back to article CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers

It's that time of year again, when over 100,000 people cram into the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off the latest in consumer electronics gizmos, make deals, and exchange interesting viruses to get the inevitable conference cough. This year's CE has been about par for the course – dull keynotes, some interesting gadgets …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The jeans, and jean shorts, come with builtin chips and a vibrating gizmo on each side that rumble to direct the wearer"

    They are missing the obvious place to put the gizmos. A friend in the 1970s used to wear her denim jeans without panties because she liked the effect of the large inner seam when moving. She used to ride her horse bareback in all respects too.

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      so... nothing came between her and her Calvins, eh?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thumbs up for the gratuitous Brooke Shields reference. She was 15, I was 10, the atlantic separated us, nothing happened, quelle surprise.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >"The jeans, and jean shorts, come with builtin chips and a vibrating gizmo on each side that rumble to direct the wearer"

      "At the roundabout, go straight ahead..."

      A surprisingly popular direction.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Still, now you can follow some girl staring at her ass and then claim you're just getting satnav directions...

      1. h4rm0ny
        Paris Hilton

        And now she can legitimately tell you to get lost? ;)

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      A friend of mine found his girlfriend modifying the pillion seat of his motor bike for better grip when cornering. Best use of gaffa tape ever apparently.

  2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: AirBar

    "But it's a cunning invention that is unobtrusive and very useful."

    I'm not saying that it isn't nifty and usefull, but it's too much like the HP-150 from 1983 to be a new invention.

    1. Down not across

      Re: AirBar

      'm not saying that it isn't nifty and usefull, but it's too much like the HP-150 from 1983 to be a new invention.

      I still have couple HP-150s with the HP2647A no less :-)

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: AirBar

        Whilst it might have some niche use cases, there are other ways to achieve much of the same functionality, often with additional advantages.

        - The MacBook screen can be mirrored to a tablet with 3rd party software.

        - Individual tool pallets on macOS can be controlled from an iOS app, depending upon the software.

        - For extended use, the location of a Macbook's screen isn't ideal

        - For for hand and finger gestures correlating to certain parts of the screen (for presentrations, for example) a Leap Motion controller could be suitable.

        - Use a Windows PC instead. This gives less distance between the user's finger / stylus and the pixels, thus reducing parallax error. Also, stylus import will be more nuanced and accurate. The same advantages can also be had by:

        - Use a Cintiq touchscreen monitor in conjunction with the MacBook, or a standalone Citiq tablet.

        - Use an iPad Pro with stylus

        I'm not saying that the AirBar doesn't have a place, but it isn't without competition from existing ways of doing much the same thing. That is why I was surprised to read that a lack of touchscreen was a 'consistent complaint' amongst Mac users. It's also worth noting that the company Modbook - who turned Macbooks into touch screen tablets - hasn't posted any 'News' on their website since November 2015... lack of demand, I assume.

        1. joed Silver badge

          Re: AirBar

          I'd say that touch is major detriment of any new PC. Not sure why anyone would like to suffer on Mac

      2. elbow

        Re: AirBar

        2647 APL terminal? Drool.

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: AirBar

          2647 APL terminal...

          In a previous life, I modified the code in the Data General D200 video terminal to support the APL character set (including overstrikes). It became a (Special Systems) product. Not many were sold.

          I learned APL in university, solely to avoid having to do reams of multiply/adds in my Linear Algebra course. Once you've taken the determinant of one matrix, the fun kinda goes out of the process...enter APL. The next year, they offered an APL version of the course.

        2. Mpeler
          Paris Hilton

          Re: AirBar - HP2647

          Does it support HPWord? (or have the ROMs?)

      3. Mpeler
        Pint

        Re: AirBar HP150

        I have an unopened, shrink-wrapped copy of HP NewWave :)

        Thanks for the memories. I had to convince some of my FAMs that the 150 was corporate standard as opposed to the MACs, etc. The laughter (even if only thought) is still echoing in my head. Having said that, the touchscreen, like a lot of the tech coming out of the old HP, was ahead of its time.

        Anyone remember Spectra-Physics? They bought 3D Systems in 1988 or so, to jump into the market for 3D printing. Sadly, neither the market, nor the (affordable) computing power to support the printers existed at the time...sigh...

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: "AI"

    "If the IT industry wants to avoid AI becoming nothing more than a buzzword, it needs to pull itself together and stop over-egging the pudding."

    Way too late.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: "AI" -Way too late

      They were already doing it back in 1972 when some researcher advised the government that computers were already powerful enough, it was software that was needed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Way too late."

      Totally Agree. Look at how the media just parrot off analysis without any critical examination in sight.... "Analysts have said"... (Its Like God Spoke....)

      http://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0104/842707-ai-set-to-be-biggest-tech-trend-of-2017/

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cruise ship IoT wearables

    El Reg seems to have overlooked the cruise ship wearable IoT tokens. With 3,560 passengers and 1,346 crew - what could possibly go wrong?

