2019 CES: Day 1 Report

Photo from the 2016 CES show

What a whirlwind it’s been. This was the opening day of the 2019 CES and the team are back in our hotel rooms ready for action. The subject of the day was the South Hall and the Sands Expo Center. We’ll leave the big TVs for another day.

South Hall

This is where you’ll find friends like Antop and SureCall, but of all the accessories and bits that were there, there was one strong standout that really blew people away. Most booths were well attended, but the one that really drew a crowd belonged to HyperVSN. I tried to get some good pictures but in the end this new and interesting technology is practically impossible to photograph!!

HyperVSN uses spinning blades with LEDs on them to create a holographic effect. It looks like the image or video is just floating in front of you right in space. Last year we saw this technology emerge but HyperVSN was there with a system that allowed convincing full-motion video as well as a matrix of multiple blades so that you could have a gigantic moving hologram. This video shows it in action better than my photos could.

People were just blown away by this technology and it really seems like it’s getting very close to being ready for wide distribution. It seems like you just can’t look away from this technology, it’s light and motion and animation that looks really convincing, all basically floating in thin air. Even though the video doesn’t show it, this new generation of tech actually allows you to put the blades in front of any color background. When I saw this technology last year, it really didn’t work unless it was in front of a matte black background. It still works best that way but it’s really convincing even in front of thin air.

Sands Expo Center

Sands Expo was really hopping this year. In the past it’s been a place where unwanted technology was sent to die but this year there was a lot of action, surprisingly. The health and fitness sector is surprisingly strong and there you saw a good showing from Google and Amazon (although Amazon also had its own exhibit hall at the Venetian, their subsidiaries were in the Sands.)

It goes to show that there is a lot of innovation that’s still possible in tech. I think a lot of people go to a show like this thinking there’s nothing more to see. This year, CES is proving me wrong.

Wackiest tech of the day

I laughed at a lot of tech this time around and I think that’s a good thing. More and more companies are willing to reach out and try something really different in order to get attention. Birdly had to be the funniest, though. What you see in the photo above is a virtual reality flight simulator of a completely different kind. You strap yourself in, put on the VR headset, and flap your arms as if you were a bird. A fan blows air at your face proportional to the speed you’re flapping. All I can say is you look like… a flappin’ idiot.

Big trends: Robots and pets

Two things that were everywhere this time were robots and pet products. No one quite knows what to do with robots, but that didn’t stop a myriad of companies from showing a myriad of robots. Most were incredibly creepy and looked like they would possibly murder you in your sleep. On the other hand, the robot pets definitely looked like they would murder you in your sleep.

One company bucking the trend was Petronics, who created a semi-autonomous robot designed to play with your cat when you are busy. We plan on getting one of these to see what the blog’s mascots have to say about it.

Onward and upward

Coverage of CES 2019 has just begun! We’re here all week so keep checking back and we’ll put up content as often as we can. We’re a small crew unlike those other blogs so we tend to publish a little later. Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.