One of the benefits of having an 'Exhibiting Press' badge is the ability to head in and check out the showroom floor before the exhibitors are finished preparing for the day and before the bulk of the crowd arrives. After getting our bearings--and our badges--we headed for the NBC Universal Blogger Lounge: Internet access, power, comfortable seating, and our name on the "now blogging" screen.
Anyone on the show floor can stop by the lounge and shoot a picture of a "jagtag" picture which periodically pops up on a wall-sized bank of LCD TV screens and follow a set of instructions for a chance to win a trip to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
A few early morning observations:
These guys are incredibly protective of the 10 minutes before their booth actually opens. We were told not to take pictures while attempting to snap shots of an impossibly thin LED TV. Okay. We were admiring it, and planning to write about it, but okay. I picked up a Samsung-branded e-reader and spent more time looking at an hourglass while pages were loading than any actual e-reading. I'm fairly certain the device froze up in the 30 seconds I had it in my hands. Shortly after that, we were escorted out of the area by Samsung security.
Here's what I can report: Samsung sells an impossibly thin LED TV. Here's what I can't report: The name, model, price, or availability of that TV.
After stepping over the caution tape, we ventured over to the Zagg booth. They weren't really ready, either, but were more than happy to talk about their bread and butter product (invisible "skins" for protecting surfaces on iPhones, iPods, cameras, etc.) and to discuss a not-yet-on-the-market product, the ZAGGbox, a sort of catch-all media device intended to bridge the gap between various CE devices and your TV.
Not exactly a new idea, and a bit surprising coming from a company which is primarily known for protective skins, but the description sounded intriguing. It's hard to say how they'll do against juggernauts like Sony.
It's here. Whether that's good or bad, or whether it's here to stay is difficult to say, but 3D is here. Multiple booths were showing off 3D-capable HDTVs, some which looked great through the glasses, and fuzzy without them, while others looked just fine without and slightly blurry with. There's still room to grow, but the ideal solution will allow for on-the-fly switching between a 2D and 3D picture.
It's still early, but the floor is crowding up pretty quickly, now that the booths are officially open. Sitting in the NBC Universal Blogger Lounge provides not only a way to write, but a way to avoid the crowd for an hour or so.
Best described as: Plate of food. Not very imaginative, and unfortunately, the line to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks was troublingly long. This will have to be rectified.