The craziness known as CES has passed into history for this year. So, we must select a few winners from the show that actually mean “something”. It needn’t be a specific product, but can even be a category that is finding its feet, so to speak.

FYI, it’s notable that almost exactly ten years to the day of the introduction of the Blu-ray player, the first Blu-ray 4K players are shown.

And for those curious about the creepy “zipper guy” … he was a no show this year.

Clearly, and without any reservations, I do hereby proclaim “VR” da’ winner. It was simply everywhere. From the major players like Samsung, down to the guys who deal in cardboard goggles that hold a smartphone. It was being integrated into everything from the 360° degree camera crowd , to the drone market and everywhere in between. Only the refrigerator/washer & dryer/oven manufacturers haven’t figured a use  … yet.  And the clear winner, in terms of the VR usage, is Samsung with probably 95% of the VR headsets at the show. Should you have a current Galaxy smartphone, all you need is a $99 plastic headset, the free software and you’re ready to rock. If you’re a cheap SOB, you can always do the cardboard thing if you don’t mind paper cuts. VR Goggles at 2016 CESAdmittedly the resolution is not exactly 4K quality, but the experience of using it can’t leave you with anything but the distinct feeling “this is the future”. This “thing” extends waaaay beyond the gaming crowd. It’d take more than a few beers at the local pub to fully explain it to your bored, bleeding ears. But I’ll give you a tiny idea … imagine instead of sitting stone-still in front of your 105” 4K OLED, you just have your VR goggles and a 360° experience that may eventually wind up giving you neck problems as you whip your head around to see what you heard behind you. Imagine the new Star Wars movie in a fully immersive experience. And you thought the folks who stood in line for a week for tickets in costumes were imbalanced … wait till they see this. Talk about a schism in their grasp of reality. Institutionalization will probably be required.


The runner-up had to be drones. And I thought last year was a huge year for them. This was the year that the idea of drone ownership truly went mainstream. The sheer amount of them available for purchase was dizzying to say the least. Prices range from $20 to well over $20,000 … that should give you a small idea. Interestingly, not a single person I spoke with was willing to pay the Obama drone tax and refused to “register” it as though it were a firearm. King of Drones











There was even was a drone that would carry a person a la’ “flying car”.

The video of it flying around in Dubai was exciting, but not as much as the thought of them firing the thing up in the show, and the Chinese software discovering a glitch and deciding the show wasn’t where it thought it was supposed to be with eight four-foot Cuisinart blades powered by huge electric motors. When someone got into the thing and I saw the power umbilical would allow it to reach into the crowd, I headed for anywhere-but-here.


GoPro 360 RigMy honorable mention has to be 360° cameras. When I saw a guy with (no kiddin’) with at least 16 GoPro Hero4 cameras on a special aluminum 360° mount w/1.19 panoramic fish eye lens walking around CES (around $11,000),     I thought there has to be a better way … and there is. Among my favs was Ricoh Theta again with dual 1080 cameras for about $300. Couldn’t be much easier to use and a brilliant design.

Have a bad day? Think about the last vacation you filmed with it and 1080p 360° VR. Reach for the rum and coke, pop on the VR goggles and chill … it’s so … very 21st century.

« »