Boing Boing Gadgets at CES: Video Report, Day One

(Flash video above, downloadable MP4 is here.)

Greetings from the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Lost Wages, Nevada! Xeni here with the Boing Boing Gadgets fellas -- Beschizza, Brownlee, and Johnson, and Boing Boing's video production team. We're traveling the floor with the BBG 3, surveilling all they review, and we'll be filing daily video reports from the expo floor. Here is the first, embedded above.

Highlights from this episode:

* So you've probably heard there's an "Official Blog of CES," right? So, screw those guys, we're more awesome. In this episode, Gary Shapiro CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (the group that puts on CES) dubs Joel Johnson the Official King of CES, then bows down to him and touches Joel's invizibul robe.

* Rob Beschizza shows us what he likes about the new netbooks from Asus, namely the screens you can swivel around to use as touch-sensitive tablets (disclaimer: Asus is sponsoring BB Video's presence at CES, but not BB Gadgets. Rob actually didn't know anything about it at the time, so this isn't paid placement or editorial whoring).

* Joel grills the everliving crap out of the poor guy tasked with representing Sharper Image here. Joel was a big fan of the early incarnation of the mega-gadgets chain store, but believes they went to hell before they were recently bought out and resurrected. Joel's advice to the new guy: don't speak to us in marketingese, please, and stop making crappy products.

* Joel talks with the guys at WowWee about a Spyball for children -- baby's first panopticon! $150 device, shaped like a play ball, includes cameras to spy on other playmates. WTF.

* Xeni snuggles with robotic stuffed animals from WowWee that respond to human touch with emotive facial expressions, grunts, growls, and body movements. Verdict: cute, also creepy, definitely from the Uncanny Valley.

* Beschizza and Joel perform the first of what will likely be many schwag booze taste tests. Today: whiskey from the hosted bar, plus tiny energy drinks some wireless networking company was giving out. Mix them together, and you get what Joel describes as "there's nothing not awful about this it's just plain bad."

Next episode: we are accosted in the dark of night, on the streets of Vegas, by inebriated Canadian chemical engineers dressed as Yeti Furries.

Sponsor shout-out: Boing Boing Video coverage of CES 2009 is sponsored by, in partnership with Intel and Asus. is intended to be a site where users come together to "share ideas, images and inspiration about the ideal PC." Participants' designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and "could influence the blueprint for an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside."

More Videos: BB Gadgets at CES
* CES Video: Asus Netbookstravaganza, with Bamboo, Gold Lamé, and Lamborghini.
* CES Video: Palm Pre Hands-On with Joel and Brownlee, post-review huddle with Ars Technica
* Boing Boing Gadgets at CES: Video Report, Day Two

About Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:
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20 Responses to Boing Boing Gadgets at CES: Video Report, Day One

  1. Joel Johnson says:

    We’re weird.

  2. John Brownlee says:

    I’m here, I just arrived late for the filming of this episode. I’ll probably be on camera more (re: some) next ep.

  3. ianm says:

    BB Gadgets rules the world! The King of CES(TM) busting marketing nonsense since ’09!

    and LOL @ #10 posted by dirty sneakers

  4. stumo says:

    It’d be nice to hear a bit more about stuff – e.g what did Rob think of the ASUS tablet?

  5. rock711 says:

    It that haircut a prerequisite to working for Boing Boing Gadgets or is Joel Johnson just that potent?

    I kid!

    Great coverage. You guys are the only good thing about CES.

  6. LarryWelz says:

    Why is Joel wearing leis? Are those ferrets on Xeni’s shoulders?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious….The sharper image segment is a classic.

    Looking forward to some coverage on par with Rob’s piece from last year’s “best free pens of CES”


  8. guy_jin says:

    @DMAC10: that assumes the CES is still relevant. the only thing to do now is sit there and play with the decomposing corpse.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly what I was expecting and then some. Kudos on nailing sharper image toolbotpresentative guy. You guys are on a roll, keep up the awesome. Kinda wish I wasnt obligated by a semiboring job, i would drag down there for a day or two just to buy you guys a round and bee ess for an hour.

  10. prunesquallor says:

    OMG I *LOVE* Joel Johnson. He’s so cool! Great irony!

  11. arkizzle says:

    Shapiro’s got a sense of humour huh?

    Cool :)

  12. Anonymous says:

    What happened to the yeti furries?

  13. Xeni Jardin says:

    @19 Anonymous — The yeti furries are, um, coming.

  14. Odessa says:

    So, is Herr Brownlee actually there, or is he somehow attending those press conferences remotely?

  15. funkyjunk says:

    DMAC10: Uh, google CES… or go to that dusty, dry official blog.

    The BB crew are a breath of fresh air, considering how quickly the gadget blogs have adapted the dull, safe, press-release spewing fluff that print media have relied on for so long.

    Even Gizmodo can’t be relied upon for irreverance after last years monumental fuck-up / line crossing.

    Can’t wait for tomorrows’ episode.

  16. Stefan Jones says:

    Next year: A WowWee robo-animal line for extra-shy furries that walk themselves to the dry cleaner!

  17. dculberson says:

    Rob, I had no idea your name was pronounced that way. Sorry.

  18. dculberson says:

    I got a little uncomfortable during Joel’s conversation with the Sharper Image guy, but he patched it all up at the end. “Whatever that means, do that!”

  19. dmac10 says:

    Hey can you guys stop being jackasses and report something intelligent from the show? It is more embarrassing than funny.

    If you can believe it, I actually count on you for some good information.

    See you tomorrow!

  20. dirtbomb says:

    Thank you so much for your coverage of this convention. You guys rock. Aside from this video, I’m especially loving your live-blogging of the presentations. Best. Coverage. Ever. Cheers.

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