    This will allow passengers to:

    Unlock their cabin doors automatically as they approach

    Find the location of friends and family onboard the ship

    Pay for merchandise without using cash or a credit card

    Navigate from one place to another on the vessel

    Connect guests to a gambling platform accessible around the ship

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38504219

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Cruise ship IoT wearables

      Just perfect for those nonagenarian who only want to perfect their bridge scores ...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cruise ship IoT wearables

      Surprised this took so long. This is fundamentally the same tech that theme parks have been using for a good few years already now. In Disney they're branded MagicBand. I got a look at some of the tech that underpins its backend a couple of years ago. It is both awesome and terrifying at the same time, given how strongly it's targeted at children. Think real-time command centre overseeing the location/profile/spend/estimated mood etc. of every single person in the park, on one big wall-sized screen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cruise ship IoT wearables

        The Disney MagicBand seemed to me to be a way to get customers to part with extra money for their park ticket... (from about $13* through to $26* depending on whether you want a boring one or one with a picture of Elsa, Anna or maybe Olaf. (* Plus tax, as a reminder for those of us who live on the right hand side of the sea of madness).

        If you're visiting Disneyworld from abroad, you'll usually get "Fastpass+" functionality thrown in for free with your credit card sized ticket, which has the same RFID chip built into it as the Magicband. You can then pay for your ticket to be cloned to a Magicband if you can't be bothered to take your ticket out of your pocket to enter the park or use the Fastpass queues, or can't be bothered to take your credit card out of your pocket at the tills of the overpriced shops.

  5. YeahRight

    Well...

    Satnave jeans for wimmin are justifiably getting ridiculed for being patronising nonsense. But... Satnav that nudges the wearer in the right direction might have a lot of uses. Fitted to a helmet, jacket or safety gear it could be a winner in hostile environments where holding a screen might not be practical.

    I ride motorbikes and it might be preferable to having a satnav on a wobbly handlebar mount

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      I quite agree

      The smart jeans are naff, or at least their suggested use. But haptic feedback from satnav is a brilliant idea. I seem to remember seeing something last year about shoes with it fitted. And haptic feedback works even when audible instructions are impractical.

      How about when you're wandering through a big, strange city? Holding expensive phone in hands is recipe for robbery. Or you're carrying things in both hands? Or if you're blind - guide dogs avoid obstructions, but they don't usually respond to "take me to Nando's". How about police, military or James Bonds trying to silently approach a target? And @YeahRights biking and cycling of course.

      Someone could make serious money with a bluetooth gadget that hits in the shoes, or on the wrist or wherever.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Haptics for directions/navigation

        They already have a bluetooth device for this you are looking for - any sort of earphone will work MUCH better for navigating without your phone, because directions aren't always left or right. Plus it is helpful to be told in advance "turn left in 500ft" so maybe you decide to cross the street one block early because the 'walk' sign is already lit in that direction when you go by. You could connect only one earbud if you want to still hear what is going on around you, or simply one use one of the Jawbone type phone ones that go in only one ear.

        Haptics for directions is far too limited to be useful, unless there are all kinds of weird signals you have to learn like "double vibrate left shoe means left turn soon (for some definition of 'soon') but not yet", "three quick vibrations both shoes means you've gone past your destination, do a 180 and walk in the other direction", etc.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Haptics for directions/navigation

          But... the earpiece could mess up that fantastically styled hair that was done with that fancy brush.

          In my experience with women, messing with their hair is a big NO-NO. Just don't go there. my current Mrs turns into {see icon} If I mess with her hair before she has shown it off to whoever.

      2. PhilipN Silver badge

        ...on the wrist or wherever....

        You mean like this one :

        https://happic.co

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: ...on the wrist or wherever....

          If it twerks...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I quite agree

        The BBC presenter seemed to suggest that placing two buzzers in one's pockets would allow the same effect and the ability to change clothing and replace batteries. Patent not pending dibs on flagging prior art for the USPTO.

      4. h4rm0ny

        Re: I quite agree

        Put it in the toe of your shoes. A small vibration there as you approach your turning would be noticeable and intuitive.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Well...

      I once met up with a slightly-built female acquaintance in a bar in a city she wasn't familiar with. She told me she didn't like navigating from her hotel to the bar whilst holding an expensive phone. And to be honest, for the amount of information she was gleaning from ( Forwards, Left, Right etc) a super-duper IPS screen was overkill; a few LEDS or the movement of hands on an analogue watch face could have done just as well.

      Haptic navigation isn't a bad idea, but putting it jeans seems strange idea to me. Putting it in a belt would be a better solution because:

      -A single belt can be worn with many different trousers. Hell, make the belt reversible with black on one side for formal occasions, another colour on the reverse for casual wear.

      -Belts are already routinely removed from trousers before the trousers are washed.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Well...

        A single belt can be worn with many different trousers

        Especially if it is black. I still have some fond recollections of a slightly-built female acquaintance of mine I was walking home after a night out my first year in Uni.

        She told me off to stop trying to be a hero and shoved me off to the side to crack the skulls of two 2m tall, 90kg+ gorillas in the subway (she was definitely slightly built - 45 kg, 1m 60cm). She did have a belt in the right color scheme. Nicely matching her ... err.. jeans..

        So if you are really uncomfortable with carrying, going, etc in a particular are either do not do it at all, or do it with the right person (even if that person is your dear self).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well...

