The main stage of the Consumer Electronics Show in Los Vegas this week is the convention center and the various hotel suites companies reserve, where Intel ( INTC ) and Microsoft ( MSFT ) and Nvidia ( NVDA ) have elaborate displays.
But for three nights in a row, press have the chance to check out a wild array of gadgets and gizmos at smaller exhibitions where companies set up card tables to ply their wares.
These shows, Unveiled on Sunday, Digital Focus on Monday, and ShowStoppers on Tuesday, are a treat for the intense collection of different endeavors in one ballroom.
Unveiled, at the Mandalay Bay, offered up several things that move, such as the Ujet foldable electric scooter, and Whill 's very sleek looking ride, what some might call a wheelchair, and what the company refers to as an "intelligent personal EV."
There are odd things that make you say, "Huh," like Moodo's "smart home fragrance box," a strange box which looks like the old game Simon and lets you control the release of scents from capsules. Another one in the same vein is Olfinity's "first-ever intelligent indoor air system." It detects "volatile organic compounds," and can "clean your indoor air." It's also apparently cloud connected.
Our old friend Dror Sharon of Consumer Physics , the company that develops materials sensors for mobile devices, was hanging out in the booth of a partner, Osram.
There are established companies here, too, not just brand-new hopefuls. On Monday night, at the Mirage, I met up with Rich Yeh , general manager of the Americas division of China's Thunder Software Technology ( 300496.SZ ), or Thundersoft, which has been steadily building expertise in integrating all manner of chips and operating systems on behalf of various systems makers, across markets including smartphones, drones, and in-vehicle systems, during its nine years in existence.
There are an increasing number of ways to draw on paper and bring it into the digital world. That includes the Neo Smartpen , which translates your writing into text, and the RocketBook , which lets you write on a special notebook, costing $30 and up, and then scan the notebook with your phone and capture the writing as a digital replica. Apps such as Evernote will let you search your digital handwriting. RocketBook, fascinatingly, can be wiped clean and reused with a damp cloth, like a white board. One version of the notebooks can be erased by being put in the microwave.
There are, again, things you'd never expect. There the ProGlove , a Munich -based startup, that is a kind of jacked-up bicycle glove for industrial use. It includes a snap-on scanning device that you can use to scan a barcode, for tasks such as checking inventory or parts in the shop.
Then there's the Mysteryvibe Ltd. 's " Crescendo ," billed as "the world's first body-adaptable vibrator ." And in case you were wondering, it's for all sexes/genders.
There were more vehicles at ShowStoppers, including a three-wheeled, single-seater electric coup by startup Electra Meccanica . It's got some very nice trunk space, and will do a top speed of 85 mph. The company's doing initial batches in Vancouver , and intends to be at large-scale manufacturing by the end of the year.
Also at ShowStoppers was Kathy and her duck, at the Aflac booth. Really, it's her duck. He was unperturbed by the crowds, she said, but he was feeling a little hot, as it was stuffy in the hall. Understandably, everyone wanted to get a picture with them.
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