By Ker ThanPosted 01.23.2009 at 3:37 pm 3 Comments
Take a guided tour of the cosmos, led by a robotic telescope. Meade’s ETX-LS is the first scope to automatically point itself at interesting celestial bodies, no human help required. As an extra benefit for beginners, it plays an informational audio clip through its speaker (or a video clip if you plug it into a monitor) once it locks on a worthy star.
If you’re planning to be anywhere near D.C. on Tuesday, don’t be surprised to experience some cell phone trouble. Government officials aren’t the only ones bracing for record-breaking crowds in the nation’s capital for president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. The wireless industry is also preparing for a possible network overload.
About 130,000 people attended CES this year. Gaffers and booth babes, engineers and security guards, drivers and technicians by the thousands devoted months to staging the world's largest consumer electronics show. And by this time today likely nothing more remains in all of Vegas than a lone, abandoned flash drive and some tumbleweeds.
Forget the world's smallest violin, we're going the denial route.
Click here for a look at 26 of our picks and pans—from favorite sleeper debuts and sweetest celebrity shills to the most awful sales pitches and product ideas. Light up an electric cigarette, lean back in your $7,500 recliner and join us. It ain't over till we hit "z"!
"It's evolutionary, not revolutionary" was how one attendee summed up this year's show. And, indeed, the biggest debuts of last week seemed, well, not particularly big. TVs were thinner, cameras zoomier, 3D a step closer to fruition. But game changers were few and far between. And perhaps that's because companies have learned to tone down their promises and time frames.
It's not just big technologies. A few years ago, a grand, gadget-filled future was just around the corner. There'd be cameras that print their own photos! And cell phones with Skype! When you wanted to turn off your TV, you'd just wave your hand and when you wanted to turn on your toys you'd just think hard. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that 2009 was to be the year of fulfilled promise. All those products we'd just about given up hope on were launching at long last. If only we could say it was worth the wait.
Launch the list here for a look at the letdowns.
"Small" is still far from the right word for the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. But by every measure—both official and anecdotal--it was a slimmer event than in years past. In overall terms, attendance was down by at least 12,000, and probably a good deal more. Last year's official tally was approximately 141,000 visitors. Sources inside CEA say that this year's was well under the 130,000 that had been projected.