CES 2014: 3D Printing, Robots, and Displays (Part 4)
Now, I actually was able to spend some time in the 3D printing booths. Along with “smart” stuff and robotics, 3D printing was probably among the most talked about things at the show. Here’s an image of a large, portable Solar Panel. The casing was created with a 3D printer, reducing time from design to production significantly. A classic case of being able to model your products in-house at a fraction of the cost.
Robots. Floor sweepers, polishers, lots of cleaning robots… But the one that really impressed me, was a one of a kind: Winbot. This little guy (about a foot by a foot), climbs all over your window cleaning it. Takes some time, but it works. The demo included writing with magic marker, and when the robot got to that place, it took off the marker in one attempt. I really want to include one of the Winbots for review and demoing in our dream home. Certainly we do have the glass, inside and out. The Winbot is tethered, as it probably works hard to stay attached to vertical glass windows.
Lots of cute robots, and pet dog robots, and informational jetson type robots, robots for kids, robots with digital faces and touch sensitive tummies. for digital signage, and ultimately to replace counter folks at fast food restaurants, etc.
In fact, Robots and 3D printing was everywhere in South Hall, with all the major players, and many minor ones present, with MakerBot (now part of Stratasys Systems) probably the best of the booths, but also 3D Printing. Many printers were actually actively printing things, and the booths were loaded with working devices that were printed, from toys to tools.
Of course, the nicest thing I saw was not at the Zigbee booth, or the Belkin booth, or even the Epson press conference. It was the Lamborghini Veneno located in the Monster booth. Magnificent car, definitely the hottest thing at the show. It made those Teslas look like old Volkswagens.
By the way, Monster threw their annual awards event, with Head Monster Noel, and Nick Cannon, introducing the usual hip hop and rap stars. The concert was Fleetwood Mac, and boy did they rock. Stevie Nicks sounded real good, but playing by Mick Fleetwood on drums, and especially Lindsey Buckingham on guitar, blew away the thousands of us in attendance. Awesome. Noel (Lee) always puts on a show, and raises a lot of money for his favorite charities… Not to mention giving out lots of product awards.
Here’s the view from the GhostBar, best in Vegas. Just had to stop by, as Sony had its press dinner in the Palms Fantasy Tower (click to enlarge).
I saw a demonstration of Leap Motion for the first time in the Haier booth. A guy was playing a flight game, just by moving his hand inches above the sensor: Tilting hand to bank the jet, etc. Cool, but the guy wouldn’t stop playing it so I never got a chance to try it out. LG was also showing Speech and Gesture recognition, but I didn’t get close enough…
All right, back to more of your typical home theater-y stuff:
Above, Casio shows ultra short throw projector that works great for digital signage. Elite Screens launches a new ambient light rejection screen – the DarkStar. I plan to get it in here for review at some point.
The cutest projectors at the show, however, were these tiny projectors that come in bright colors. Not exactly business class products, but cool… The DLP.com booth was one of the highlights, lots of pico and pocket projectors there. Some are already being distributed in the US (i.e. at Brookstone), and others are seeking distribution (such as the little guys in bright colors).
But on the performance side, the big thing there were projector based dashes for cars. One looked similar to the huge display inside the Tesla S, but these even offered curved screens. and capacitance knobs, etc. The menus come up as you hand gets within about an inch of the control, I didn’t get a photo. But this year the heads up display for cars, that DLP.com was showing was really awesome, and extremely bright. It won’t be long before we start seeing a revamp of the modern dash and controls.
Curved OLED TVs were the rage, still pricy, and do we really need a curve, and don’t forget, that curves make sense if you are sitting straight back, and at the right distance, things get funky if sitting to the sides…
That’s all I’ve got. Overall, lots of cool stuff, very pleased with the showing this year. Hope you found it interesting. -a