My mates convinced me that it was worth it to fork out US$150 for a VIP pass to the 4th Mashable Awards. I couldn't get the VIP passes because it was sold out but really, the US$50 General Admission ticket was good enough. I got a free beer and some popcorn, and I was seated 3 rows from the stage in Zumanity, a Cirque du Soleil cabaret-style theater, at the New York New York hotel.
I am not terribly fond of award shows but at least this one didn't drag much. Comedian Baratunde Thurston was the host and he was fairly funny. I recognised some of the nominees and was glad Angry Birds and Antoine Dodson a.k.a. the Bed Intruder dude, won. DJs Eclectic Method were also very good.
But the highlight of the evening, besides making some new friends, was the performance by the Cirque du Soleil Zumanity team. The Mashable publicity mentioned "performances" but there was only one. But it was very very good. I shall leave the photos to speak for themselves.
We survived Day 1 of CES. The key to this is: wear good walking shoes, hydrate, and don't eat too much during the lunch buffet (pro tip: the more you eat, the more you are going to dump and that just slows you down).
I am not even halfway through the halls. I did see some really cool stuff. These LG monitors were so thin, people kept looking at them from the side to see how thin.
It was also reassuring to know that in America, their tech shows also deploy their share of booth babes.
I also spent a fair bit of time in 3D. Everyone seemed to be offering a 3D something or other. I picked up a pair of 3D glasses from these nice LG ladies and watched all their 3D stuff on different screens.
Hang on, that sounded very wrong. I mean "watched all of LG's 3D stuff on different screens".
I liked the demo in the room with the 180-inch full HD projector screen. Although I am not sure I was cut out for playing the racing game with 3 screens in 3D. I can play an FPS or driving game and I can watch a movie in 3D, but I am not sure my brain can handle doing both: FPS + 3D.
This steaming cabinet fascinated me. When the gentleman opened the door, there were jackets shaking inside and steam coming out. I also saw a fridge that can tweet.
By mid-afternoon, my feet were starting to feel like these booth ladies: tired and aching. Good thing I have all that training running around the San Diego Comic-Con.
I knocked out that night, again with the TV on, and missed the movie National Treasure showing on the USA cable channel. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Today is the day CES booths are open and it is going to be a lot of walking to do. I am grabbing some breakfast first. No buffet for me, just some coffee and a bagel maybe. I am still recovering from the LG Mobile Tech Night at the Tao nightclub in the Venetian Hotel. That's me, Travis (@teedubya), and Arnold (@mr_gadget), and Jean from LG in the picture. @mr_gadget is such a snappy dresser haha!
I think I look like one of those dudes standing along the street giving out flyers with pictures of "Amber" and "Moniqik" on it. I really need to update my Las Vegas wardrobe.
We had a chance to play with the Optimus 2X and Optimus Black. They even hooked up the 2X to some big screen tvs and folks could race.
I think I spent more time playing with the phones than drinking. Just as well, I don't want to start the morning with a hangover.
It was a packed hall for the LG press conference at CES. Traditionally, they always get the first slot, hence the 8am timing. I dragged myself out of bed at 6am to be on time but even then, I only had space to stand. Chopeing seats is not only a Singaporean phenomenon, I discovered. Journalists from other countries do it too. It didn't matter much though, I was standing at a good spot near the front.
In 45 minutes, LG presented a slew of products from TVs to fridges to mobile devices but there were a few products that people in the room were obviously more interested in.
The LG Smart TVs with access to content providers like Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu Plus and Youtube look intriguing. With a built-in menu to access premium content, and even a bunch of LG apps for the TV (I know right? Apps for a TV?), and a Magic Motion remote control for easy access to the UI, these televisions should prove very attractive. I am particularly interested in how seamless the integration will be with the content providers.
The mobile televisions were also very exciting, especially the Auto-stereoscopic 3D Mobile TV, or in layman's terms, the No-Need-Glasses-for-3D Mobile TV. I recommend LG to find a better term than Auto-stereoscopic 3D because it is quite a mouthful. Heheh.
Everyone wanted to see that up close and I found myself surrounded by a wall of journalists and bloggers after I took this shot of the device up close. It was showing a 3D clip of the Yogi Bear movie.
LG seems to be pushing 3D in many areas this year. It will be interesting to see if consumers will really buy into 3D for their television, home theatre and Blu-ray needs this year.
And of course, everyone wanted to see the mobile phones. They showed the Optimus Black, a very slim (9.2mm thick only) smartphone with a NOVA display, said to produce a bright screen (700 nits, for those who like these numbers) with less power than an AMOLED display. It is also upgradeable to the Android 2.3 a.k.a Gingerbread.
But the real star mobile device at the LG press conference was the LG Optimus 2X or when it was leaked, the LG Star.
The Optimus 2X sports a dual-core processor that makes stuff like browsing faster. See the iPhone 4 vs Optimus 2X leaked video comparison below (via phonearena):
It can also do full HD playback (yes, 1080p) and comes with HDMI mirroring. That means the 2X can be hooked up to a big screen TV and play full HD! Check out this leaked video comparison of the HDMI mirroring:
On the invite of LG Electronics, I am heading to Las Vegas for the world's biggest consumer electronics show, CES.
Together with mr gadget (@mr_gadget) of Australia and Travis Wright (@teedubya) of the US, I will spend the week covering the launch of LG's products and all the goings-on at CES, so do keep an eye on the blog and twitter.
Now to get back on my plane in Narita for the next leg of my long flight. See you Stateside.