CES 2021 Launches Virtually


Normally, the first part of January is one of the busiest for those who work on the Las Vegas Strip.  The annual tech convention, CES is normally in town and filling the hotels up with over 150,000 attendees.  Most of the cities largest convention spaces are filled with booths where companies from all over the world display their latest and greatest technologies to the “Industry Only” participants. For the more well-heeled exhibitors, The resort’s best suites and fanciest restaurants are turned into smaller, private showrooms. Many of them are “invite-only”.

CES, is where we get to see what’s on the horizon for the consumer electronics makers.  Here is how I describe CES: if it has a computer chip in it and it is sold to you, the consumer, it’s probably here.  Just not this year.  Because of the virus panic and the shutdowns, this year it went virtual.

CES Goes Virtual

The first-ever, all-digital CES® 2021 made history as the largest digital tech event. Almost 2000 companies unveiled next-gen innovation for a better future. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, the all-digital CES 2021 featured product launches from startups to tech giants, keynotes from global industry leaders, live entertainment from Hollywood and more than 100 hours of conference programming.

“The all-digital CES 2021 engaged the global tech community to experience innovation, make connections and conduct business,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “CES showed how the pandemic accelerated the arc of innovation and illustrated the resilience and innovative spirit of our industry. From the latest innovations for the home and entertainment, and advances in 5G, vehicle technology, AI and digital health, the technologies at CES 2021 will pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.”

CES 2021 kicked off on Jan. 11 with Media Day, featuring 19 press conferences with companies including Bosch, Canon, Caterpillar, Hisense, Intel, LG Electronics, Mercedes-Benz, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and Sony breaking news and launching products. Trends from Media Day focused on “the home” with innovation that personalizes work, health and entertainment at home, as well as advancements.

Key Themes at CES 2021

The all-digital CES 2021 featured groundbreaking innovation that will improve our world, from health to safety, sustainability, and accessibility.

  • Tech Innovation Accelerated by COVID-19
    • Tech companies innovated during the pandemic, with companies at CES 2021 featuring smart masks, disinfecting robots, body sensors that detect COVID-19 symptoms and smart air filtration systems.
  • Consumer Privacy and Trust
    • The heads of privacy at Amazon, Google and Twitter discussed new privacy regulations and the need to increase consumer trust, stating that tech companies must give users more control over their data.
  • Global Tech Challenge
    • The Global Tech Challenge, launched at CES 2020, in partnership with the World Bank and CTA, rewards tech solutions in three areas: digital health in East Africa, resilience in India and gender equality around the world. The selected winners were announced this week from more than 1000 applications, with three winners selected for gender equality, 10 for resilience and 17 for digital health.
  • Space Tech
    • NASA was joined by leaders from Lockheed Martin and Space Tango to discuss technology’s role in accelerating space research and breakthroughs that will benefit all of humanity.

CES 2021 Wraps up today. I will have an overview of events along with some product launches over the next week.

It looks like CES 2022 will be back in Las Vegas in a hybrid format(?) January 5 to January 8, 2022

CES 2019 Day One

CES 2019 Day One

It’s the first week in January and that can only mean one thing.  The annual geekfest known as CES has rolled into town and Las Vegas is filled with people and technology!  I mean a lot of people.  Like 160,000  people from all around the world.  They pretty much fill up all the hotel rooms in town. So if you went room shopping for this week and noticed a spike in room rates, that’s why.

Today was the first day of the actual convention and it wraps up on Friday.

What is CES?

CES is the largest convention held each year in Las Vegas and its been held here since 1978.  Originally it was the Winter Consumer Electronics Show with a summer version held in Chicago. In 1998, as electronics became mainstream, they stopped having the summer show and made the Las Vegas version THE show.

Sorry, but it’s closed to the general public. Only open to anyone involved in the consumer electronics world as well as accredited media. (I’m both)

It was once called “The Consumer Electronics Show” but recently the owners of the event keep telling us to stop calling it that and to use its Offical Title: CES 2019. Basically, if it’s sold to the general consumer (you and me) and it has an electronic chip in it or is electronic, it’s here.  Most of what is here is what you will see hitting the stores in the next 3 to 12 months.  It used to be what we see here in January, your average consumer would see on the shelves next Christmas or later. But technology is changing so rapidly, it’s now down to 30 to 90 days!

How Large?

The show covers about 3 million square feet of convention space over several properties.  You have the main part of the show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Then it rolls over to the Sands Convention Center. Plus the hospitality suites and ballrooms in the major 5-star resorts like the Wynn and the Aria.  some of the bigger vendors like to buy out the top restaurants to hold events in them as well.

Now stop for a second and think about that.  A business, like Microsoft or Verizon, will buy out a 5-star restaurant for an entire day.  Just to show off its newest product and talk to the people who could be using, buying or marketing it.  It ain’t cheap.  But its THAT important to be here and to spend the money to catch the eyeballs of the people you need to do business with.

The Perfect Keyboard for me

The Perfect Sized Keyboard!


