off and charged. They all seem to function via magnets with similar polarity that just keep the things floating a few inches in air. What really needs to happen is that when they’re not in use the base pulls the magnets back a bit allowing the floating speaker to charger on a plate, or via Qi, and then those things will be complete.

Every sort of tracker imaginable is out. Fitness. Baby. Dog. There’re more heat sensors than you can shake a stick at. Asthma warning devices your child wears and you get a warning even if they’re not around you. Individual muscle group trackers.

Star Wars headsets

Multi gigabit over air, larger hard drives, home personal raid NAS systems with Amazon-backed cloud storage. A Siri like system in a toy dinosaur for kids. Star Wars everything. USB rechargeable batteries. Drones that could lift humans. Battery packs that can charge your phone or run a laptop.

VR cases where you put your phone into them and suddenly you’re magically transported to the world of not particularly impressive VR seemed to be the standard. One company I saw had a fairly good one that had some sort of gear in the headset that made things smoother, but they wouldn’t tell me about it until the patent application was in so no idea there.

The biggest thing I think that CES attendees came away with from VR glasses was pinkeye. Nobody was wiping these things down. It was not a pleasant thought.

Several companies had the idea to make an intercepting DSP to make things sound better. One was for HDMI and the claim was that you wouldn’t have to change the volume more than once (and it seemed to work extremely well,) and another couple that worked by intercepting headphone lines to make a very interesting sound.

Audio Spotlight

There were also some extremely directed speakers there that you could not hear outside of their beaming range. These were neat. Samet ech they have in some museums is now available for your house.

There were many telepresence bots there, and I had a chance to talk with Edward Snowden if I wanted, but I ended up collapsed in the main hall of CES too tired to move when it was time to be there, and I had nothing interesting to ask.

Clean air planterCleaner indoor air was a huge percentage of what was there. There’re multiple systems out there to clean, monitor, and report on air quality. One of the simplest ideas I saw for a filter involved pushing air into a planter base and letting a plant deal with it. Just add water. No filters, very few parts to break.

It’s pretty much something you could do at home with a fan and some ingenuity, however this had schedules, and could tell you how bad your air was beforehand.

Modular cell phones made a couple of appearances. Things you could piece together for yourself. Interesting idea, no comment on it.

My favorite product name had to be the Grand Pa’d (or similar,) which was a tablet designed for non-techies.

Kube, Koob, Cub3, and a variety of companies named “Cube” once again made an appearance. This is a running joke for me as a note from a couple of years back when there were four companies named cube, or similar, selling the same product.

There was a guided meditation headset called Muse that as near as I can tell actually worked. I’ve never actually had one of these work before, but it was responding to how I was directing it. I dug it.

XcooterThe absolutely worst named product and picture combo has to be from a company called the Xcooter.

I know what they were going for, but the slang here hurt so hard. Multiple people were giggling. It was an event in and of itself.

“Oh it looks like an X and… oh dear” was my favorite.

If you don’t have a filthy mind or known any eight year olds, this is what a cooter is.

FLIR gave me some product to play with. Actually will be playing with that today looking for the series of air leaks in my basement that are making my house miserable to heat.

Daft Punk Speakers

Someone made some cameras or speakers that looked like Daft Punk.

Boogie Board is amazing. I’ll get into that sometime. Mostly just a smart-ish sketch pad.

More later…