IN MY VIEW: A virtual trip to a real show

This year, due largely to tougher economic reasons, I did not cover the giant Consumer Electronics Show, held last month in Las Vegas, NV. Happily, however, I discovered an alternative way of finding interesting technology applications and new products without actually attending the show.

Feb 1st, 2012
Jeffrey Bairstow, contributing editor
Jeffrey Bairstow, contributing editor

By Jeffrey Bairstow

This year, due largely to tougher economic reasons, I did not cover the giant Consumer Electronics Show, held last month in Las Vegas, NV. Happily, however, I discovered an alternative way of finding interesting technology applications and new products without actually attending the show. I could find new companies without tramping through the cavernous exhibit halls or searching for a rare shuttle bus or a taxi.

The nature of this blockbuster show has also changed significantly over the years. Time was when many exhibitors were conventional TV set makers introducing ever larger tube sets and, later, plasma and LCD sets. Electronic games grew by leaps and bounds and 3-D displays began to appear.

These were the so-called “leading-edge” products developed specifically for introduction at CES. Frankly, I have always found these products rather boring. The more advanced applications could be found on the “fringes” of the show, either buried deep in one of the lesser exhibit halls or in a scruffy hotel suite of the type usually associated with ladies of easy virtue.

I began to see that even the most shoestring of developers could use creative marketing via the Internet and could easily develop their own videos. And along came YouTube, a simple way of publishing amateur videos. YouTube has developed into a more professional way of distributing videos to both amateurs and business professionals and to the business press.

Another development has been the electronic press room with video press releases supplementing the conventional text and B&W photo that was the standard press kit. Now the CES managers have offered a simple way to produce what the marketers call “CES Exhibitor Press Pitch Videos” so that embryo companies can be more easily reached by reporters for the technical press.

To see these videos, go to the CES web site (www.ces.org) and click on the PRESS tab and then on the dropdown list until you get “CES Press Pitch Videos Program.”

Here is a very short list of a few of the exhibitors who took advantage of the CES Press Pitch Video program and my own impressions. (Just in case CES has taken the original YouTube videos down, I have given alternate URLs or e-mail addresses.)

Wilocity. A demonstration of high-speed WiGig wireless technology. A little more enthusiasm needed here! Wilocity is a fabless chip company developing 60 GHz wireless systems for mobile computing applications. (www.wilocity.com)

ooVoo. A confusing demonstration of a new high-density social networking system. Video is produced by an incredibly frenetic and loud marketing director. Loud does not mean “better.” In any case, who needs yet another social networking application? (www.oovoo.com)

Omnimount. While Omnimount is not a new company, it does offer one of the most smoothly functioning TV/monitor/display mounts that switches between desktop and standing positions. The well-made and compact mount is easily adjustable and folds out of the way. (www.omnimount.com)

In10did. A bizarre mobile phone keyboard about the size of a pack of cheap cigarettes. Another good reason for banning use of mobile devices when on the road. (www.in10did.com)

MSW Wireless. Yet another and more powerful WiFi for use in areas with poor or nonexistent mobile wireless reception. PR director looks like a baseball fanatic. Maybe a business suit might help? (www.mswwireless.com)

HDbaseT Alliance. A group of small cell phone network manufacturers dedicated to the idea of only one line to your TV. Probably the simplest demo at CES—just a TV monitor with only a single coax pipe at the back. Quite an effective video. (www.hdbaset.com)

Net Nanny. A new and revised version of a gateway program that protects users from themselves and malicious programs. A simple video heralding the addition of Net Nanny to mobile and other computing platforms. Low-key but effective presentation. (www.netnanny.com)

Happy New YouTube viewing.

Jeffrey Bairstow
Contributing Editor
inmyview@yahoo.com

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