          "So if you are really uncomfortable with carrying, going, etc in a particular are either do not do it at all, or do it with the right person (even if that person is your dear self)."

          So what happens when said area is the ONLY way in or out of your neighborhood/complex AND there's no right person around?

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Well...

        In cities I am unfamiliar with I have often used phone satnav just by listening to audio on headphones - fine for walking around, phone can happily be kept in pocket out of the way.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well...

      Never heard of speakers? Have them fitted to my flip lid so get instructions as I ride.

    4. John Presland

      Re: Well...

      Get a Garmin SatNav designed for a bike. Mine wrongly thinks the roads in my village haven't yet been asphalted and that when I go through the nearest motorway tunnel I'm actually driving across a field, but it doesn't wobble.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well...

        Or when lost in Italy because the road on the satnav map that it thinks has been built hasn't been finished yet.

    5. Esme

      Re: Well...

      I know a couple of folk with very poor eyesight that might well find that form of guidance output helpful. If the things can be asked directions by voice input, then jeans that can indicate which way to go might well have some kind of market. Just not the stated one.

      OTOH the beltidea is better for the reasons given (usability on other items of clothing, etc)

    6. Lobrau

      Re: Well...

      Good call. Would also be preferable to what amounts to mumbled directions from the bluetooth headset at speed and shouty ones when riding slowly.

  6. moiety

    The Project Valerie is way more practical than the Acer Predator, depending (of course) on what the final price point might be; but there's a fair amount of leeway there before they hit 9 bloody thousand. The screens don't pull out, by the way, there's "an automated deployment mechanism".

    You wouldn't want either one on your lap, fair enough, but my current daily driver is a gaming laptop that looks about as big folded as the Valerie thing and I never have that on my lap either

    Project Valerie site

    Acer Predator to scale. (Warning - the presenter's a bit shouty). It's an impressive machine, but gaming on the Valerie would be a much better experience if the internals can handle it.

    1. Down not across

      Project Valerie

      The Project Valerie is way more practical than the Acer Predator, depending (of course) on what the final price point might be; but there's a fair amount of leeway there before they hit 9 bloody thousand. The screens don't pull out, by the way, there's "an automated deployment mechanism".

      I'd actually quite like the Project Valerie as a work laptop. Finally enough screen estate without resorting to external displays.

      but gaming on the Valerie would be a much better experience if the internals can handle it.

      Given it has GTX1080 (and I would suspect CPU to be a beefy i7) I don't see why it wouldn't handle most stuff quite nicely.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Project Valerie

        Not much use as a "latop" but seriously neat for a portable development machine. I recently needed a new daily-use machine and ended up with an MSI 'gaming' laptop, simply to get serious oomph, big SSD (and a 17.3" screen). I really like the idea of the Valerie screens.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Project Valerie

          I don't think that the Predator was designed to be practical! It's more a concept machine that will be sold in small numbers. For that reason, I don't Acer is taking the piss - gamers have lots of options, and so don't have to buy it, especially when they can get most of the experience for a third of the price.

          For those of you looking for a lot of mobile grunt but don't want a machine that looks like plastic Lamborghini made for 12 year boys, the Gigabyte Aero could fit your bill: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=6176#kf

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Project Valerie

          One big problem - it is a machine for the right handed, touch pad in place of a numeric keypad and of course there is no numeric keypad.

          If they sorted those things out it would be the ideal unit when working in different companies offices.

          1. brotherelf

            Re: Project Valerie

            I'm sure the could fit in something akin to the old ThinkPad butterfly keyboard to fix that.

        3. Ogi

          Re: Project Valerie

          > Not much use as a "latop" but seriously neat for a portable development machine.

          I was going to come here to post the same thing. I know people in the oil and aeronautical defense industries, and they would love something like this. Especially as (AFAIK) no laptops support two extra screens in addition to the main one (at best you can add one external monitor, but my info might be out of date)

          They have their nice dual/triple screen setups at the office, but when they get shipped abroad to work in the field, you can only really take what fits in carry on luggage. So they usually have to make do with much less screen estate.

          The aeronautical guy used to have the "dual screen" fold out thinkpad from a while back, and he really liked it (although he said he wished it had full size second screen, rather than the portrait one). Apparently when doing some CATIA work you want as much screen real estate as you can get.

          As such there is a demand for things like Valerie. Think of it less as a "laptop" and more a "luggable computer", something that packs up nice and easy, but you can unpack it on a desk to use as a portable workstation.

          These people don't mind if it is an inch thick, as long as it fits into carry on, the extra weight they will survive (it will definitely be smaller and lighter than a laptop + 2 normal monitors & stands packed away) and usually they get decent expense budgets, so they could buy the machine if it is what they needed (saw one of them spend £10,000 on a desktop workstation, so no shortage of money for the right tool there)

          1. moiety

            Re: Project Valerie

            @Ivan 4 - The predator does have a numeric keypad...it's shown on the video and is on the underside of the touchpad...the whole unit comes out and you use whichever side you want. So you can have a touchpad OR a numeric keypad, but not both. I daresay the $10 or whatever for a mouse isn't going to add too much trauma after coughing up 9 grand for the machine.

