A beautiful morning in Las Vegas – the sun is shining and the forecast is for fine weather over the next week. A little chilly, but it is, after all, winter in the desert.

CES has kicked off and Vegas is buzzing! Everywhere you go people are heading towards THE show. Traffic is crazy – but not as crazy as the taxi driver who took four of us from the hotel to the Las Vegas Convention Centre. He was right out of a Chevy Chase comedy movie. Traffic meant nothing to him. Footpaths, casino car parks, back lots, and other places I missed because my eyes were closed – this guy drove through them all.

But to his credit, I am here, alive, in one piece, ready to bring you all the excitement from CES.

Lots to see – I have already collected over 30 press kits to review.

Later that day…

Marshall headphones stands at CES 2011The big items I have seen so far – headphones and 3D glasses. It makes sense – for a few years now we have been inundated with music devices, and better music devices and even better still music devices. So why not make headphones that can do these devices justice?

Whatever variety you want in headsets is on show. Whether you are an athlete, a big kid, serious audiophile – you can find it here.

Remember last year I wrote about 3D TV, and how one of the biggest barriers to ownership was that the glasses were expensive and NOT compatible with other brands. Today I am pleased to report there are now many after market glasses hitting the market that work across all TVs. What’s more – they are fashionable (to a point).

The next day, CES 2011 continues…

Another item I want to tell you about was the Qumi LED pocket projector from Vivitek. These projectors are small but powerful – 160x31x100mm – weighing 617g. Pretty impressive – and will be in stock around March for $US399.

I spent the better part of the afternoon in the area dedicated to Apple (although it should be recognised that Apple do not attend CES). I have never seen so many different cases and covers for a single phone. Like everything else in Vegas – you name it, someone has it. I was impressed with the team from TRTL BOT eco-functional™ accessories.

Founded in 2009, TRTL BOT designs eco-functional shells made in Southern California. Their accessories are made from recycled products (at least one recycled plastic bottle in each iPhone shell). Even their office is environmentally friendly – powered by solar energy.

Also high on the eco friendly side are the guys from Miniwizz Sustainable Energy Development Ltd. Their solarbulb™ allows you to turn your used plastic bottles into unique mood lights or outdoor garden lamps – simply screw solarbulb onto any 28mm bottle neck. Charged by solar energy – 3-4 hours gives you 5 hours of night lighting.

Summary: Netgear presentation “Starting the next 15 years”

iPad stands from CES 2011Netgear’s Founder, President and CEO Patrick Lo, told us of his company’s last 15 years, and hinted the world was about to change. From an idea that wireless home networking would be the “next big thing”, between 60% and 70% of western European homes now have WiFi.

Fascinated and staying with the crowds, I summarised his presentation:

Netgear have determined that one pipe is needed to get information into the home – from internet, education, home security, power management etc. With the increased numbers of televisions being internet enabled, consumers need non-stop, high definition, high speed connectivity to prevent jittering of HD quality video being delivered into the home.

Mobile and Entertainment devices have overtaken the home PC in volume.

Today, tablet devices, smartphones, storage devices all need to be connected. Devices can analyse our power usage patterns, and take control when power could be turned off to save both resources and money.

The next step is to take WiFi out of the house and into open space.

The product launches cover three areas:

  1. To your TV
  2. Through the Home
  3. Beyond the Home

To your TV

  1. 3DHD Wireless HiRes Theatre Networking Kit – providing jitter-free 3D/HD video, connect up to 4 devices, and requires no change to your existing wireless setup.
  2. Neo TV550 Ultimate HD Media Player – plays 1080p video, photos and music, auto-scans and organises content, supports multiple media formats.
  3. Ready NAS Ultra 2 Home Media Server – high performance NAS with built in media server, multiple HD streams, stream video to mobile handset using Orb, expands TiVo capacity
  4. N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabyte Router – clear channel WiFi, quick start, ReadyShare Printer, Steady Stream HD, Netgear Genie.

At this point the team demonstrated streaming three videos to different devices – simultaneously. Each video was clear and jitter free – exactly as promoted.

Throughout the Home

  1. Universal WiFi Range Extender – doubles the coverage of your WiFi range, works with any WiFi router, plugs into a standard power point, works as a WiFi bridge.
  2. Universal Internet Adapter for Home Theatre 3D and HD – first 4 port 500Mbps power line adapter kit, fastest power line solution on the market today.

Beyond the Home

  1. Orb transcoding support – puts the right media formats on the right screens, streaming movies on handhelds in any connected location
  2. 4G Mobile Broadband Wireless Router (3G and 4G) – partnering with Verizon in the US.

In summary – an impressive array of products that sets the bar high for others to follow.

Now to sort through the bags of information & press kits.  Until next time…..bye from Las Vegas