I’m here at CES, camped out with the rest of the PopSci.com team at an envy-inducing sweet spot in the back corner of the pressroom—probably one of about five female reporters in a roiling sea of hundreds of thousands of gadget-loving dudes. I’ve spent my entire career working for men’s magazines, so being the only chick around isn’t a new experience, but the sheer volume of testosterone up in here could drive a girl to wear a burqa. Adding to the vibe are the facts that the Adult Video Awards are coming up this week, and that many of the ladies hanging out in the casinos at night are escorts. So there’s this silent question hovering in the air whenever a good-looking girl walks by: Porn star?
Anyhoo, walking the halls today, we’ve spotted a number of trends, toys, and funny stuff that we’ll be hitting on throughout the week in a series of video posts (“Jonathan Coulton and Future Girl Live at CES!”) to give you a taste of the Vegas craziness.
My faves among the goodies I’ve seen so far today have been 1) the awesomely tiny, full-functioning Model 02 PC from OQO: it’s about the size of a Sidekick, but it acts like a laptop, and it’s the first mini computer to run Windows Vista; 2) the Wildcharge conduction plate charger that powers up cell phones and other wireless gadgets wirelessly (right now this device requires model-specific docks for various cell phones, iPods and PSPs, which is less than ideal, but it's a good first-gen version of a breakthrough technology that could become the standard for chargers); and 3) the Garmin Astro GPS dog tracking device, which lets you connect to several dogs at a time and is meant to help hunters keep track of their retrievers and quarry. The transmitter piece is kind of big and clunky—I wish they'd make a smaller one I could put on my cat to see where he goes on his daily prowls, but at $650, the Astro's much less a toy and more a serious device for locating valuable animals. —Megan Miller