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The 411 On CES 2020

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Well well well CES, we meet again. That's Consumer Electronics Show in case you've been bunking under a rock with my boy Pat Star. What is it? 2.9 million square feet jam-packed with awesome, weird, and some completely unnecessary tech gadgets in the heart of Las Vegas. We hoofed 75,000 steps over 3 days to bring you this list, luckily that counteracted all the fresh brewhaunis* we had after the show.

*Brewhauni is how our new community manager Haydn refers to beer. Feel free to proliferate within your squad.

CES takes place on the Las Vegas strip, but we stayed at the Golden Nugget on Freemont in old Vegas. You've probably heard some slander about Freemont, but it's a legit place. Look out for our next blog comparing the strip to Freemont. This is Lucy, she'll be your guide to the strip, I'll be #TeamFreemont.


Lucy Lloyd loves Las Vegas


Anyways, what'd we see that's worth talking about? CES was a little tamer than in past years. There were a lot fewer D-list celebrities and over the top presentations which was a bummer. But, we did find some killer tech. Let's dive in like Michael Phelps and backstroke our way through the best tech at CES.


Michael Phelps at CES


The Good Stuff From CES 2020



8k TVs

When you strut into the main CES hall, expect to see TVs from all the major brands. This year, 8k was the fire that kept on burning. 8k used to seem like a marketing ploy, it was almost impossible to tell the difference from 4k. However, as screens keep getting bigger, the upgrade to 8k has become more apparent. It will be here sooner than you might think. There was even a demo showing 8k video streaming on Youtube.

My favorite 8k TV was the 88" LG OLED. Granted, it might have just been the content they were playing, but damn was it spectacular. While my 2-year old iPhone camera will never do TV picture quality justice, you can see the detail oozing out of the screen. It was hard to look away from this thing. Side note, I'm not sure what type of animal this is, but he is a handsome beast.


sick 8k TV from LG



Artwork TVs

Sure, TVs are a lot sleeker than they used to be. Now you don't have to worry about destroying your back & fingers trying to move a 500lb 32" CRT TV. But when your flatscreen TV is off, it's just a black rectangle and doesn't add much to the room. Another big hit at CES were TVs that become works of art when they're off. The bezel of your TV looks more like a frame, so these TVs blend in well. They are super badass.


Frame Art TVs From CES


These screens automatically adjust the brightness based on ambient light, making them seem like legit paintings. Being able to change art on-demand will take your crib to baller status in no time. I was incredibly surprised at how realistic these TV paintings were. Expect to see this feature on TVs coming out in the next few years. Want to know the best part? You can take all the money you would have spent on art, and get a better TV with it. What a win.



TCL Beer Fridge

Technically this fridge is called the TCL Rapid Cooling Refrigerator, but when you open a fridge at CES & it's stocked with Natty Light, you gotta get excited. Apparently, this fridge can cool down your drinks in 5 minutes flat which is super clutch. Now you won't have to have an entire beer fridge in your basement/garage. Just throw your Busch Light in, listen to Smooth by Carlos Santana once, and crack an ice-cold beer!


TCL super cool beer fridge



Invisible Selfie Stick

Insta 360 cameras are a GoPro killer. They've got sick cameras that can do high-quality 360º video, with interchangeable lenses & incredible image stabilization. However, it was their selfie stick that stole the show. What makes it different? Well, it's freaking invisible in videos. Insta 360 ONE R's invisible selfie stick even lets you flip between filming yourself shredding down a mountain or capturing what's in front of you. I've never said these words, but this selfie stick is legit, check out the video here. Do I know how it works? No. Do you look a little goofy running around with an empty fist? Sure. But if you're doing extreme outdoor stuff and want to capture the moment your ACL disintegrates, you've gotta get an Insta360 camera with the invisible selfie stick.



