Photo-A-Day #2101

After such a great night last night meeting Cali Lewis for the first time I was more than geared up to go look at all the cool gadgets and tech from CES, the Consumer Electronics Show. Each year I have watched other people go to this event and have an amazing time and tell me about some amazing products. Well, this time it is my turn to experience the tech goodness that is CES.

I have been very fortunate over the years to have developed a relationship with XShot but more specifically a friendship with Michael from XShot. In 2007 Michael asked me if I would accept an XShot and compare it to a product that I had recently purchased. He asked me for my honest feedback on the device so that I could help him improve it. The thing is, he actually listened to my recommendations. I mean, how many inventors and business people actually truly listen to bloggers and incorporate their suggestions and feedback. Not many and that is what has made this relationship very special.

So, when Michael from XShot learned that I was going to be in Vegas a day early he and Elodie from XShot got me and Daniel badges to get in to the event. There we also met Marni and Tryg. Their booth was always hopping too and that is so good to see. I am such a huge fan of the XShot and have done many giveaways in the past, I made sre to get the XShot into the hands of some very important people. It is what I do, when I find a product I like I want to share it with everyone. One such person who got an XShot from me or learned about it from me was Heather Smith (@HeatherinBC). Heather is one of the more influential XShot users out there and she always has it with her. She attracted many people to the booth as she used her XShot.

I interviewed Michael and he and Daniel talked about the iPhone 4 case that Xshot made. This is a slick case. Basically you put the case on your iPhone 4 and there is an attachment that adds a standard tripod mount hole onto the iPhone 4 so that you can mount the iPhone 4 to any tripod, including the XShot (sold separately) and the mini tripod (included in the box).


Daniel found a very interesting use for the XShot. He made himself a boom mic using it. He attached his digital recorder to the XShot so that he could capture some great sound. While the three of us were at the XShot booth we were able to cause some good foot traffic. I had my Sima Light and bar, my Sony Condenser Mic and my Kodak PlayTouch with me, too. Putting all of that together into one package was a pretty impressive Rig. The only thing I still need to get is that magnetic lens attachment that converts the lens to a very wide angle. Once i do that I’ll have a very sweet setup. I may go for a shotgun mic at some point too for more targeted sound.

I didn’t just stay at the XShot booth, I was able to walk around and see some very cool products like a moveable iPad docking station with keyboard and speakers. This device was very versatile. I could put my iPad on it and use the keyboard or put my iPad on it and watch a movie or listen to music, it was in a perfect position to multi-task. It was also something that I was able to move around by pushing a button and then keep secure by pushing it again.

I wandered further and met up with a guy from RE audio who tricked out a SMART Car with about $5,000 worth of work. He added a bunch of speakers, LCD displays and much more to it. I shot a video with him about the car and he had some very interesting things to say. Don’t go googling the thing that he modeled the rear of the car after, trust me.

I continued to wander and learned about a new tablet that is being produced in South Korea. For some reason I’m a fan of products from South Korea. My 1st motorcycle was produced there and I had such an affinity for that bike. I interviewed Tarah from Illuminus. She told me all about their T9 product which was pretty sweet. It seemed like everyone had a tablet to show. That is great but they are all different sizes and after attending the North American International auto show I wonder if having a standard size and interface wouldn’t be better for the consumer so that when integration of tablets into vehicles happen you could be assured that your device would work with the vehicle. Maybe bluetooth is the answer, maybe but I’d like a hardware interface solution myself. For example being able to slide my iPad into my car to make it the controls for the radio, phone and GPS. It has a big bright wonderful screen for that.

What really caught my eye for the Illuminus T9 was that there was a reading program for kids that looked really, really nice. It was the Geek Dad in me that made me want to stop. Here is my interview.

I also stopped at the iChair booth and they gave me an iChair for my iPad. This is a case that has not one but two stands for your iPad. There is a small one that puts the iPad at a perfect angle for typing. Then a larger stand allows you to set the iPad at various heights for viewing vertically and horizontally. Very cool.?

I stopped over at the EA Active Sports 2 display and spoke with Girard, one of the developers of the game. He did a wonderful interview with me and I was able to play the game for the first time, even though I own it. I do however need to get a second set of wireless sensors so that Allison and I can work out together.

