18 April 2019
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CES 2019 Part 3

Q: Richard!

A: Yes?
Q: It's April. Why are you still babbling about the CES from last January?
A: Because I haven't gotten to January NAMM yet. Patience!

In My Previous 2019 CES Blogs I mentioned some of the products and exhibits I thought either noteworthy, or felt like mentioning despite that. I see I've neglected thus far autonomous automobiles, UAVs, my free Arduino, the AutoKitch, the Attack Garage, cryptocurrency, an astonishing source of electricity, any number of pet-related gadgets, the secret 8K lounge, concrete speakers, and a well-deserved "shout out" to American Express.

Autonomous Automobiles

Notwithstanding my personal enthusiasm for and desire to purchase a self-driving car, I think a dose of realism has afflicted the industry. Although the major car maker had exhibits at CES, there wasn't much of the breathless hype surrounding them that I recall from previous years. We're close enough to 2020 that the predictions for them to be on sale next year seem too improbable to repeat. The foundations —LIDARs, computers, software, mapping—are all progressing apace, but nothing that will be my chauffeuse is going on sale in the next year. I'm OK with that. I can still drive, despite my progressive fossilization, and expect to be able to wait for a while. Gently impact some lignin.


The government was closed during the show, so the FAA was unable to send the usual suspects. That left a spot open for these guys.

Do I want one? Do you have to ask? There was lot more dronage, but somehow I was distracted as I wandered through the exhibits.

Who Was Giving Away a Free Arduino?

OK, let's no always see the same hands. Yes, Arrow the electronics distributor. Now here's an oddity: We do a lot of business with Arrow, and they scanned my badge before I got my swag. Of course, I ended up on their mailing list, which I was pleased to do because the kept sending me somewhat useful sale announcements. I duly forwarded them to our purchasing department so we could take advantage of them. Oddly, our commercial account was somehow not qualified to take advantage of the sale. Mysteries of commerce! (I actually got an explanation of this, and it's OK. Some day I shall expatiate on how complicated everything has become in the days of things being close to free.)

The AutoKitch Is Just What You Think it is

It provides "Fully Automated Cooking for your Home." I have a photo, and I'm sure it's a spectacular system. The UI mentions "ingredients," but I'm fairly certain that if you give it a box of Oreos, it will find itself befuddled by the process necessary to concentrate the "stuf" from several Oreos onto one cookie surface. Next year I'll pay more attention and see if they have an end effector for that.

The Attack Garage

Oddly enough, and despite my idiosyncratic affinity for arguably dangerous vehicles (see above), I drive very slowly and sensibly in garages. Thus, this feature of the "Treasure Island" garage and it's encounter with Mr. Bumper resulted in no damage.

At least none that I couldn't cover up. Sort of.


Unless there was an enormous display next to the Hall of iPhone Cases, I seem to have missed most of the cryptocurrency exhibits. There were a handful of companies selling "mining" computers and other peripheral items, but just a handful. After the 2017/2018 bubble, one would have thought cryptocurrency would have been a bigger deal.

Interestingly, there was this astonishing source of power that seems to somehow turn Ethereum back into electricity.

(I think I misstated how this is supposed to work. It doesn't actually turn cryptocurrency into electricity. Instead, you somehow give it some Ethereums and it turns them into a relay closure for however many kilowatt hours they are notionally worth. I think.)


Pet-Related Gadgets

Above - "The 1st Fully Automated Pet Toilet"


To the right, a cat treadmill for exercise and weight control.


I'd add my photo of the secret 8K lounge that was part of the Samsung exhibit, but I was waved off by a denizen of the lounge who insisted that I not take a picture, even from the outside. (Of course I came back later when a different denizen wasn't watching, but Samsung probably has tentacles in my Galaxy, so I won't admit that I do have a picture.)

Oh Those Wacky French People!

Today, wireless speakers made from concrete. Tomorrow, they'll be making flashlights out of bananas*.

Almost Done!

But not quite. I want to thank American Express for the munchies. They have an office between the North Hall and the Central Hall with free potato chips and malted milk balls. And I don't want you to think that I somehow saw the CES without noting the presence of the hand-clapping robots on the left or the TV Jockstrap on the right!.

*As you must know, it's hard for me to do a tradeshow blog without a banana mention. For example, there was a cart in the convention hall that had a large sign declaiming "The average American eats 27 pounds of bananas per year." Without actually weighing mine pre-consumption, I would say that I'm greater than average by a Factor of at least two and maybe more.

Richard Factor


"A Hundred Days and Nights"





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This is one of them.

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