16 January 2019
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CES 2019

Consistency is King

I was all set to write some blogitems about this year's trip to CES. I still am planning to do so, but first I should like to practice some conservation of text and refer you to last year's initial CES blog. Why? Because, as I read it to refresh my memory and to avoid repetition, I realized that repetition is precisely what's needed. So, before I get to the new stuff, please read my CES 2018 blogitem. Go ahead, I'll wait.


  • Safer driving. Didn't risk my life trying to photograph any of a largely uninspiring collection of license plates.
  • Instead of follow-me suitcases, there were ridable suitcases. Evolution in action?
  • Didn't see any camera watches, a disappointment.
  • The price for undistressed bananae at Love's was up to $.50 each, a 100% increase! But still a bargain compared to Las Vegas.

I committed a strategic blunder this year. I waited too long to get my hotel reservations*. Instead of attending two full days, which isn't enough, I wasted a couple of hours on my first day due to the drive, and a couple of hours the final day because the exhibits close at 16:00 instead of 18:00, for even less enoughness. As a consequence, I didn't spend as much time as I wished with the more established companies and their wares. One goal this year was to attend the Eureka Cafe—the startups—with greater attention. Accordingly, there's even more goofy stuff that I managed to observe, along with a few flashes of brilliance. It's often hard to distinguish which is which.

Food and Beverages

Isn't civilization a blessing? Comestibles and beverages used to be for sustenance, now they've become Kickstarter fodder.

How could I not lead with this photo? While it isn't necessarily the culmination of the plague of 3D printing, it's a welcome intermediate. Yes, it's a CHOCOLATE PRINTER!

I might have bought the device right off the counter, but I cautiously inquired as to how it operates. To my dismay, I found that in order to print chocolate, you had to give it ribbons of chocolate as an input. No magical apparition of the substance was in prospect, and, not to put too fine a point on it, once consumed, chocolate geometry becomes irrelevant.

Nonetheless, I wish Flasty well.

I always enjoy the slogans and tag lines on the exhibitors' booths. A company called Lify is offering "The First Smart Machine to Offer Herbal Tea on Demand."

Oxymoron alert: Wouldn't a smart machine offer tea that people actually want to drink? With lots of caffeine and sugar?

I didn't talk to the machine—it's alleged skills are limited, but I was polite to it and made no demands.

Moving on to other beverages, we have the "no cleaning process required" temperature-controlled wine dispenser. Their tag line, "Your Favorite Wine As You Never Drunk Before Whenerver You Want" speaks for itself.

Which leaves me with nothing to say.

Which brings us to one of my nominees for a clever combination-product. Perhaps you'll remember the smartphone charger with built in GPS that tripled as a car air freshener?

The coffee maker with a timer controlled by your clock radio is so ancient! Here is a clock radio that IS a coffee maker! Bravo!

How Old is Nipper?

Along with RCA, one hundred years! Of course RCA used to be the "Radio Corporation of America." Other than "Radio" and "America" and "Corporation" there's still some truth to it. But the RCA trademark, its remaining embodiment, had quite the festivity at CES.

Here's the RCA mascot Nipper having a chat with RCF the human.

What did we discuss? Leaky roofs, great home-run hitters, and musical riffs.

Stroopwafels Great and Small

Q: OK, so there were odd food and drink gadgets and a dubious anniversary. What about important stuff, like artificial intelligence, autonomous automobiles, and health-related products?
A: You know me better than to think I will ignore such crucial innovations.

Q: Were there stroopwafels?
Yes, there were stroopwafels, although I didn't discover them until the last hour. Two different booths in the Dutch section had them on offer. The lesser ones were individually wrapped, the greater ones were stacked in a packet. As the end of the show was imminent, I was handed the balance of the packet and have been intermittently taking advantage of Netherlands largess.

I've been such a débutante in not completing the CES reviews that NAMM, the music show near the end of January at which we exhibit, has come and gone. I shall subject NAMM to the RIKLblog when I'm done with CES. But, to alleviate the suspense: Again at almost the last hour, I passed a booth at which a packet of stroopwafels, temptingly open, was displayed as an afterthought. I helped myself, and introduced the person with whom I was walking to their existence. She was mildly enthusiastic.

* I hope by embarrassing myself with this shocking admission I will remember next year to avoid a similar blunder.

Richard Factor


"The John Birch Society"

Chad Mitchell Trio




Puss 'N Flutes. Almost impossible to see or understand at this size, so click on it to make it much larger and equally impossible to understand.

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