Iâ€™m reporting in from Las Vegas today where Iâ€™m attending CES 2013. Yep. Iâ€™m doing it again, even though every year I proclaim myself too tired to come back. Why? Because itâ€™s like a crystal ball of the future. I find it hard to look away.
This year, the pre-show Keynote was delivered by the CEO of Qualcomm, Paul Jacobs. (Qualcomm also sponsored my trip to the show.) As he told us, â€œThis is the first time this keynote has been given by a mobile company.â€ That fact is telling of how important to consumer electronics, mobile devices have become. You can watch the entire keynote yourself (here) if a star-studded look into what to expect in the next year from mobile technology from a guy with a Ph.D. in robotics and a job that puts him in something like a driverâ€™s seat appeals. I certainly enjoyed it. It was an awesome star-studded show. How awesome? My teenagers are not speaking to me because I attended and theyÂ didn’t.
Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer (15.38 minutes into the Webcast) showed up to explain why Qualcomm chips are important to the new Windows tablets and mobile phones. An adorable animated Dragon (24 minutes in) personified the Snapdragon processors Qualcomm makes. Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (with awesome clips from his new movie at 31 minutes in; I embedded his trailer above) explained why the Snapdragon chip is important to his work and films. Big Bird (59 minutes) talked about his new app because it uses Qualcomm technology. Actress Alice Eve (70 minutes) came out to talk about the Star Trek app that will let fans engage with the new Star Trek Into Darkness movie because that, too leverages Qualcomm innovations. The event closed with a quick appearance from Maroon 5, which allowed me to text my 13-year-old a photo of one of her favorite bands.
So CES is a blast. But listening to Jacobsâ€™ break it down was like asking the Wizard to come out from behind his curtain and explain the magic that runs the Emerald City. I know. Iâ€™m a geek. But thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m a geek: I love the magic.
If you donâ€™t consider yourself a geek, you might tune out when people toss around terms like Vuforia, Alljoyn, Gimbal, or any of the other technologies Jacobs talks about in the Keynote. But Iâ€™m betting you like magic, too. Who doesnâ€™t? Thatâ€™s what made all those Hogwarts adventures so popular, right?
When someone waves a wand (even if it happens to look like a smart phone) and makes stuff happen that amazes â€“ especially if you donâ€™t understand how it works â€“ thatâ€™s magic. So thatâ€™s why I keep coming to this show. Every year someone invents something that a past me would have thought impossible. It just keeps happening every year.
I predict that those kids at Hogwarts will soon be trading in those silly wands for smart phones to keep up.
If you watched the keynote (even if you fast forwarded to get it down to three minutes) and donâ€™t have a smart phone, you might be feeling a bit left out about now.
But whoâ€™s your Geek Girlfriend?! That’s right. I am. And Qualcomm has offered to give one of my readers a spiffy Windows Phone 8X by HTC. This is a beautiful phone, full of all kinds of magic. Itâ€™s fast, has that cute Snapdragon chip, takes fantastic photos (even in low light), syncs everything in the cloud, and is super easy to use. It’s also thin and light but sports a screen big enough to see.
Qualcomm is giving away 100 of them to people who attended the keynote. But you donâ€™t have to fly to Vegas and go back in time to win one. Just tell me â€“ in the comments below â€“ why you want it. And if you are in a hurry to get me to pull a winner, spread the word. Because Iâ€™m not doing that until the comments are good and crowded.