          2. DaddyHoggy

            Re: Project Valerie

            Your info is a little out of date - My current work laptop is a GTX980M based machine - it will drive it's own screen plus two externals no problem - using NVSurround it will actually drive 3 matched external screens (but not the in-built screen at the same time) via 1x HDMI and 2x mini-DP

            I too like the Valerie and it's about the same weight (claimed 5.5kg) as my old Dell XPS M1730 (which had SLI 9800s in it, a power brick the size of a substation and a battery that was effectively only a UPS)

          3. Jeff Cook

            Re: Project Valerie

            I'll second the being able to have the extra screens when working remotely. Plus it would be fun to see the double-takes when firing up a project Valerie-type system at Starbucks when I get called on the way home because someone did something wrong and it has to be fixed ASAP. You can get two external monitors for a laptop but apparently it depends on the docking station (YMMV) so you're still stuck with one screen when you travel.

          4. JetSetJim Silver badge

            Re: Project Valerie

            > Especially as (AFAIK) no laptops support two extra screens in addition to the main one (at best you can add one external monitor, but my info might be out of date)

            Yep, out of date :)

            My work Dell Precision M3800 is driving 2 extra screens, admittedly via a "dock" USB3 gizmo which needs it's own power source, but it's there. Only one video port (HDMI) on the main chassis, tho. Previous iterations of our standard work laptop have also been Dells with both HDMI and VGA which would also drive two monitors directly (additional to the screen) if you had the right firmware/hardware combo, but we didn't get many of those.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Go

              Re: Project Valerie

              "Especially as (AFAIK) no laptops support two extra screens in addition to the main one (at best you can add one external monitor, but my info might be out of date)"

              HP ZBook here.

              Running built in Monitor (17.3") + 2 external monitors (albeit via a docking station)

          5. toughluck

            Re: Project Valerie

            @Ogi: Your info is out of date. Since Ivy Bridge, Intel's integrated GPU supports up to three independent displays, but has two PLL signals, which means two of these displays must have the same specifications for sync, preferably two identical models. As of Broadwell, even Intel can now drive three displays completely independently.

            The only problem is how actual laptop vendors configure video outputs, as they typically choose to have two digital outputs and one VGA (who the hell still prefers to use VGA?), but even with that configuration, you can drive 8, 10 or 12 screens (plus one) using DisplayPort splitters (MTS hubs) at 8 bits per color -- eight 1920x1200, ten 1920x1080 or twelve 1680x1050 screens, as DisplayPort 1.2 supports 4096x2160 streams with 10 bits (I'm not sure, but it might support 10 bit 5120x2160, in which case the number of screens increases to twelve 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 and fourteen 1680x1050. With 6 bits per color, it can be even more.

            AMD's mainstream laptop chips support 4 independent video streams (at 4K using DisplayPort 1.2), and the latest video cards (even in laptops) may support 4-6 video streams at 5K (5120x2880).

            The only real limitation is how many video output the vendor chooses to implement, but the only reason I pushed hard for a new laptop at work was so that I could drive three monitors from a single laptop.

            And you can get a nine-monitor portable workstation [http://www.rugged-portable.com/multi-screen-display-rugged-portables/ags-mccs-9u_front/|right here].

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Project Valerie

          "I really like the idea of the Valerie screens."

          They'll be even better when truly flexible displays come along and you just put the screen(s) out like a roller blind on a telescopic arm similar to portable projector screens.

          The thing that bugs me about CES and similar is the complete lack of jaw-dropping break throughs that used to be the hallmark of these conferences. There seems to very little that's new, just lots of empty promises and raft loads of tat. I feel privileged to have lived through the start of the home computing revolution when barely a week went by without yet another breakthrough announcement. Heady days <sigh>

        5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: Project Valerie

          The only problem would be the chiclet keyboard. The Predator keyboard has correctly-shaped keys (and, I believe, Cherry switches underneath)

          1. Baudwalk

            Re: Project Valerie

            >>>The Predator keyboard has correctly-shaped keys<<<

            But look at the horribly offset space bar. *yuck*

            So close to perfection...still so far.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      Having a HP Z-book with a "big" screen that aready weigh the same as a small family hatchback, with 2x 23" monitors slung off the sides on mounting brackets, I would love this!

      When you have to work from home and have to unplug your own kit so you can have more than one monitor, this would be perfect.

      Some of use aren't worried about lightness, just practicality.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Valerie - someone likes it

      Beeb are reporing that someone has nicked two Valerie prototypes from CES!

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38565913

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Ahem, the jeans.

    Where does one insert the batteries or charging socket?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My fav useless item of the show.

    The 42 compartment garment with specific pockets for specific electronic "gadgets", "inspired" by the fisherman's vest, with the fantastic laptop pocket that requires a second party to get the thing in and out.

    It comes with a small fabric map to the pockets but the manufacturer does not advise filling all pockets at once, because you know, momentum and gravity.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38527350

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Coat

      Re: My fav useless item of the show.

      Actually, I have the competitor the BBC mention, the AyeGear J25 (made in Scotland!).

      I bought it solely for airport use, as it makes going through security simple.

