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My First CES

travel Las Vegas
Phil Chu
Phil Chu
Making software since the 80s

Every year I think about going to CES and don’t, because it’s so soon after Christmas and New Year’s. But it’s on my bucket list, and ostensibly relevant to my profession, so finally made the trip to Vegas.

First of all, I like Vegas hotels. CES is probably the worst time to get one — the M was charging over $400 and I ended up at the Hampton Inn for $200, but in both cases the reception was apologetic for the prices and that’s still nothing compared to the Bay Area during OracleWorld (America’s Best Value Inn was charging $300).

Once you reach Friday, the rates go down. I stayed at the Linq for $100 on Friday, $80 for Saturday, and after that it’s only $35, so I stayed an extra day. Add in the annoying $30 daily resort fee, still cheaper than a regular Marriott Courtyard in Orange County. And by the way, there’s a nice 24-hour Starbucks across the street, so I got a lot of work done.

Apparently, the crowds go down by Friday, too. I wouldn’t even use the term “crowd”. Healthy attendance, but nothing like Comic Con. And this show is really for industry — I didn’t get much attention walking around in my Pismo Beach sweatshirt. The Mark Zuckerberg look isn’t working for me.

Mostly, I was interested in the gaming-related stuff, and there was a section of a hall devoted to AR, VR, controllers, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Syfy booth devoted to The Expanse, including a showing of their 3D printing and their VR app.

But the AR/VR stuff was outnumbered by the drones. Lots of drones. And then there was the hall with pavilions by Samsung, LG, Sony et. al. filled with big TVs and smart refrigerators.

And then go into the next hall, and…cars. Very cool cars.

But in that final hall, half of it was filled with iPhone cases. So there you have it, CES in a nutshell is: drones, cases, and automobiles.