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Sony at CES 2014 - Las Vegas

Before I get into my experience attending CES 2014 in Las Vegas, I want to just say wow! and thank you! to everyone for my last post of photos of New York City in the snow right before I left for Vegas! My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I got home and saw that the post was up to 30,000 notes here on Tumblr. I spent the majority of time in Vegas posting to my Twitter and so I was blissfully unaware that my post was being passed around so much. Thank you sincerely everyone!

I was invited to work with Sony earlier this week to cover Sony’s new tech releases at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. I didn’t have the smoothest time getting out to Vegas since I got stuck in Chicago in the polar vortex (if you are curious and want to be amused, you can scroll through my posts on my Facebook about my Chicago polar vortex experience). However, I made it on a secret unlisted flight out to Vegas hours later than I was expected to arrive but in one bemused piece.

I had never been to Las Vegas or CES so my short stay was punctuated by a lot of jaw-dropping overwhelmed and slightly surreal moments. I spent the majority of my time on a tight itinerary with Sony so I didn’t get to fully explore Las Vegas. I did end up walking around the strip with some really awesome and hilarious people some of whom are listed and linked below (also brought out by Sony) the night before I left which resulted in the few photos that appear in this photo-set. Perhaps one day I will go back to Vegas and give it a real whirl.

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Gallery Key (corresponds to the order of photos in the photo-set):

1. A view of the Eiffel Tower Restaurant which is part of the Paris Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. This is about as close as I have gotten to an Eiffel Tower and while it most likely pales in comparison to the real thing, it was fairly enthralling at night.

2. And while we are on the subject of Paris, here is a view of a Paris street projected onto a wall in the Sony Life UX room at CES 2014. This was, hands down, my favorite place at CES 2014. It was meant to give a glimpse into future entertainment options. The device responsible for this uncannily real view of a Paris street is Sony’s state of the art 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector which has the ability to project an Ultra HD image up to 147 inches onto a wall.

The bonus part of the room though? The entire room took on the same lighting present in the video of the Paris street creating a pretty awesome mood. There was a skylight that projected the same type of light and a lamp on a table outside of view here that fulfilled all of my Minority Report dreams of the future since the images projected from the lamp were fully interactive.

3.I was fortunate enough to get an exclusive invite to the official Sony keynote on Tuesday morning where Sony’s President Kazuo Hirai gave an invigorating presentation on where Sony is headed in terms of its main goals. Hirai emphasized that Sony is concerned with injecting the “wow factor” into every element of what it envisions, creates, and produces with an extra emphasis on “play”. To emphasize this emphasis, the keynote was supplemented by one of the most riveting artistic presentations I have seen. Artists created art live while Hirai spoke bringing his words to life. You can watch the keynote here: Kazuo Hirai Keynote - CES 2014

One of the highlights was the appearance of Vince Gilligan who is the creator of Breaking Bad. Kazuo Hirai interviewed him on stage and during the interview the artists backstage created an ongoing montage to Breaking Bad complete with a blue meth-filled volcano, Walter White, and a nod to the spin-off Better Call Saul.

4. Ended up at the Bellagio for a grand dinner for Sony’s influencers at Yellowtail. This is the ceiling of the lobby of the Bellagio which is the work of master glass artist Dale Chihuly. It was hard to pull all of us away from gawking at the ceiling.

5.I have been obsessed with virtual reality for years. Sony stepped up their game at CES 2014 released an update to their Head Mounted Display which now includes head-tracking. There are a number of important players in the virtual reality arena right now with Oculus Rift being one of the prominent players. Sony’s addition of head-tracking ups the ante since it gives a more life-life feel. Let’s say put the display on and are in a car. With the new head-tracking you can look around at the view which immerses you deeper into the virtual reality landscape. This was someone testing out Sony’s Head Mounted Display.

6. Las Vegas has a number of extravagantly decorated hotels. The Venetian is one of the more beautiful hotel interiors I got to experience during my short stay in Vegas. This is one of the main corridors. In truth, the ceiling was an absolute masterpiece but I was hung up on the MC Escher-esque floor.

7. One of my favorite hashtags during CES was #4kfor2k . It referred to the new, more affordable 4K camcorder that Sony announced. It is the Handycam FDR-AX100. Specs: 4K capture at 30p and 24p with a Carl Zeiss F/2.8-4.5 lens and the ability to shoot 108oi at 120p. Pretty sweet! Previously, 4K cameras were far more expensive so this is an exciting price-point.

8. Everywhere you looked at CES 2014 there seemed to be yet another implementation of wearable tech. Sony’s wearable tech differs from many of the other options in that Sony’s SmartBand (pictured here) comes with the Sony Core and LifeLog software. Rather than just log fitness goals, you can track and log nearly every element of your day as well as your sleep patterns. The SmartBand can even wake you up at the time of your choice with a tiny wrist vibration. This wearable tech will be released in a few months for Android initially.

9. On the last night of my stay in Las Vegas, I walked around the Las Vegas strip with a few other people and ended up taking a late night gondola ride in the canals of the Venetian Hotel complete with a singing gondolier (evidence here: http://instagram.com/p/i5fOleCrI0/ ). This was one of my views from the gondola. I have never been to the canals of the real Venice so this was pretty cool albeit a bit amusing and surreal in a Las Vegas sort of way.

10. A big highlight was getting to meet and speak with Sony’s brand new COO and President of Sony Electronics Mike Fasulo. All of the influencers who worked with Sony at CES 2014 got to have a breakfast with him. Here we are with Mike Fasulo in Sony’s enormous CES booth (before the crowds got there).

Pictured here from Left to Right: Kewiki, Michelle McGraw, Swopes, Mal Sherlock, Frederick Van Johnson, Mike Fasulo, Amanda Brooks, Vivienne Gucwa, Ian Padgham, Leticia Barr, Katie Levien Babineau, one of Sony’s Social Media Team, Carol Cain, and Callan Green, one of Sony’s Social Media Team

I hope you have enjoyed the photo-set! All photos were taken with a combination of my Sony A99, Sony NEX-6 and my iPhone.

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