      Theater Security Agent - "Put all your metal in the tray"

      I take off gilet and put it in the tray, no fishing phone out of pocket A, change out of pocket B, etc.

      Job. Done.

      1. John Riddoch

        Re: My fav useless item of the show.

        I've heard of folks using photographer's jackets in the same way. Basically, any vest/jacket with a lot of pockets.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: My fav useless item of the show.

          Catalogue of gadgets mapped to pocket location... Is there an App for that? Would that be a pocket calculator?

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: My fav useless item of the show.

          I've heard of folks using photographer's jackets in the same way.

          If you show up in gear like that at an airport expect the metal detector to buzz on you slightly later than you would expect after you pass through it.

          They have the observation officer's "attention to this person" button now wired to the buzzer (at least at LHR) and they openly discriminate against people wearing fishermen jackets and cargo pants. I have had it buzz on me 3 times lately - all because of wearing cargo trousers with 10 pockets (4 front, 2 back, 2 thigh, 2 ankle).

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: My fav useless item of the show.

            > all because of wearing cargo trousers with 10 pockets (4 front, 2 back, 2 thigh, 2 ankle).

            Is this because you take them off and put them in the X-Ray tray before you go through the scanner?

            Mine's the one with many pockets...natch

  9. cirby

    No VR advances?

    You mean, aside from the wireless adapters announced for the HTC Vive? There's the HTC one and a few others...

    Or the Vive pucks that you attach to things so you can (for example) have a fully-tracked rifle in VR, with working trigger?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No VR advances?

      You've had attachments for VR for about 20 years. OK using a cable, but principle is the same.

  10. W Donelson

    "Look at Me" toys for the rich. It's a better bet than any startup for "the masses". Trust me.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This is a horrible thing. Our species does not deserve to survive,"

    Best Line of CES and it came from the Reg in response to this:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/04/iot_ces_smart_hairbrush/

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CES: Jetson's Lifestyle Finally Here...

    ....."LG: Working with Amazon to broaden Smart-Refrigerator's capabilities... PROVIDE customers with pleasurable COOKING and DINING experience."

    ~ What, did you cook the dinner LG?

    ~ Maybe you did the washing up after?

    ~ Or perhaps cleaned the bathrooms?

    ~ Then changed the sheets on the beds...

    * They peddle this with promises of easing life's chores. But at futuristic pricing of course. Yet we're all still hoovering where bots can't reach, manually cleaning the bathrooms for the same reason, cooking ourselves or changing bed-sheets etc...

    * So where are the Robots? Simply helping us make the shopping list or sending it to Amazon isn't living the leisure lifestyle... But the question is: Why does big-media continue to peddle lies with zero scrutiny, are they being paid to...?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Acer with Project Valerie

    Where this might be useful is in actual game design. For those on-the-move etc. For example take Unreal Engine 4 by Epic. Three screens would mean one for world building, one for the main screen property windows, and one for Blueprints etc...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The memory booster looks interesting, I might have a look for it after the weekend if I remember.

  15. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Internet of Shit on Twitter*

    Just wow!!! Unbelievable what's there. I'm hoping Musk will pick me for the Mars trip... one-way is fine as I don't want to be here anymore after seeing some of this crap which, naturally, is "smart" and "you need it". I fear for the future of the human race.

    *Just plain jaw-dropping and mind boggling.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Internet of Shit on Twitter*

      Been following it for some time.

      Still all time best was the wireless speaker with NO security for "convenience".

      The guy demonstrated the convenience by playing thrash metal at 3am on a neighbors device.

      It disappeared after a week.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That ain't VR.

    Real VR is when you can believe yourself to be somewhere else, complete with simulation of physical sensations, without your physical body moving along with it. Until it gets to that level, the masses aren't really going to believe it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That ain't VR.

      If everyone waited till <inset any tech> was perfected, nothing would ever happen!

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: That ain't VR.

        And who says that's a bad thing? Steady isn't sexy, but at least we wouldn't have the Internet of Stupid Things.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "tech bros telling women how to manage their feeding"

    So you were being actually sexist to save the poor ladies from sexism that in fact did not exist ?

    Well done, hope you're proud of yourselves.

    1. Rob 44

      Re: "tech bros telling women how to manage their feeding"

      What are you on about? No one's telling anyone anything. It's a good idea that a lot of women are interested in. Take your faux offence to tumblr.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "tech bros telling women how to manage their feeding"

        It's a quote from the article, you offended genius.

  18. MR J

    From Google.....

    Some call it snow cream, fluff ice, milk fluff or milk snow. In Taiwanese, it's xue hua bing, which literally translates to "snow flower" (a.k.a. snowflake) ice. Whatever you call it, you will rejoice at the cool surprise of Taiwanese shaved ice.

    In all Fairness...

    Dyson can sell "Digital" motors, so why cant those guys sell "Digital" ice?

    1. toughluck

      Re: From Google.....

      Dyson uses a perfectly fine abbreviated form of a digital inverter direct drive motor. A lot of appliances started using one in the last couple of years, they're simpler to run, more reliable and more powerful than belt driven motors using thyristors.

