Ok, Thursday I spent the day being run all over town to various demos, didn’t spend much time on the show floor. I walked the North Hall in the morning and checked out all of the new Auto tech, in the next day or so I’ll post my Gallery of the Cars of CES slideshow.
Ok, it’s not a car, but it’s transportation. At Thursday’s Showstoppers party Schwinn unveiled their electric bike the $3,100 Tailwind. They had space reserved where they were giving demos of the bike. It was a really surreal experience that put a smile on my face. The name Tailwind is apt, because that’s what it feels like when you layoff the peddle for a few seconds. It’s like you are getting a shove and not really gentle. Because the bike rapidly speeds up when you don’t expect it to, but it just takes a bit to get used to and you can set how “hard/fast” it pushes.
The electric motor in the Tailwind is housed in the hub of the front wheel, an innovation found in all Schwinn electric bike models. In addition, all Schwinn eBike models (including the Tailwind) utilize the Plug N’ Drive removable battery pack which is built into stylishly designed rear bike rack systems, allowing riders to quickly detach the battery for recharging. It is projected that Tailwind owners will realize an industry leading 2,000 recharge lifecycles with the eBike versus the industry standard of 1,000 charges before needing to replace the battery. Tailwind riders will find they can ride 25 to 30 miles per charge (depending upon such factors as climate, rider weight and terrain). The Tailwind also comes with a 20,000-mile or two-year limited warranty.
In a surprise move that sent shock waves through the CES crowd, Obama announced a delay in the Digital Transition switch. On February 17th, the analog television signal was supposed to be turned off and this date was set in stone. The entire CE Industry was working towards this date, but Obama has put cancelled it. There’s been no new proposed date for the switchover. Manufacturers were hoping that the switch over would prompt consumers to purchase more new televisions this spring. But with the economy in it’s current state, this move doesn’t surprise me. And it was a recipe for disaster anyway. Hopefully, we’ll get more info in the next few days.
So the postponement isn’t official yet. It’s just a request from the Obama camp, so it’s almost a done deal. They want to push it back until June. The CEA and Manufacturers have already spent almost a billion dollars to advertise the switch date as Feb. 17.
I’m not sure how often I’m going to be able to provide updates for this week’s CES, the internet connection in my hotel room has been pretty much non-existent and I’m paying $12 a day for this “privilege.” I’ll upload a ton of galleries and images when I get back home. I signed up with this service called Boingo a few weeks ago, but alas, it didn’t work. One of these days I’ll invest in a mobile broadband card. But let’s get going with this report. The biggest trend that I see happening this year is once again “convergence” technologies. Every press conference yesterday featured at least one item that brings Internet connectivity to your television. Here are some highlights from the press conferences:
Netgear announced their new Internet TV Player which let’s you watch video streams on your television. This new box is half the size of the Apple TV, easy to set up, automatically scales video to fit your television. The menu navigation is beautiful, right out of the box it’s set up for YouTube, Hulu, and a bunch of studio websites. We’re getting closer and closer to the day you can kick the cable company to the curb.
3G Mobile Broadband Wireless Router
A new cool trend is the advent of personal Wi-Fi hotspots. At CES unveiled there was a company displaying this amazing little device that is the size of a business card. It will take any Cell-phone signal and convert it to a portable Hot Spot and connect up to 5 devices to it. Netgear is launching a similar product, the difference is, and it’s available now and will work with your existing broadband cards. You basically plug your card into this box and you’ll instantly be able to connect all of your broadband devices to it. So if you are traveling with a group of people this could be a great thing because you wouldn’t need to provide every member of your group with their own broadband cards. The only thing I don’t like is the device is big (standard router size) and you would still need to connect your broadband card to it. Verses this other device that I saw at Unveiled, Tuesday.
I’m in Vegas this week to take a gander at all the latest and greatest in new Entertainment gadgets at CES. Over the next few days the site will be taken over by gear news. I’ll give you the scoop on the hottest new TVs, Blu-ray Players, doggy robots and more, so watch this space. And I’ll even throw in a couple of show reviews, I’m checking out Jersey Boys tonight, and some other stuff later this week. If all this tech stuff is too geeky for you, come back on Monday, as we are going to do a very special (non-tech related) giveaway.
Hey Everyone, it’s Sunday morning, I’m sitting here in my beautiful 1 bedroom suite, sipping on a cup of hot water (because there’s no tea) thinking about the best way to bring you all that is the biggest Consumer Electronics Show in the World – CES. I’ve been sick all week so I haven’t been able to properly plan EM’s coverage of the big show. But I’m finally feeling like a human being again and am ready to dive in. I’m going to be here until Tuesday, but don’t fret I’ll be able to get you everything you need in two days. Today, I’m attending 12 Press Conferences – LG, Toshiba, Samsung, et all and tonight I’m attending a special 4 hour preview party. Tomorrow, I’m walking the floor and attending the Blu-Ray bash. So I’ll have plenty of images of all the hot toys and entertainment gadgets. Be sure to check out our special CES page each night for the next few days to get a glimpse of the hot new gear.