29 February 2020
SETI League
PriUPS Project

Add to Technorati Favorites

Listen to or download MP3 version of this blogitem

CES 2020

I went to CES this year, as I have been doing every year since we moved to Sedona. This time I did the 4-5 hour drive to Las Vegas in the new Tesla with "Autopilot" which I was eager to evaluate. Having little previous experience with a fully electric car, I suffered from "range anxiety" and was more than ordinarily careful about charging. For example, I decided to stop at Flagstaff to charge on the way home even though I believed I had more than enough range for the downhill trip to Sedona. More on this after I gain experience.

Last Year I Wrote Three Blogitems About CES

This year I'm only writing one, and not even reminding you that CES used to be the Consumer Electronics Show. I've already written about how I believe that, unknown at show time, a certain novel ailment* was present, and how I believe I might have contracted it. For CES 2020, just a few highlights, a lowlight or two, and on to other things.

NXP Semiconductors is one of our vendors and had their own large, separate pavilion at the show. I was pleased to see that they chose to exhibit our H9 Harmonizer, which incorporates their DSP chip.

We weren't exactly the only customer represented at their exhibit, but I'm sure they have many thousands of other customers who were not.

One of my favorite companies was Hewlett-Packard, until they became Agilent, which they are no longer. Now HP and Agilent, a trail of spinoffs behind them, are in part Keysight Technologies, which remains one of my favorite companies.

One of my favorite technologies is autonomous vehicles, or it would be if such existed. Keysight is working on one aspect of it, so I stopped to have a chat with a representative.

The chat gave me a great idea to improve the technology and obtain a patent on it. Unless, of course somebody stole my great idea even before I thought of it, or it isn't a great idea anyway. Check back in a few years.

You might think that a device on a trade-show floor that has a boarding procedure, that un-ironically requires a sanitary mask, and rotates 360 degrees, might not be entirely appropriate for an elderly attendee to try.

You might look at the person with the VR headset clutching the safety bar and wearing the sanitary mask and think to yourself:

This is a young person, suited to being rapidly turned upside-down with his head virtually skimming the floor at high speed. I, an elderly attendee who bemusedly took this photo after watching the previous young person undergo the gyrations implicit in the simulator's description, might want to exhibit a bit more caution.

The sacrifices this elderly blogger is willing to make for his thousands of millireaders! When I was returned to an upright position, my immediate inquiry was "Do you sell these to individuals and for how much"? The answer was "Not yet, and $50,000."

I'll check back at the next CES and see if either response has changed.

A couple of years ago I commented on a human resources company called Wanolo, at least to the extent of noting their existence. I somehow conflated that with Wandlee—similar W, I guess—and didn't want to waste the effort I spent finding Wanolo on a previous blog, so I mention it here.

At this CES, there was a company called Wandlee which graphically displayed the difference between an HR department with Wandlee and without. I don't know anything about them beyond the two photos here, and I'm not sure which I prefer. But the URL for this blogitem may appear in a future item about a completely different HR company with a big W, should I happen to discover one.

This scale for M&Ms can display not just quantity and count but calories as well! Perfect if you're on an M&M diet, and just the thing to keep my M habit quantified.

I believe it can be used for counting small objects, too, but the exhibitor understands how to catch my eye.

CES has a special section for startups, university projects, and otherwise-new products and companies. I try to spend enough time there to at least pass by all the innovators. Last year, for example, they had a company that makes a gadget that prints with chocolate and another that offers a device for automatically brushing one's teeth. Progress!

This year I found a company that will here remain nameless due to the fact that it's evil and unworthy of your or anyone's custom. The photo to the left depicts its mason jar lid that can be locked and unlocked by Bluetooth command.

Imagine putting your M&Ms in such a jar, and then having it sealed with this diabolical invention. Even if it's your own jar and your own Bluetooth doing the sealing! what happens if your battery dies and you can't access the contents? You'd need to install one of those "break glass in case of Bluetooth failure" assemblies and mount it nearby.

Every year I find at least one or two companies whose names, mostly due to linguistic misconceptions, are anywhere from ill-considered to hilarious.

This year, something different: This company's name is literally a punctuation symbol. The problem, which perhaps they didn't consider, is that you don't know whether to find them under an apostrophe or over a comma.

No, I don't remember what they do or make. And, yes, I've forgotten which symbol it is.

I understand why you might be reluctant to "plunk down" $50,000, for a machine that will turn you upside down and send you skittering along the floor.

Here, however, is a product beyond the plunkage range. Even so, for $100,000, you can have your own MRI machine! No infrastructure required, just plug it in, and find out if you and your friends really have brains to scan.

Use functional MRI to answer questions that Wandlee (or maybe Wanolo) can't, at least not legally. No HR department should be without one.

When I spoke to their representative I was cautioned that the Hyperfine Portable wasn't available quite yet, pending FDA approval.

There is so much going on at CES that I'm going to try to spend more time there next year. It's an amazing and, notwithstanding my somewhat idiosyncratic reportage, very valuable activity.

* About whose name I'm being cagey, for reasons I will explain soon. Click Yesterday twice to see what I'm talking about.

Richard Factor



Procol Harum




Only coincidentally a color similar to yesterday's ToTD, this one has a stylized helicopter and the legend AVIATION/NEW YORK CITY on it.

As usual, I don't remember how I obtained it, but I do remember a story about my adventure with a helicopter. Check back in a few years.

Yesterday  |  Tomorrow