  19. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

    Predator

    I was chatting with another gent and when it came to the Predator, we both thought engineering not gaming. When your installing software that totals more than a couple of hundred thousand dollars, $9,000 isn't much overhead for the hardware.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Predator

      But is it the most convenient way to house the hardware? The damned thing weighs nearly 20 lbs! Before buying, it'd be prudent to spec up a solution based around flight cases or Pelican boxes - being more rugged and modular, cheaper, and with greater thermal headroom. I mean, you're not going to be using this thing that far away from a power outlet for very long anyways!

      There is also the issue of ECC RAM and Quadro (instead of GeForce) graphics. Most of the time you won't notice the difference, but some regulations mandate ECC RAM for critical calculations (just in case), and some software prefers (and has been tested on) professional GPU drivers.

      Engineering (simulation, visualisation etc) applications will often harness GPU hardware to perform calculations, and not just throw pixels at a screen - so in some circumstances you might benefit from a bank of GPUs in a flight-case (a mini 'render farm'). This is of course if you need a lot of computation whilst away from a fast, reliable internet connection (oil rigs are the oft-given example) and are thus unable to use scalable cloud computing resources.

      You could also just have a flight case rammed full of compute power and then just X-windows (or equivalent) in with a normal laptop (er, Mobile Workstation) - and save yourself some noise and heat in the process.

      Of course, if you are moving desk several times a day and don't want a collection of boxes, then you can get close with a Dell Precision for $6,000 - but you'll have to slum it with a single GPU, only two internal drives and tiny 17" screen.

      1. toughluck

        Re: Predator

        There you go:

        http://www.rugged-portable.com/multi-screen-display-rugged-portables/

        You can pair it with this workstation:

        http://www.rugged-portable.com/mil-spec-workstation/

        Can be dual Xeon, six hard drives, multiple GPU.

        If you need more storage, how about this:

        http://www.rugged-portable.com/massive-removable-hard-drive/

        The workstation with its three monitors fits in one Pelican, two sets of three screens fit in another Pelican, and you're set to go. It really looks like an awesome solution, though the screens are only 17" diagonal.

  20. david willis

    Microbot Push

    Do they do a version that can turn a key ?

    I'm sure the new US president would be interested in a way to cut costs in the US Military whilst maintaining control over the nuclear arsenal. Four of these in each missile bunker would be a massive cost saving.

    Obviously device security might be an issue.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Microbot Push

      Why not just come up with a new version of "The Most Useless Thing EVER" (look it up on YouTube)?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    You missed out the

    F.F.Sake section.

    And my candidated: The Roam-E drone - a mini drone that takes flying selfies...

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: You missed out the

      If it's someone/something else taking the picture, it's not a 'selfie'.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: You missed out the

        Unless it's at YOUR direction. Otherwise, it isn't a selfie if you're using a Bluetooth trigger (because you're not holding the camera).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing from Intel on this list?

    E.g. their announcement of a credit card sized (well, plus 10mm or so) computer, the Compute Card? Availability mid 2017.

    https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-unveils-intel-compute-card-credit-card-sized-compute-platform/

    Make your own mind up whether it should be on the good or bad side. Or maybe even bonkers.

    Apologies if it's already covered elsewhere here, but GoOgle couldn't quickly find it,

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Nothing from Intel on this list?

      It's interesting to consider the Intel Compute Card in conjunction with Sony, LG and Samsung's last attempts to sell anything other than a Nice Dumb Screen. They are making some very nice screens (dynamic range, loads of pixels, colour accuracy etc) that are so slim that they use a break-out box, which handles inputs, power supply and in some cases doubles as a sound bar. These break-out boxes connect to the screen via a proprietary connector.

      The Intel Compute Card is intended as a way of upgrading the innards of 'Smart TVs', at a time when many of us just use the TV as an output for a Chromcast, HTPC, XBOX, Sky Box or whatever.

    2. Boothy

      Re: Nothing from Intel on this list?

      When I first saw the 'Compute Card', the first thing that popped into my mind was how is this any different than basically a top end smart phone without a touch screen?

      1. Roo
        Windows

        Re: Nothing from Intel on this list?

        The 'Compute Card' is different in that it has an expensive (Intel) single source CPU built around a legacy ISA. Much like the Raspberry Pi alternatives that Intel punted and abandoned.

  23. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Linux

    Panasonic Announces Android-Based Car Infotainment Platform

    "Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Google are working together to create an Android-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system, the former has announced at CES 2017. It will be based on the latest version of Android, v7.0 Nougat, and use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820Am processor." link

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the sudden splurge of down votes in all the above posts? Has one of the organisers of CES suddenly found this thread?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Possibly.. and also the makers' marketing and PR departments.

      1. Potemkine Silver badge

        Nah, neither Marketing nor PR give a fuck about others' opinion.

  25. paulsk

    Another journo out of touch

    Siri is lame and Google will sell your soul to the highest bidder - you forgot Microsoft and Cortana - fortunately Nissan, BMW and others are more current (less biased!)

    Take a look at https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=saqib+shaikh+video&view=detail&mid=BF458FF95EEEBDFC6D75BF458FF95EEEBDFC6D75&FORM=VIRE

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Another journo out of touch

      You link results in a page "Video is no longer available".