Later in the afternoon Michael and I walked to the completely opposite end of CES. CES is enormous. It took up all of the Convention Center halls plus the parking lot and spilled over to various other hotels. I saw maybe 1/10 of 1/10 of the show. However, I did make it over to the Kodak booth to the K-Zone to catch up with Kodak super Social Media Maven, Jennifer Cisney. I wanted to introduce Jennifer to Michael because I beleive that the XShot is a perfect companion to any camea and since Kodak has been so good to me I wanted them to see it first.

Jennifer had nearly the exact same rig as me except she had that accessory that changes the lens. Now she has an XShot that Michael gave her and her rig is complete. So jealous. I guess I will have to now buy that Lens adapter and a shotgun mic to be one up on her. Jennifer was very cool. She was excited about the XShot and that made me very happy because when I see two great people finally meet each other it shows the power of social networking in action.

While I was at the K-Zone I was manhandled again by none other than Mr. Chris Brogan. Back at Affiliate Summit East 2010 I was standing in a Taxi Line and Chris came up behind me and grabbed my backpack and shook me. It basically scared the piss out of me. He said that this will be the way he greets me from now on. While I didn’t get much time to even say hello to him it was cool to see him and talk for a bit. I took my XShot and my PlayTouch and walked around for a bit longer and then went back to the hotel.

At the Hotel I recorded an episode of Geek Dads Weekly with Daniel M. Clark. He had all of his sound equipment there in the room and it was really impressive. I had to sit a ways away from him on the floor but It was cool to be in the same room and riff on what whe had seen at CES. We recorded a good show.

To round out the evening we went to dinner at Red 8 with a bunch of other affiliates. It was a delicious dinner and great conversation. Dina arrived with her friend Matt. They were great to talk to. Matt is a producer for This Week In. And he’s got something that I’m very excited about in the works. I can’t say what it is but I can’t wait for it none the less.

After dinner the crew all got taxis and took off for the Hotel at Mandalay Bay. Buy.at was throwing an opening party for Affiliate summit West 2011. They had this drink contest and I submitted a drink. I called ti BenSpark’s Pinkeye Punch. And guess what? It won the contest and the bartenders were making that drink for everyone. The thing is I totally made it up. I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste but many people told me that they liked it. So that was very cool. The Hotel at Mandalay bay is aweosme and Mix is on the 64th floor. From there I was able to take this photo with my Kodak M580 camera. I love the auto panorama mode.

I decided to walk back to the hotel, or rather walk a lot and take the monorails. You can get on a monorail at Mandalay Bay (I timed it perfectly to catch that as it was the last run of the night) that will take you to excalibur. From there you cross over the street to New York, New york and then cross over the strip right into MGM there I caught the other monorail and it was back to Harrah’s quick and easy. I enjoyed Harrah’s the place was a decent stay, good room too.

Finally it was time for bed.

Model: KODAK EASYSHARE M580 DIGITAL CAMERA
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/2 sec
Aperture: 3.4
Focal Length: 5.2mm
Flash Used: No

Disclosure: I received this camera and the Kodak PlayTouch and 2 Kodak PlaySport HD Waterproof Video Cameras for free from Kodak in return I use them and blog about them. The opinions about them are 100% mine.

How Does Drew Protect His Photos?
Model: GoFlex™ Ultra-portable Drive
Interface USB 2.0 or 3.0
Capacity: 320GB – 1.5TB
Automatic Backup Software:PC & Mac:
Weight (typical): 150g (.33 lb)
Software: Pre–loaded backup software with encryption

Disclosure: I received a number of Seagate devices including the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB USB 2.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive, GoFlex Home, GoFlex TV and GoFlex Net. I’ll be talking about these devices in the coming months. The opinions about the devices are 100% mine.

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One Response to “CES Wrap Up”

  1. […] the day at CES and ran into Heather Smith and her daughter Crystal while we were there. Check out BenSpark.com for some cool videos that Drew shot there. After CES, it was back to hotel, did an episode of Geek Dads Weekly, then […]

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