(///  Pick a Place /Pick a Tour / Vacation Rentals  ///)

What’s New in 2019??

This is the first time in years that I have not walked the entire event in one day. Usually, I have a few vendors I want to see, a couple of new gadgets I want to review and then I get out.  Too many people and too many things to stimulate the mind!

This year, the way things have been changing, I think I will be needing the entire four days to cover everything I want to see.  Today was spent in the South Conference Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.  This is mostly dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Wireless Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics and Drones.  Not to forget 3D printing. Something that just recently took off and is a hot topic.

3D Printing.  This was a small niche technology last year. This year it has just blown up and took over a good section of the hall.  Smaller, cheaper, lighter, easier to use.  Today, with a hand-held scanner, if you can make an image copy of it, you can recreate it in 3D from a unit that can sit on your desktop. You can buy a 3D Printer from Amazon for under $200!


Think the old cartoon The Jetsons, just became real.  Lawn mowers, suitcases, window washers, tool carrier, it just boggled the mind and all of it within the average person budget.  Mix that with biometrics and the machine can recognize who is commanding them and if they are authorized for such a command.

Look for videos to be published soon.

Bio Metrics Facial Recognition

They Know Who You Are!

Biometrics Plus

Las Vegas casinos have had biometrics and facial recognition software for a very long time.  Now its available on the consumer market with very great accuracy.   Pass by a small camera and it will tell whoever is watching the monitor what your age range is, body style and any specific feature that makes you stand out from a crowd.  Like carrying a blue backpack or wearing jeans versus khaki pants.

ForwardX Robotics showed off the upgraded the Ovis Suitcase that will follow alongside you as you walk thru the airport. It can avoid obstacles and knows the person who they should be following by their biometrics.  Check out this video 

This also goes for pets and their food bowls.  Yes, facial recognition for pets…

The facial recognition tech that has been added to the bowl recognizes your pet’s face. Once these sensors on the Mookkie bowl detect your pet’s face, a mechanical panel rotates to expose the food in the bowl.

John Deere and Precision Agriculture

Don’t Worry, they hid the keys!!

Passing right by the relaunch of the original Pong video game and the next generation of the Segway personal transportation device (videos of these coming soon), I went for the big boy in the room.  The $500,000 John Deere Combine. Listen for the primal grunt….

Yes, the once ordinary and practical farm machinery went high tech. It actually started to go high tech about 25 years ago, it just took a little while for it to catch up with the big boys in the AG business. (I was part of the original “Precision Agriculture” launch in the 1990’s).  Now John Deere wants to show off how the farmers of today use it to save money and harvest better crops with satellite GPS technology that is also connected to the local Co-Ops and the farmers home computer.

The Connected Home

As always, form follows function (?) just about any product that could be connected, showed off their ability to work from the Google Home or the Amazon Alexa App.   If they could, the connected every device possible to the home automation bandwagon.  As for popularity, I would say Google is making some fast inroads to where Alexa was the dominant player. They now seem to be almost equally embedded in the new gadgets moving forward.

In all, I walked over 18,000 steps today and only saw one-fourth of the show!  Tomorrow I head over to Central Hall and North Hall where we get more into the home appliances and entertainment as well as the automotive products. After that, I want to make it to the Sands Convention Center for the health and fitness toys, tools and gadgets!

Look for videos to post soon!

I am making regular posts on Facebook and Instagram if you want to follow along or have any questions you need to be answered about what’s new and what’s on the horizon.

When It Rains in Las Vegas!

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/LgNoBVIgBRk” title=”When it rains in Las Vegas, it floods the channels” /]
It may come to a surprise for some, but we do get rain in Las Vegas!! On a normal year, it will be between 4 to 5 inches and most of it will fall during one of two Monsoon seasons. One in Spring and the other in the fall.  Each lasting about a week.

Yesterday – Mother Nature decided that she wanted something different to start the new year. So she dumped 1.3 inches of rain on the Las Vegas Valley!  Making this the wettest January on record and making a mess of the valley while creating another spectacular river through the Linq Resort parking garage.

This was an interesting way to start the opening day of the CES Convention.  The consumer technology convention is the largest convention held in Las Vegas and this is what greeted the attendees on opening day!
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Happens Every Time

The Linq started out as the Imperial Palace and was built on top of the Flamingo Wash area.  The lowest point on the Las Vegas Strip and the Clark County flood channel is behind the parking garage.  So when it rains, all that water running down the Strip find its way into the garage before entering the channel.  The water, mixed with the waters of the rest of the flood channels around Clark County, eventually runs into Lake Mead.

So this is nothing new and is a popular place to get video of the floods.  The black lines on the poles indicate the high watermarks of previous floods.  The metal wall seen in the beginning are lock and dam style walls they slide into place to prevent the water from entering the hotel structures.

The hotel was built for this and no damage is done to the resort. The driveway reopens shortly after the rains stop and they clean up the mess left by the rushing waters!