      Can you expand upon your point? I quite grasp the link you're making between voice-based 'digital assistants' and car manufacturers.

      Nor were such things mentioned in the article, so I'm unclear on why you say the 'journo is out of touch'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another journo out of touch

        The Bing link which apparently failed for you (and maybe others) works for me (and maybe others).

        I think this is the same content:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2mC-NUAmMk

        "Published on 30 Mar 2016

        Saqib is a core Microsoft developer living in London, who lost the use of his eyes at age 7. He found inspiration in computing and is helping build Seeing AI, a research project that helps people who are visually impaired or blind to better understand who and what is around them. The project is built using intelligence APIs from Microsoft Cognitive Services (www.microsoft.com/cognitive). Access the audio description version of this video at https://youtu.be/3WP7Id8SxYQ"

        Note that this is apparently a *Microsoft Research* *project*. Is it, will it ever be, an MS *product*? And will the fact that MS are attempting to play in this market deter other potential players from having a go, because they know that it's always hard to win against MS (even if, for example, you start off as a winner, like Nokia did)?

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Another journo out of touch

          > Note that this is apparently a *Microsoft Research* *project*. Is it, will it ever be, an MS *product*? And will the fact that MS are attempting to play in this market deter other potential players from having a go, because they know that it's always hard to win against MS (even if, for example, you start off as a winner, like Nokia did)?

          Hello, welcome to this wonderful planet, I do not know where you come from, Alpha Centauri, maybe ?

          Nokia and MS were competitors in the mobile space a decade ago, and both lost. Ask Apple or Google if it is hard to compete with MS ... it is harder in the computer arena mainly because you cannot buy PC's with anything other than Windows in main stream PC shops as, for example, PC World. You can get Mac's with MacOS, but that does not really count, as there the manufacturer makes hardware and software. The day an OEM offers PC's with Linux to the masses, their Redmond tax will increase tenfold, across the board, so they never will - note that this is limited to PC compatible devices.

          So, it is easy to compete with MS in other markets because MS cannot play bully. MS are so useless that they have alienated their PC customers, so much so people have stopped buying PC's altogether because they cannot stand Windows 8+.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AI - HAL

    Sadly, I don't see HAL anymore when I see that glowing red eye. I see Pierce Brosnan in the Simpsons..

    Marge: Hello, police? I think my house killed my husband!

    Pierce Brosnan: This is Constable Wiggums. We'll be right there. Remove your knickers and wait in the bath.

  27. Mark Solaris

    The button pusher would be good for automatic harvesting in a game app, plus avoiding idle timeouts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Buying one would probably get you on the terrorist watch list, after all, lots of uses for something that can remotely push a button...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's kinda sad...

    ...when the highlight of one of the world's premier tech conventions is a breast pump.

  29. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Dear Reg, please could you zap down to your Picture Editor's main databank with a large axe and give him (it's obviously a him) a reprogramming he'll never forget? Zaphod and I would be very grateful.

    PS Please don't be ducks, just when you've persuaded Orlowski's stop ranting on about climate change conspiracy theories?

  30. EarthDog Bronze badge

    Microbot Push II

    Didn't I see that on the Simpson's once? Wait that was a drinking bird. Now we can go IoT and connect nuclear power plants to the internet.

  31. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Devil

    Exchange Interesting Viruses

    A reference to the nearby AVN Adult Entertainment Expo?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "enjoy their kitchen experience like never before"

    ..."that enables users to use the touch-screen to leave virtual notes, lists and memos for other family members."...

    No mention of Smart Fridge, surely its the lamest excuse of all for IoT... Plus post-it data should probably not go to the Cloud! It might have seriously sensitive info on there (names / addresses / pins etc). How long until the kids / granny writes something you'd prefer didn't go to Snoop Central?

    http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2017/0104/842705-lg-unveils-voice-controlled-fridge/

  33. herman3101

    Laundroid

    No mention of laundroid? The most overblown and hilarious product launch there. 10 years in the making, the size of two industrial washers stacked on top of each other, takes 10 minutes to fold a shirt (yeah its sole purpose is folding laundry) and no mention of price.

  34. jake Silver badge

    CES?

    Isn't that the show where marketards masturbate each other whilst leering at porn stars? I'll pass, thank you very much ...

  35. dan1980

    "Willow breast pump: At first sight this was heading for the bad category – tech bros telling women how to manage their feeding . . ."

    Wow - what a stereotype. A tech device aimed at women and the author automatically assumes that the creators are 'tech bros' - a term that carries a pejorative, judgemental connotation of being the new 'frat boys' set.

    Unfortunately, for all the problem affecting the 'tech industry', the instant labelling of young men in the tech industry as 'tech bros' - doesn't help solve any of them.

    1. fandom Silver badge

      What makes you think that the pump was designed and developed by "young men"?

      You never met a female engineer, designer or product manager?

      1. dan1980

        @fandom

        That's exactly my point - the author appeared to simply assume that it was the product of some 'tech bro' company, which means two assumptions: that it was designed by a male and that male was 'tech bro'. To claim 'tech bro' isn't a perjorative term would be baffling given the context.

