Friday, January 11, 2008
Not so far, far away...
From CNN Entertainment Producer Matt West

There is no "strolling the floor" at the Las Vegas Convention Center... it's more like "trekking."

Though I guess that's kind of a mixed metaphor, given all of the cool "Star Wars" gadgets we saw.

During the final hours of the show on Thursday, editor/producer Paul Chase, new media maven Jennifer Martin and I journeyed into what seemed like a galaxy far, far away: the South Hall of the convention center.

From our broadcast position in the central hall, the South Hall might as well have been on another planet. Getting there required winding through a serpentine obstacle course of booths, conventioneers, stairways, escalators and the occasional Segway. (We later discovered that we took the long way -- pronounced "wrong way" -- as our engineer pointed out that all we had to was simply set outside our workspace, walk 20 feet and enter the building right next door. That's an engineer for you.)

When we finally got to our destination, radio-controlled car manufacturer Nikko's booth, our fatigue gave way to sheer giddiness. For there in front of us was nearly everyone's favorite droid R2-D2.

Nikko was displaying two "R2" products at CES. The first a remote controlled, wireless webcam "R2 unit" -- complete with a Skype enabled light-saber remote control (which we immediately dubbed the "Skype-saber"). The second, a remote controlled "R2-D2" home theater projector with DLP projection and other built-in goodies like an iPod dock.

Both products took two-and-a-half years to develop and feature some very cool details, such as reactive sound effects that capture nearly anyone's attention and interest.

As a life-long fan of the original films, recalling the famous scene where Luke Skywalker watches a video recording projected by R2-D2 of the captured Princess Leia pleading for Obi-Wan Kenobi's help, I couldn't help but channel my innermost geek when seeing this product up close.

But with a slightly out-of-this world price-point, these high end electronic collectibles are aimed at a more serious enthusiast. At $2200 for the projector, according to one Nikko representative it's a market "that's definitely out there."

Good thing they won't have to travel to a far off star system to find these two collectibles -- they'll be heading into stores the next few months.

Labels:

I watched the show on cable for two nights. There were several new gadgets I wanted to learn more about. However, those two you had presenting the show spent more time BS'n, that it made the show very irritating to watch. I kept thinking they're going to stop and get serious about showing us what's there. The guys on the roamin around the floor seemed to spend more time pointing and saying there really cool stuff over here and over there. Without showing anything.
Very disappointed.
Ineresting gadgets. I can see in the near future not far away, these gadgets will have commercial value to them, which make the consumers to go for them and they produce in larger scale.
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