The larger problem around Las Vegas that turns driving during a rainstorm, is that most of the Valley sits on a crust of Caliche, a natural cement rock material that makes water absorption almost impossible and since we only get rain a few days a year, we tend to build the roads to the curvature of the earth.  Drivers here forget or have never noticed the dips in the roads until it rains and they try to drive through them.  Only to learn their car doesn’t float and they get stranded.

So we get a lot of road closures and the local news is filled with stories, videos, and photos of rescues of drivers ignoring the signs and overhead freeway displays warning of impending floods, standing on top of their sunken vehicles in the middle of a flooded intersection, waiting for a rescue. Not to mention that the rainwater cools the pavement and draws the oil out of the asphalt.  Creating a desert version of what we former snow dwellers call “Black Ice” the roadway is like a sheet of ice you can’t really see until you are on top of it spinning out of control.

I know, slowing down your speed during a rainstorm would help, but drivers around here don’t know how to do that! Besides, what fun would that be?


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CES Has Arrived!

The largest convention in Las Vegas opens its doors first thing Wednesday morning.  The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes over Las Vegas for the next 4 days and will fill up just about every hotel room and occupy most, if not all the available hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip plus some downtown. Over 160,000 people are expected to be in Las Vegas for this annual event dedicated to all things electronics.

What is CES?

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is our first major convention of the new year.  It’s also our largest annual convention we host and it is closed to the general public. Only those who work in the consumer electronics industry/marketplace can get credentials to attend.  It is where the newest in consumer electronics technology is shown off to potential buyers and to those who want to use the technology for future development. Everything from Bluetooth toothbrushes to self-driving cars to drones as well as bendable televisions, virtual reality sunglasses, embedded smartphones and everything else electronic. If it was on the original Star Trek show, I am pretty sure its here!

Not only is this the place to “geek out” its also a place where major brands will get together and have workshops, training sessions and sales events.  Where people int he trade come to hear speakers talk about the technology they will be dealing with, selling and installing.  It’s where we can learn what makes it all tick and what futuristic tools and technology is on the horizon.

If you ever want to learn how to put on a convention, how to move people and make it all come together, this is the best testing grounds.  I have seen meeting planners and transportation operators go psycho after the first 24 hours of the show because of the logistics and the coordination is so huge and has to fluctuate rapidly because of all the people, the traffic and the changing demands of the show operators and the vendors.

CES attendees will fill up a majority of the hotel rooms, causing prices to rise and crowds to be everywhere.  The one thing that has changed almost as much as the technology is the demographics of the attendees. It used to be just computer jockeys.  Nerds who did not gamble or see the shows.  CES was always mixed or confused with another tech show that was held here called Comdex that Sheldon Adelson used to own. He owns the Venetian.  That show closed several years ago as the computer chip and its technology became mainstream.

Today, the CES crowd is a mix of “geeks” as well as three-piece suited businessmen and home based entrepreneurs who has a high-tech startup, dressed in flip-flops and t-shirts.  The international market is huge here as well. Both as attendees and as exhibitors.  European markets are now growing in the technology fields, giving Asian markets a run for their money.


The Trends

What they tell us in the media reviews, is that the big items here are the wearables and the sensory embedding.   Think of it like this: You come home usually tired and lay on the couch. Your home heating unit is already at its desired temp because your car told it you were 10 minutes away and need to turn up the heat.  As you walk into the house, the lights come on and your favorite show is on the big screen, flat, bendable 4K television and its streaming from the internet.   All things you told the individual items you liked or it got that information after a few days of “sensing” the environment.

Now you are crashed on the couch, something you don’t normally do.  So the couch senses you are in a depressed mood and suggests a better TV show or maybe some ambient music coming from your reading lamps streaming from your Bluetooth musical app on your smart phone?

Yes, that’s what’s here.  And so much more!

I will be reporting on the show for this website and my business blog AskMrMark.com  Looking for interesting technology and gadgets for the tourist as well as for the budding entrepreneur. Not to mention just really cool toys I can play with here and not have to buy!!

Always open to your comments and questions. Want to get in touch with me quickly with a question about the show, one of its exhibitors? Hashtag #askmrmark or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.



22 Sex Positive, Women Friendly! Review of CES and AEE plus other Tourist tidbits

This is one of the few times we put in the Adult Advisory for our podcast!!  And for good reason:  To Protect The Children and those from California who live to be offended!

The first show of the new year and that means two of our favorite conventions: The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) hits Las Vegas along with 140,000 people.  At the same time as we have CES, another popular convention is in town, The Adult Entertainment Expo/AEE.  or what the locals call “The Porn Convention” .  Didn’t know they had a convention for all those X-Rated stuff you claim you never watch, did you??  We went to both and here’s our thoughts on them! Along with other tourist Tidbits

From the Porn Convention, we met a friendly and perky vendor lady named Suki. She invented the OhMiBod. Let’s just say that this is a ladies best friend to her iPod !

The Consumer Electronic Show is the largest convention Vegas hosts every year. About 140,000 people from the electronics trade come out to see what’s new in consumer related electronic gadgets and technology.