Insta 360 invisible selfie stick



Calorie Tracking Smart Watch

It feels like wearable tech hasn't had a major innovation in years. GoBe is out here straight changing the game with their calorie intake tracking feature. Manually tracking calories sounds like a good idea until you realize how much effort is involved. You gotta write down everything you eat/drink and figure out how many calories were in it. Talk bout a major time drain. If the GoBe3 actually works and achieves the reported 89% accuracy, sign me up. Imagine knowing how many calories you've eaten and burned every day. It'll help keep you on track no matter what fitness goals you're going for. Want to lose weight? Make sure that the number is slightly negative every day. Trying to bulk up to look fly for summer? Keep eating to give your body the fuel it needs to grow. Sure, sometimes that number is going to be hell after a night on the town, but that'll give you accountability next time. If this tech really works, I'd expect to see it in all wearable fitness devices within a few years.


GoBe3 calorite tracking smart watch



The Unexpected

Usually, this section would be full of fun stuff like Toni Kukoč shooting free throws in rhinestone jeans at an exhibitor booth. But as I mentioned earlier, there were almost no cheap marketing ploys this year which sucked big time. So instead we'll focus this section on a random guy at a bar & a t-shirt.



Undercover Superstar

After walking 25,000 steps nothing tastes better than an ice-cold beer. Late one night we found ourselves in a bar jamming to a mediocre band on Freemont. Although they weren't super talented, they played the hits and got people moving. That band isn't the point though. You know when you're watching a band and someone tries to be their friend? After songs, they dap them up or bring fresh drinks. Well, a gentleman who was a visitor from another country was doing it at this bar.

After the band was done he asked to perform a song, and surprisingly the band said yes. We rolled our eyes and prepared for the worst as he climbed on stage. To our surprise, he strapped up the lead singer's guitar with one smooth motion that let said: "I'm here to rip this place up". After a brief chat with the drummer, he started shredding the guitar. While he wasn't the best singer ever, he absolutely killed it with stage presence. His friends were going wild, and the rest of the band joined in and sang backup for him. He closed that bar down with 2 killer tracks that had us amped. We had to get a few more drinks before hitting the sack just to get our BPM down to a manageable level for REM sleep. He was a legend and I'll never forget.



A Big Show Of Support For My Nic Cage Shirt


Echogear's mascot is Nic Cage


Another surprise at CES was the number of people complimenting my Face Off inspired t-shirt. I had at least 10 compliments, which is 10 more than I've ever gotten for something I've worn. My favorite part of this shirt is either people will get the reference and love it, or think my shirt is a big printing mistake. Both are equally fun. This gif encapsulates how I feel about this shirt.


Josh Soupir Nic Cage Shirt



The Bad

For the most part, we didn't see anything that was dumb during the show. So for the "Bad" section, I'll just gripe about a few random things that happened on our trip.


Portion Sizes @ Peppermill

Peppermill is a pretty legendary Vegas establishment. It's basically like a 50s diner procreated with an 80s nightclub which sounded right up our alley. The vibe was cool and the food was delicious, but there was way too much of it. For people like me with no self-control around food, that means you eat until you hate yourself, which we all did. More importantly, there's so much wasted food that you feel bad about ordering it. Sure, it's supposed to be a "diner-style" restaurant which comes with big portions, but it's overkill. Just thinking about how much food gets thrown in the trash on a nightly basis makes me sick. So @ Peppermill, keep doing what you do, just cut back 40% of the food & we'll all be happier & healthier. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. PS: Philip is going to need a katana to slice those massive ribs up, that puny knife is about to snap.


Big ass ribs at Peppermill



ATM Fees At Casinos

I'm not a big gambler, but I do enjoy throwing down some scratch on sports to make them more fun to watch. I planned to put $20 on the Timberwolves but the damn ATM Fees was $9! And that's on top of the bank fee. So I've already lost before even betting. It panned out for me in the end because the Timberwolves lost (not surprising), but the point is to bring cash to Vegas and not rely on ATMs. No wonder Danny Ocean and his boys did that elaborate casino heist, they had to get their ATM money back!

CES is a great time. While most of the tech will never actually come to market, seeing it before anyone else makes you feel like a big baller. If you ever get a chance to roll out to Vegas for a few days and wander the halls, do it. You'll need a massive amount of caffeine and junk food to keep you going, but it's worth it.


CES is legit AF


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