The announcements may have been bubbling along for a couple of days now, but Thursday marked the true beginning of CES 2017 as the doors to the Las Vegas Convention Centre opened for the first time.
As the punters flooded in, the several thousand exhibitors got to work doing their best to grab the attention of those walking by and hopefully entice them into tweeting about the cool thing they’d just seen.
That’s what we were doing anyway, and here are our early highlights from the floor.
1. Worship at Samsung’s QLED alter
Samsung is making a lot of noises about just how good its new TVs are. It says QLED is better than the OLED that LG and now Sony are using, and on closer inspection the displays do look stunning.
The stained glass window images Samsung is using as part of its promotional videos on its stand highlight the range of colour the displays can handle, and when you do come face to face with one, you can’t help but admire it.
2. Polaroid makes a lot more than just cameras
Though it’s widely known Polaroid has been branching out from cameras, instant or otherwise, for some time, a visit to their CES booth is nonetheless incredibly eye-opening.
Suddenly, the firm whose name is synonymous with photos has its name on an enormous amount of products.
We saw drones, speakers, smartwatches, fitness trackers, smartphones and TVs all within a few square feet of each other.
Polaroid clearly mean business when it comes to diversifying what it does, only without a smash hit in another category yet, the question now is has it stretched itself too far?
3. Few doubts over Faraday Future among CES crowd
One of the most intriguing and opinion splitting companies at CES is Faraday Future. A year ago they were the upstarts from nowhere who stole all the headlines with a concept electric supercar that put the big name manufacturers in the shade.
Fast forward a year and past various reports of financial issues, prominent employee departures and questions over the management structure and a lot of the gloss around FF has worn away.
That was clear by the initial scepticism FF’s CES announcement this year – the unveiling of their first production electric car – received. Not that it’s unfounded – the questions raised over whether the FF91 will ever see the light of day are fair given the alleged shaky state Faraday’s financials.
However, the crowds that flocked to Faraday’s booth on day one to see the FF91 suggest that regardless of what’s happening behind the scenes, this is a company people are interested in.
4. A Gorilla Glass car?!
An interesting trend of this year’s show is surprise concept car creators – firmly under that umbrella is glass specialists Corning.
If the name rings a bell it’s because they are the company behind Gorilla Glass, and now they’re toying with using it for the windows, windscreen and sunroof in cars.
They say it greatly reduces weight which is better for fuel efficiency and braking, and with weight being such a key subject for car manufacturers this might be one worth keeping an eye on.
5. Razer’s new gaming laptop is mad
— R Λ Z Ξ R (@Razer) January 5, 2017
Gaming laptops do have a lovely tradition of being quite mad when it comes to looks and design, and the latest offering from Razer – Project Valerie is certainly no different.
The device’s screen folds out in both directions to create a triple monitor set-up – the sort of thing even the most affluent of designers could dream of.
It looks truly stunning and offers a brilliant new twist on immerse gaming in a world obsessed with virtual reality. Well played Razer.