Archive for January, 2013

We have a winner!

There were was absolutely nada in most categories that would merit this distinction this year. No TV, speaker or anything electronic at the world’s largest electronics gathering could earn my special achievement badge. Who would have guessed? While there were incremental improvements in all areas, this special award goes only to those who have clearly set a new high-water mark (no pun-intended … you’ll see soon)  for their vision of the future.

The clear winner this year at the 2013 CES is the plasma treatment of mobile devices. In English, this means a treated phone/tablet could be dropped into a pool and could be pulled out with no damage. Or use your imagination as to what liquids could do to a running smartphone/pad, and then stop worrying. This would put a permanent end to fear of rain or bathrooms shorting out your valuable electronic life. To imagine that the manufacturers would endorse this is unlikely. But have hope as the cell carriers usually have to eat some of the cost of replacing your water-soaked device. The pressure they put on Apple and Samsung may be the proverbial grease for the squeaky wheel. This invisible nano-coating, induced in a vacuum with hot plasma proprietary gases, provides the water resistance. To say it’s impressive, is an understatement. One company simply tossed a $800 iPhone 5 into a fish tank and pulled it out and continued to use it. Again and again. For days … with no ill effect. You can NOT tell it has been treated either. I saw a nano-treated Kleenex that was completely and absolutely waterproof. Not too much help for your nose during an allergy attack, but it give you an idea of it’s effectiveness.

Coming soon to a mall (they claim) is a franchised company that will be to do this to each and every hand-held device you want protected against water induced damage. If all electronics were coated (TV, DVR’s, phones, computers, etc.) and your house flooded, your electronic device loss would be exactly … zero. Think of how much better a car would resist being destroyed by flooding if even the carpets refused to get wet, much less the electronics. Of course the engine may not fare as well, but that’s another story. But if it’s an all electric car … almost indestructible to the elements. It’s feasible that a company could make a totally waterproof car. The hard cost from what I’ve been told is minimal for a $50,000 car … far less than replacing it. A $2.00 gas canister can coat 25 to 50 iPhones at one time. As the technology matures, it can only get cheaper. But will building a device that is getting continually more impervious to damage something companies will want? Add a really good protective case to your phone and it could last easily a decade or more (unless you are a die-hard Apple fanboy … then a year is just too long to wait for the next BIG thing).  Of course, you may need a new battery at some point. Regardless, this is a technology that is long overdue and the value of it can’t be overstated in the new mobile society.

Each time I went to a booth with this technology there was a crowd. I’ve never seen this in almost 15 years at the CES shows. And I actually lost count of the number of companies who were promoting their own proprietary nano technology. That should give you an idea of how ground-breaking this is, especially to the techno crowd who understands the reach this nano coating has into the future. While there are different chemicals or size of the plasma chamber with each company I visited, the basic concept is the same. As smartphones and tablets continue to worm their way into every little nook of our lives, this nano coating probably will be so mainstream in a few years, that you won’t even think about it … and that says it all.


A Picture Is Worth …..

At CES there is certain crowd that say that it’s a primarily male-dominated experience and that there no job opportunities for the opposite sex.

I disagree and here’s the proof:


















Please no hate mail …. Believe it or not, this is for a company called Hyper. For anyone who cares, they make batteries for charging iPhones and such.  And yes, no seemed to notice what they were selling at the show either ….

It took the better part of a day to recover from blindness from all the electronic flashes.

Who knew there were so many photographers at the show?

Stick It In Your Mouth

When you’ve been going to CES for as many years as I have, and with well over 20,000 new products being introduced at each show, you’re bound to find a dud or three. Well this year was no exception, and even had a new entrant that clearly belongs among the top three of the most useless and poorly conceived items I’ve ever seen. (drum roll please) …….. An electronic fork! A $100 fork no less.         And its great accomplishment?  It counts the number of times you did or didn’t wait for fifteen seconds between each bite. Perhaps they DO know their target audience … because anyone who would drop a C-note on an electronic fork is an individual who clearly can’t perform simple mental tasks … like counting to fifteen. Oh, and it tells you how long it took to eat … because if you can’t count, you don’t know how to read a watch.















The inventor said this “innovation” came about when his wife complained he was eating too fast. Apparently, he couldn’t control himself enough to slow down without sticking an electronic device in his mouth. And here’s the saddest part … he spent seven years working on it.

But for those who read this and still want one, it has an app as well. For that buyer it’s probably a source of endless delight. I can hear the inventor laughing at everyone gullible enough to waste their hard earned cash on this shotgun marriage of electronics and lack of common sense.                        To him I say, “Fork You!”

CBS and Freedom of Speech

At each CES there is a winner chosen by that is (in their opinion) the best of show.

This year was a first … CNET was literally forced into changing their selection by their owners.

CNET chose the new satellite receiver “The Hopper” as its “best in show.” As it turns out, CNET is owned by CBS,  who is suing the satellite TV company “Dish Network” that builds that unit. The suit is based on the convenience that allows its users to jump past annoying commercials. Believe it or not, CBS says that is a criminal act. As you may have read in my previous blogs, I talk about how the providers of content are doing everything they can to stifle innovation. This common-sense technology was invented by “Replay TV” well over a decade ago. And it’s as warmly received now as it was then.  So, according to CBS if you manually jump past commercials on a DVR on which you have recorded material, it’s OK, … but if the machine does it for you, it’s stealing … go figure.

And this is from a company who constantly touts its “Dan Ratherish” liberal beliefs, justifies it with the constant use of the phrases “freedom of the press” and “freedom of speech” to say anything it wants, even it’s patently wrong or blatantly biased.

I can only guess those “good liberal” beliefs don’t extend to its employees or customers.

Early results are in ….

Each year I pick a winner and loser of the 20,000+ new items at CES. This year is a little odd in that I may found both on the first day. That’s never happened before. Time will tell …

One of the products is so necessary for the entire smart phone/tablet community that it should be mandatory for all manufacturers.

The other one, well … how did they talk investors into this?  I want their CFO to negotiate my next home loan. Maybe he can get the bank to pay me to live there …