First Impressions of CES Unveiled 2014

Jan 6, 2014 by

CES Unveiled isn’t the official start of the largest technology show of the year, but it might as well be. It is held the night before many of the biggest names in the industry hold their press conferences, and more than a day before the show floor actually opens. It essentially provides the press with a mini-version of the larger show. Many big name brands, like Lenovo, LG, and Dish all have booths at Unveiled, but there are also plenty of smaller companies exhibiting at the event. Here are a few that I found interesting:

Lenovo

The launch of the ThinkPad Tablet 8 is something we knew was coming, but the Lenovo Beacon, their take on an XBMC media center, caught my eye. Whether or not the $199 price tag makes it that much better than other XBMC boxes remains to be seen, but should one be available to test drive, we will let you know.

Dish

The Hopper and Joey DVR made waves two years ago, and this year they brought their Joey interface to LG Smart TVs. It looks extraordinary.  Simply load the app on the TV, and you are ready to go. You get the full experience of using a Joey extender system without the need to actually plug one into your TV!

Parrot

Makers of the AR.Drone are back with new toys this year. They are launching a MiniDrone, sans camera, and a new wheeled gadget called the Jumping Sumo.  No pricing was announced on either device, but when the MiniDrone includes a camera in its tiny package, even at 7-9 minutes of flight timer per sortie, count me in.

SmartCharge

There were plenty of home technology vendors at Unveiled, but one in particular caught our eye. Their take on the light bulb had us paying them a separate visit to do a deeper dive on how their solution worked. In essence it is a typical LED bulb with a built-in battery backup that can generate light for up to 4 hours when the power goes out. You still control it with the light switch in your wall when the power goes out, and it works with your existing wiring and requires no other technology to function. The battery backup is user replaceable and should last 3-4 years. They have a funded KickStarter project where you can learn more about this promising addition.

Prelude to the Main Event

Having a look at the calendar for the coming week, I was expecting a little more from Unveiled given the enormity that is CES proper. I would not go so far as to say I was let down by it but left feeling a tiny underwhelmed. Over the course of this week, as things kick into high gear, look for more coverage from our team.

Keep up with all of the DMZ’s coverage of CES 2014 right here!

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