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10 January 2022
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RIKLBLOG Review: CES Part One

CES Ennutshellized in one photograph!

A perfect encapsulation of the Las Vegas Convention Center
Sparkling clean. And non-functional.

Actually, that's a bit unfair. What was functional was just fine. And I should say a nice word about the staff, who were uniformly friendly and eager to help. Everyone from "security" to the CES staffers were cooperative, at least to the extent possible. If anything, they were overstaffed. Attendance was way down. From 170,000 people in 2020 to 45,000 this year. Before leaving, I had read preliminary and, as it turned out, very optimistic guesses that 75,000 would attend this year. Very few crowds, almost no waiting to talk to the company representatives. Some companies were comically overstaffed, and would descend upon the lone candidate-customer if they as much as made eye contact with their floor covering.

The first thing you see upon entry is a sticker to apply to your badge. Not exactly the bustle and crowds routinely encountered at CES!

The Las Vegas Convention Center, enormous ever since the first time I was there, achieved an increment of enormity this year with the opening of the gorgeous West Hall. It just reeked of newness, It's difficult to allocate one's time at CES since it's impossible to see everything even cursorily. When it's half-size, as it was this year, there still wasn't enough time and so the exhibits at the Venetian hotel received insufficient scrutiny. It didn't help that I had intended to stay through as much of the last day as necessary. CES decided that the last day would be canceled for "safety." Makes you wonder why Wednesday through Friday would have been safer than Saturday.

Electric Vehicles and Their Excrescences

Its proximity to the hotel assured I visited the EV section—the North Hall—first. This was also the section that harbored the surprisingly small crypto section. One subject in which I was especially interested were the companies offering EV charging and V2H (Vehicle to Home*) hardware.

ENERCAMPEU was touting a portable EV charger. I asked how the charger was charged, and it seems that it has exchangeable battery drawers, which I'm sure work and are very heavy! I was intrigued by this display because it dovetailed with an idea I had when EVs were much scarcer and had much shorter range. The idea was to use my Prius hybrid to to be a roving charger and be available in case an EV needed a few-mile boost to get home. I was thinking "franchise" at the time, but as chargers proliferate it's probably less of a worthwhile business.

I wasn't clear on their business model. How would the charger get to its designated vehicle? Perhaps in the trunk of a Prius?

 

This was the first V2H company I noticed, and with little expectation, subsequently fully justified, I inquired as to Tesla compatibility. "Talk to Elon" was the comment. Tesla claims to void the warranty if you use the car as a "stationary power source." Since the Tesla vehicle is really a big PowerWall with wheels, one wonders why that stricture. Still, warranties do expire, and the screwdriver is mightier than the sword.

 

DCBEL.energy had an interesting display in that you could only see it from the outside. Each of its entrances was blocked with the stanchions and tape shown here. But with V2H I couldn't resist, so I summoned one of the denizens and reminded him that I had invented his business and convinced him that I meant no harm to his country—Canada—or to him. I was ushered in and discussed his system. Of course when I asked about connecting the Tesla, "Ask Elon" or equivalent was the rejoinder.

Surprise! Amidst all the EV stuff—chargers, vehicles, LIDARs, and more—was this lonely ATV. With an internal combustion engine! Wrong show? Not exactly: They were touting the advantages of their particular ICE. Better, faster, cheaper. My question, of course, was "Quieter?" Not necessarily. At which point I had a great idea for an invention. Here in Sedona we are beset by noisy ATVs on the public roads heading for the trails. After reminding Dale Renner of Avadi Engines that it was possible to install mufflers, he said that some customers like the noise! At which point I was inspired to suggest making a "geofenced muffler" that was in the exhaust path on public roads and bypassed on the trails.

I mention this here because it's already been done. Another patent application foregone.

Two of my favorite companies, Keysight (originally Hewlett-Packard or, if you're younger, Agilent) and Rohde and Schwarz, had modest exhibits. Not terribly entertaining unless you're me, whom you most likely are not. But here are a couple of pictures since, as I mentioned, they are two of my favorite companies.
Here's quite the oddity. I foolishly failed to to get better information, and there doesn't seem to have been any signage. But..Doesn't it look like this is a vehicle chassis that can move in any direction? Perhaps it's the future of "mobility" as they seem to be calling "going places."

Despite the above, I don't think we're having enough fun yet. Tomorrow I hope to get to some of the (apparently, to me,) goofy offerings.


* This blog and website started out in 2005 as part of my V2H PriUPS project. Its benefits seem to have been rediscovered in the past year or so.

 
2022
Richard Factor

NP:

"She is Still a Mystery"

The Lovin' Spoonful

(

ToTD

Up pops an old Eventide T-shirt. This one commemorates one unit in the long series of studio Harmonizer® brand special effects units that began with the H910 and currently ends with the H9000. FW stands for "FireWire*," a briefly popular high-speed digital interface.

 

*IEEE 1394


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