CES 2012 please … wait … for …. me!


Well I should be reporting live from CES 2012 right now rather than the Medford Oregon Airport where fog kept me from leaving yesterday for CES Las Vegas, the world’s premier consumer electronics show held every January.

I was supposed to be reporting live over at our Retirement blog from this morning’s keynote at the Silvers Summit, the CES Venue for the intersection of retirement and technology.

If I DO ever manage to get out – we’re not going to make our new 9:15am departure – I’ll have a lot of new pictures and technology content a several of the blogs:

CES 2012 at Technology Report will be the main tech reporting from the conference.

CES 2012 at the Retire USA Retirement Blog will feature some of the technology of special interest to those over 50.   Over 50 is hardly a “senior” in my view, but that’s the cutoff for AARP and the Silvers Summit.   In fact I think we need a new name for those of us over 50 and I don’t think “seniors” or even “silvers” is really the right angle here.    What’s next, the “Ripe” generation?

I’ll also be posting a bit at Las Vegas Blog, LasVegas1.   I’m staying downtown at the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas’ oldest venue at One Fremont Street.   Looking forward to the history as well as the relaxed feel of the downtown area, which has undergone a fair amount of rennovation and remodelling over the past decade in an effort by the downtown hotels to capture some of the shiny luster of the strip, which has been  “the” Las Vegas for most tourists for some time now.

CES 2010 Coverage at Technology Report


The show is over and I’m back home in lovely rural Oregon, which is a lot like Las Vegas … if you take away the mega Casinos, lavish hotels, hundreds of national class restaurants, 24/7 dining, hundred-million-dollar theaters, zombie gamblers, throngs of people, massive convention centers, and the nasty city underbelly you find just away from the fancy venues.

For the next several days I’ll be writing up the show from the approximately 400 pictures I took of CES 2010 and Las Vegas over the past week.   That coverage will mostly be over at Technology Report

Although I tend to see things through Web 2.0 colored glasses I really think CES 2010 this year was really pushing the 3D TVs (skeptical of how well consumers will receive this) while ironically much more powerfully showcasing something something that cannot be directly sold – social networking and global device connectivity.

Tim O’Reilly and others have talked about “Web 3.0” which some see as a device-O-sphere  where our computers, cameras, phones, household appliances, cars, etc are all streaming data into online environments where that information can be used by other applications in a variety of ways.    I think we are very close to having the technical ability to do that, and soon we’ll see a lot more websites and other computerized ways to process and learn from that data stream.

Obviously there’s a downside in terms of the fact our personal drivacy is being eroded away but that ship has sailed and I’m optimistic that the Device-O-Sphere will bring us far more efficient ways to use our resources and time.

Inefficiency is massive in all sectors of the world and I think the folks who are fretting far too much about looming catastrophes from things like global warming should be spending a lot more of their valuable time helping to engineer systems that create energy and resource efficiencies by

1.  Finding the waste and 2. eliminating some of that waste.

FYI – start with your conventional water heater – for most turning it down a few degrees won’t create a noticeable change yet it will save more energy than switching off lights from now  through the climate apocalypse.

Technology Report

CES 2010 at Technology Report


Over at the tech blog Technology Report we’ll have a lot of coverage leading up to and through the CES 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

A big thanks to the Aria Resort and Casino and Vdara Hotel.  These amazing new properties in the  Las Vegas CITYCENTER Project are sponsoring our CES 2010 coverage this year and into the show in January.

Aria will open in December and along with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel the Aria will feature the world’s most advanced guestroom technology along with CityCenter’s incredible WiFi footprint that covers the entire campus with broadband thanks to thousands of antennas and WiFi access points.

Over at Technology Report I’m going to feature a “First Timers Guide to CES” focused on people who have never been there and also some tips on how to find out the party and event schedules.   CES is one of the world’s largest conferences and even in these troubled economic times I’m sure that Las Vegas will be rockin’ with some amazing technology and events at the January 2010 CES.

For more about this please head over to Technology Report‘s CES 2010 coverage, starting …. now!

Mattel Mind Flex – Theta Wave Game Controller


Mattel Mind Flex – Theta Wave Game Controller
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Mattel Mind Flex was one of the most remarkable devices at CES 2009.  Simpler but coneptually similar to the Emotiv headset expected to be out soon,  Mattel’s device measures brain theta waves and lets you control a small ball with this output as you change the theta waves by thinking.     Unless I’m mistaken a lot of folks think these devices are silly gimmicks when in fact I’d argue that this type of controller represent the single most important change in history in the way humans interface with machines.    For millions of years our relationship to tools has been primarily by hand and/or foot, generally using sights and sounds and  touch to manage our relationships with the tools we use.     In this sense computer control, like hammer and nail control, comes from our physical interactions with the device.

Brain wave control, although still fairly primitive, is likely to accelerate the process that is going on right now at a pace too slow to be popularly recognized for what it is – the merging of human and machine.    From heart pacemakers to glasses to BrainGate,  the distinction between human and machine is breaking down slowly.    I think that it will break down very rapidly as soon as technologies exist to enhance intelligence via this type of direct brain interface.    How long will it take to refine this such that we can pull up the internet in our mind and access information at computerized rather than junky organic neuron speeds?    I’d wildly guess 5-10 years though part of this answer will come from popular use and “hacks” with things like the mindflex and the Emotiv headsets coming out this year (yes, I’ll be getting one!).

The extension of this approach to interaction with machines may lead to the technological singularity predicted by an increasing number of technologists and futurists though I remain somewhat skeptical that conscious computing will quickly lead to the massive universal intelligence explosion predicted by Kurtzweil and others.

CES 2009 – Palm Pre bumps stock 34%


Here at CES 2009 Palm debuted the Pre, their new iPhone rival device with a snazzy slider keyboard and large touchscreen. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive and this sent Palm’s stock soaring yesterday 34% as the company’s sagging prospects were revived as fast as the tech blogs started raving. I’m anxious to look at the price movement intra day – eg how soon after the launch did the stock rise? Efficient market theory suggests that new information is incorporated almost immediately into stock pricing and this is an interesting test of that hypothesis.

More CES Coverage at Technology Report

Tao at Venetian, Las Vegas


Tao at Venetian, Las Vegas

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Technology reporting is a *very* tough job, but somebody has to revive our sagging technology economy. I’m just glad it’s not … me.

I’m blogging from Tao right now, where the Isabella folks are showcasing their new wireless networked photo frame called Vizit which they’ll be launching soon.

The concept is really interesting as it will allow photo sharing across the Vizit network via buit in cellular connections as well as online capabilities, but my first reaction is that Vizit is going to intimidate non-tech folks who are the key market for digital photo frames. I’m still struggling with the static frame I got my parents for Christmas (it’s not taking an older SD card filled with family pix). Can Vizit convince folks to configure a device with this type of capabilities? Unless setup is *completely seamless* for a non-tech person it’s going to be very hard.

I’m wondering why they don’t use the Blaupunkt model of bluetooth connectivity riding off the user’s mobile plan, which would leave them without the revenue stream but make the cost of ownership more accessible. They did mention they are working with a cellular company which seems like a good idea here – allow them to monetize the photo “add on” rather than managing that function.