Reporter's Notebook: 2012 Consumer Electronics Show

By Automotive Staff | January 06, 2012
We’re here, live and on the scene at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Come back frequently for our live, up-to-date coverage of every glowing screen, buzzing and beeping device and pounding speaker we encounter as we walk the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
At least there's a car museum - Sunday, Jan. 8 at 3:15 p.m.
Las Vegas is known for all sorts of swanky joints for not much money. This hotel isn't one of them. But if it's any consolation, it is pretty affordable, and it has car museum on the top floor. Because having a top floor with several million dollars worth of rare, old cars does make a difference, we'll wholeheartedly endorse staying at the Imperial Palace despite its very circa 1980s look and feel. We'll investigate the collection a little later this week.
Eagerly Reporting for Duty - Sunday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.
The CES convention doesn't even officially start until Tuesday morning, but there are press conferences scattered throughout the week. On a Sunday night when there are seemingly much more interesting things to do like watch flames and water jets shoot out of the Mirage Hotel, a full house of journalists and industry officials packed themselves into a meeting room to listen to Cadillac and OnStar's press conference. Now that's dedication.
Gourmet Pulled Pork? - Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8:30 p.m.
Those of us who might have skipped dinner last night and didn't want to pay $8 for a McDonald's combo meal (it's more expensive here) were in for a treat last night. At GM's press conference, hosted at the Venetian Hotel, the automaker brought in catering. And it was delicious. No, I didn't spill any on my blazer.
Chinese Democracy - Monday, Jan. 9 at 4 p.m.

While waiting for the Ford and NPR press conference to begin, I went back to my hotel to check out the auto museum on the top floor. It didn't disappoint. What we have here is a Chinese diplomat's Hong qi Red Flag sedan from the 1960s. It was the first major Chinese car, and though we can't attest to its quality, if it was good for Chairman Mao, it was probably a pretty snazzy vehicle.


What's This Thing For in Vegas? - Monday, Jan. 9 at 5 p.m.

At Ford and NPR's joint press conference, NPR was giving away snow scrapers to guests. I assume these were leftovers from its yearly membership drive...on the cold side of the country. But we were in Las Vegas, and it was still around 60 degrees outside by the time the press conference had ended.


Technology's Bucking Bronco - Monday, Jan. 9 at 9:30 p.m.

Despite 150,000 people flooding Las Vegas for CES, you'd still think there might not be too many people to stick it out til 11 p.m. for cocktails and technology. But at the Technology Roundup media event, there were plenty of previews, snacks, and drinks to keep the crowd busily schmoozing into the night.


I Wish My German Was Better - Tuesday, Various Times

There are a lot of people from all over the world at CES such as the Germans you see here. But what makes this picture funny? All of the people in this picture are executives from Porsche, Volkswagen, and Audi, and they're checking out a demonstration of the new Mercedes-Benz MBrace2 voice command infotainment system.


Ford's Omnipresent President - Tuesday, Jan 10 at 2 p.m.

At CES, Ford president and CEO, Alan Mulally, the $22 million man himself, introduced the 2013 Ford Fusion to a few journalists and a ton of interested technophiles. It was, by far, the easiest press conference I had covered in that there wasn't a swarming group of journalists (most of whom are usually taller). The day earlier, bossman Keith Buglewicz had gone to a panel to speak with him at the Detroit Auto Show on the other side of the country. Mulally was scheduled to speak in Las Vegas and go straight back to Detroit. Not too shabby for a 66-year-old guy.


Your Lambo really is a Computer on Wheels - Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m.

You'd be surprised how much computers play a role in today's cars. When it comes to keeping the shiny side of a 2012 Lamborghini Aventador up, NVidia is commissioned to manage the car's electronics with its set of high-speed processors for the car's infotainment and car management.


The Long Line Back - Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 5 p.m.

The Consumer Electronics Show has gotten so large that there are shuttles running constantly between the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Venetian hotel and casino where much of the venue's vast meeting spaces are inhabited by showgoers and vendors. Despite the transportation, shuttling around 150,000 people is often a little difficult. So is waiting in a line the length of a football field.


Sifting Through It All - Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 2:15 p.m.

Now comes the fun part: sorting through the mounds of information acquired at CES.