CES 2020: Sands Expo is WEIRD now

So friends, CES has crossed over to the truly bizarre. And to be honest, I’m only prepared to tell you the half of it. This is a family-friendly site.

Sands Expo Center: Home of the stuff you just won’t find anywhere else.

In past years, the Sands Expo Center has been a bit of an also-ran, a place you went when maybe you ran out of something interesting to look for. Before that it was home to the AVN Expo, an offshoot of CES that dealt with more mature tastes. That show moved away a few years ago.

First, the good stuff.

What you see is a fairly generic box. But in the right hands, it could become an ATSC 3.0 converter box. Stay tuned for a lot more information in the coming months it if ends up not being vaporware.

Our friends at Televes were on site but unfortunately there wasn’t a lot to report on that end. Still no sight of the UHF/VHF Ellipse we were hoping for from last year. Edit: We are looking into the new Ellipse products and will have news of them when we can.

Also present at the Venetian, right next door, our friends at SureCall won an innovation award for their Fusion2Go Max, already available at Solid Signal.

Attack of the typos

While the CES South Plaza was still filled with overseas manufacturers, the more well-heeled of them graduated to the Sands Expo Center. Unfortunately, there were a few who didn’t quite read over their advertising material before they put things up in giant letters. Without comment, I present the following:

There were plenty more like this, but I don’t want to kick those well-meaning people while they are down.

The people I will kick while they are down

EyeQue promises smartphone-based eye exams and they let you try them. My experience may not have been typical but without my glasses I couldn’t see anything — every letter was too blurry. With my glasses their patented goggles didn’t fit. I’m not bullish on this one.

I’m also somewhat speechless about Toto’s line of USB-enabled toilets. I’ll just leave it right there.

Eureka Park

I was pleased to see that Eureka Park, home of the startups, was positively filled to capacity. I think that it’s great a lot of these companies are getting the press they rightly deserve, but I think the whole concept actually succeeded a bit too much. I would have liked to spend the whole day there but it was so busy — the only area of the show that actually was — that I couldn’t get close to the things I was interested in.

And then…

Look dear readers there is a whole corner of the show floor at the Sands I am simply not reporting on. As I said, there has always been an adult component to CES and let me just say there still is. I’m sure you can find another site to fill you in on that if you like.

All in all though I was very pleased to see the level of excitement surrounding health gadgets, wellness, home security, smart home, and other markets that were well represented at the Sands Expo. I was also oddly interested in this booth:

Heathkit was a brand from my youth that I really liked. Everything came in parts and you had to put it all together. Although they’ve abandoned that idea, apparently the company is still out there in the smart home space. Good for them!

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.