CES: Day One

CES Unveiled and NVIDIA Press Event

CES Unveiled is the official media event for CES. It is the first official happening of what promises to be a very busy and fascinating week.  At this event members of the press get to preview a number of innovative startups as well as some new products from a few established global brands.

CES says that this annual networking event typically draws over 1,200 members of the media from around the world. This year’s event seemed to be held in a larger venue; unlike last year, we were actually able to move around and speak to many of the exhibitors.

CES Unveiled is kind of a micro CES. There are some great new devices and a few things that make you wonder “Why?” For example, why would you make a smart toilet paper roll that would buzz your cell phone if it was almost out of paper? No, I did not actually see such a device, but you get the idea. For this column, let’s look at a few of the more interesting and—probably—useful offerings.

One device was a microcomputer that appears to be totally secure and have the power to accomplish most typical computer-related tasks. The company Design SHIFT has announced it is working with Intel to use Intel’s 6th Gen Intel Core M7 vPro processor in its groundbreaking privacy appliance, ORWL. This small circular device uses two-factor authentication—a physical key and a password— along with tamper-proof physical hardware to protect a company’s sensitive information and communications from being physically hacked. If the ORWL device is tampered with or any physical breach is attempted, it prevents the device from booting up, instantly helping to secure all of the user’s data and communications. The first units will ship in the spring of 2016.

How about a unique 360 degree camera that takes images that can be viewed with a virtual reality device that lets you see everything all around where the HD image or video was taken? The camera, although impressive in design and apparent quality, is not that unique but it shows the growing influence of virtual and/or augmented reality. I am sure there will be much more to report on this topic over the next week.

A topic we expect to hear a lot about this week and, in fact, one that has the potential to totally change the way we manufacture many things is 3D printing. This is a topic that many of us have begun to follow with great interest. A few years ago, we saw the first small toys and simple plastic parts made using 3D printing, and last year we started to see some products made by 3D printing that were actually useful, including some simple circuit boards. This year at CES Unveiled there was a full-sized bicycle that was apparently totally made with 3D printing by Orbitrec. This technology seems to be accelerating exponentially.

How about a fuel cell-powered drone? This seemed to still be in the prototype phase, but I was told that the flight time could be in hours instead of 15 or 20 minutes. (More about the advance in drones later in the week.)

There were many more devices: New dash cams, electronic hair brushes designed to help you regrow thinning hair, many connected home security offerings, a number of wearables, some very interesting, and a few that fall into the “Why?” category.

One very impressive device is a virtual and augmented reality system by uSens, They were showing their advanced 3D hand and head tracking for augmented reality and virtual reality. The company’s 3D hand tracking technology replaces the need for peripheral device support (connected game controllers, cameras, and other input sensor devices) and recognizes, tracks and learns from hand, finger, and head movements in the real world. For example, using their demo unit, you could take a virtual moon walk. VR and AR are true game-changers in many areas, and uSens may be one of those companies that I speculated about last year, a firm that we had not heard much about, but could be a future leader in this emerging arena.

As with so much at CES, it was not possible to see everything at CES Unveiled in the time available, but as we have committed to continue automotive electronics it was time to head to the NVIDIA press event. NVIDIA has become a leading driver in self-driving car technology and we were told to expect a major announcement. We were not disappointed as NVIDIA today shifted its autonomous-driving leadership into high gear.

At their press event, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed DRIVE PX 2, an automotive supercomputing platform that processes 24 trillion deep-learning operations a second. That’s 10 times the performance of the first-generation DRIVE PX, now being used by more than 50 companies in the automotive world.

Dressed in his trademark black leather jacket, speaking to a crowd of some 400 automakers, media and analysts, Huang explained that the new DRIVE PX 2 delivers 8 teraflops of processing power. It has the processing power of 150 MacBook Pros and it’s the size of a lunchbox, in contrast to earlier autonomous-driving technology being used today, which takes up the entire trunk of a mid-sized sedan.  

“Self-driving cars will revolutionize society,” Huang said at the beginning of his talk. “And NVIDIA’s vision is to enable them.”

The NVIDIA presentation will leave an impression on an audience that’s going to be hearing a lot about the future of driving in the week ahead. It certainly gave us lots of questions to ask of the various automotive companies that will be exhibiting.

After providing a lengthy and detailed technical description Huang announced that Volvo is to deploy DRIVE PX in self-driving SUVs. And so it begins in earnest. Driving and travel by automobile may never be the same.

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2016

CES: Day One

01-05-2016

CES Unveiled is the official media event for CES. It is the first official happening of what promises to be a very busy and fascinating week. At this event, members of the press get to preview a number of innovative startups as well as some new products from a few established global brands.

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2015

CES 2015: A Retrospective

01-20-2015

Columnist Dan Feinberg believes that this was the most interesting CES in many years, perhaps ever. "Yes, there were the expected hundreds of smartphone cases and battery chargers and cables galore. But there were also strong indications of formerly embryonic trends becoming actual mainstream technology."

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2014

Fein-Lines: Computer Security Tips

11-17-2014

Many scams are perpetrated on unknowing computer users. They come in all flavors and no one--no matter what type of computer you use--is immune. This month, Columnist Dan Feinberg focuses on the "I am from Windows and I'm calling to fix your computer" scam.

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2013

Fein-Lines: Do You Still Need a PC?

04-12-2013

Millions of PCs are still being sold each year, but shipments were down substantially in the last quarter. Do you still need a computer? If so, why? Dan Feinberg ponders these questions and more in his latest column.

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2012

Fein-Lines: Dealing with Problamatic Links in E-Mail

09-11-2012

For the last several months Dan Feinberg has had a number of students, friends, and clients ask for help with e-mail links that do not take them to the desired website. This webcast describes what he thinks may be the issue, and also provides a fix that has worked for him 100% of the time.

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2010

Fein-Lines: 32-Bit Versus 64-Bit--What's the Difference?

06-09-2010

One question Dan Feinberg often gets during his seminars is: "What is the difference between a 32-bit and a 64-bit operating system and why should I use either?" In this issue of Fein-Lines, he explains the difference and what choice you should make--and why--along with things to consider when making your choice.

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2008

Fein-Lines: Copper Dissolution Interview, Part I

06-18-2008

Dan Feinberg begins a series of interviews, with Michael Carano, Global Business Development Manager of Cleveland, Ohio-based OMG Electronic Chemicals, tackling the topic of copper dissolution with lead-free solder--an issue that is certainly not new to the industry.

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Fein-Lines: Friends and Business Do Mix

05-08-2008

Senta Wong, of WKK Trading Company Ltd., is a man considered to be one of the fathers of the PWB and electronics assembly industry in Hong Kong and China. Dan, who's known Senta since the mid 1970s, discusses how Senta successfully mixes business and friendships--a fact evidenced by his most recent gathering of close friends and associates at APEX in Las Vegas.

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Fein-Lines: Me Too

04-24-2008

In Dan Feinberg's latest audio column, he joins others in our industry in giving his opinions on the recent IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit 2008 and Nepcon China. Dan also fesses up about Los Angeles and vents about the growing number of regional shows--are there just too many?

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2007

New Column: Dan Feinberg

10-24-2007

Listen to Dan Feinberg's newest audio column.

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Fein-lines: An Interview with IPC President Denny McGuirk

10-10-2007

I-Connect007 Columnist Dan Feinberg and Steve Gold speak with IPC President Denny McGuirk. Their conversation addresses changes in the focus of IPC's Government Relations committee, as well as the effect of globalization on IPC's mission.

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