  36. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Happy

    Opportunity..

    "Smart" jeans are not needed, but I foresee jeans with an asbestos-lined (or similar, non cancerous material) smart phone pocket as being useful with all the battery meltdowns of the last few years. Seriously, this might be useful. Peace of mind and protect the jewels :)

  37. Joe Gurman

    Really?

    "One of the most consistent complaints Apple fans have had about the new MacBooks (besides the poor spec, high price, and lack of upgradability) is that they have no touchscreens."

    Care to name three?

    I keep seeing this claim in odd corners of the IT press, but I talk with Mac users on a daily basis, and not one has so much as mentioned this as a feature they want. If it were, I suspect Microsoft would have made off with a lot more MacBook customers than they have.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MacBooks [...] have no touchscreens.

      The frequency of this complaint might depend on the constituency - IME young people today are much more likely to prod at a screen to see if it works a a touchscreen than I would.

  38. Blergh

    Project Valerie

    I really liked the project Valerie laptop. However I think it would only really be of use if it unfolded again (vertically) and presented me with 6 screens. If it did that, then I'd buy it!

  39. Potemkine Silver badge

    Smart Pillow

    Behind the 'smart bottle' ad there is a 'smart pillow' one... If you are less smart than the pillow, does the pillow try to choke you during your sleep? That would be very smart, and useful too!

  40. Sequin

    Microbot Push? Homer got there first

    https://youtu.be/9ZP3k_4XBFY

  41. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Boffin

    Tea

    "things like kettles probably won’t be able to use it, so you can't even make a cup of tea with it"

    Well, for brewing a cup of brown joy you actually need a remote controlled socket into which the kettle is plugged, a robot arm for pouring the water from the kettle into the pot and adding the tea, then removing the tea container again after sufficient steeping. In the meantime you have to get home from wherever you are to actually enjoy the cuppa at its optimal temperature. One may additionally need a electrical valve fitted to the tap, also controlled remotely, in case the kettle is empty.

    Most of this functionality is offered by the venerable Teasmade.

    A simple Push-It isn't going to do that job. Not even a dozen of them.

    And for pushing the Any key in the middle* of the nightly backup job, that was solved four decades ago already with a clockwork alarm, a few bits of Meccano and two Lego pieces. The Meccano was made into a hinged arm, poised vertically, with the alarm to go off a reasonable time after the prompt usually appeared, pulling on the arm via a piece of string. Arm drops, Lego 'finger', fitted to the arm, hits the Any key, backup proceeds. After hitting the key the finger snaps in two, so that it doesn't hold the key down.

    * just an annoying "Press Any Key To Continue"., not a request for acknowledging that the next tape was loaded or something

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tea

      Teasmade: Brown, yes. Joy: no.

  42. annodomini2 Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    Breast Pump

    (I'm male btw)

    As a parent and having watched how much effort "expressing" as it is known takes (along with many other things a new born needs) this is actually a brilliant idea (if it works).

    May also give the mother a bit more dignity when expressing, as she can potentially cover up.

    The main issue will be fitment, no 2 boobs are the same.

    Battery life and subsequent weight will also be critical, a feeding mum's boobs are relatively heavy for obvious reasons.

    Anything that frees up a mother's time to spend with her child (and sleep!) is a good idea.

    It will need to be cost effective to be successful, 2 will be needed ideally.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Breast Pump

      The author did seem to hint that the money was to be made from replacement parts.

      I must confess I've often wondered whether one can simply make something that generates suction from the movement that occurs when walking.

  43. Chris Harden

    We know that robots will be the end of us, just didn't realise it would be as something as simple as the Microbot Push.

    With this on the 'big red button' now Trump can slag off other countries AND nuke them all from his Twitter account / smart phone.

    Be afraid

  44. Nocroman

    Convenient Breast Pump

    Wow, I love the breast pump Idea. It's convenient, Easily made sterile, and can be passed around from woman to woman to gather extra milk for us guys that love breast milk. Now if only the woman wouldn't be so stingy with their breast milk.

  45. DerekCurrie
    WTF?

    CES Crap That You Just KNOW Will Show Up In Patent Troll Lawsuits

    I'm all for abundant creativity.

    I'm never for abundant dangerous crap, aka the IoT, Internet of Trash.

    I'm never for failed patents ending up in the portfolios of parasites who connive ways to turn trash into treasure through the abuse and financial fornication of others.

  46. ChrisBedford

    Touch Screens and Buzzing Briefs

    I really don't get touch screens on computers that have keyboards. Either it's way uncomfortable to use ("Remember the gorilla arm") or I keep inadvertently touching the screen when using the keyboard, with all the frustration that ensues.

    And apart from that, I wonder how many times you can accidentally close the notebook without first removing the Airbar before the lid hinges break. Try getting *that* covered under your Apple warranty.

    Haptic jeans? You know how tight your trousers have to be for that to be effective? I've lost count of how many times has my phone buzzed silently in my pocket and I've not felt it - besides, as has been pointed out elsewhere, lots of times directions that are simply "left/right" are oftentimes misleading at best. This idea truly belongs under the "bonkers" column and I doubt it will be a commercial success.

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