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The largest convention of the year hit Las Vegas this week. Technology is a bigger part of our lives than ever before and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is reflective of that. This year, the Las Vegas Convention Center was still home to the majority of CES, but attendees could also find companies showing their wares as far away as Mandalay Bay.
If you're not familiar with it, CES is the annual expo for technology companies to show off new products that will be available in the near future as well as products we may not see for years. There are things you’ll see, eventually, at home as well as in hotels, restaurants and casinos. Obviously, we’re most concerned with how CES will impact Vegas hotels and casinos.
Slot Machines / G2E / Global Gaming Expo / CES / Technology / Friends / Mad Men / Wonder Woman / WMS Gaming / Bally Technologies / → All Tags
The annual Global Gaming Expo (a.k.a. G2E) is just a couple of weeks away. The expo is where businesses with products and services related to the casino industry show off their goods to prospective buyers. While the newest ATM technology and seating options are cool to look at, most of us are concerned about new casino games.
Another nickname for G2E is the "slot machine convention." Slot manufacturers take up almost as much space on the expo floor as every other business combined. G2E is where just about all new slot machine technology and themes debut.
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The Consumer Electronics Show, more commonly known as CES, is in Las Vegas this week. CES is the largest convention in Vegas and features all kinds of technology from the realistic to the never-gonna-happen. Technology is such a part of our lives today that coverage has grown from the practical to the ridiculous. At VegasChatter, we’re more concerned with what we’ll be seeing in hotels and casinos than a famous guy freaking out.
Technology develops so quickly today that there’s much available, but only a few things seem as if they’re destined to succeed and be seen in Las Vegas casinos anytime soon. At the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), we may have been teasing when we said that slot machine manufacturers were making new games brighter and crisper because their audience was getting older and couldn’t see very well. While this may or may not be true, we do see a few new products at CES that could appeal visually to younger and older gamblers alike.
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Coinciding with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, Caesars Entertainment debuted some pretty cool technology for their casinos. Actually, the TecTiles NFC (Near Field Technology) tags are only available at Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Paris and Planet Hollywood, for now. Before diving into what exactly this new tech stuff provides, we should tell you that it's only available to those of you with a Samsung Nexus mobile phone or tablet. (No iPhone, boo!)
NFC tags simply deliver information to a mobile device. By touching a mobile device to one of the tags, Caesars will be able to send details and information for different casino games, shows, shopping, etc. Through these tags, you'll be able to receive gaming tutorials, buy tickets to shows, and more. The NFC sign above is located when you walk into Paris from the valet area. The NFC tags have also been placed on slot machines throughout the casinos so you can just grab the information when playing a game.
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So many people, so few outlets.
For those of you arriving in town for the annual tech-porn convention that is CES, we know you've already got your gear packed from your laptop to your tablet, smartphone, digital camera, wireless speakers, et al. But, do you have a plan for keeping all those gadgets at full strength while wandering the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center for hours on end, a place that sucks up battery life faster than you can imagine?
Of course, we're assuming that most of you have a Mophie or similar battery charger case for your phones which is a good plan because the options for a quick hit of juice are slim at the convention center. However, here's a few spots you can try if you're desperate and can't make it back to your hotel room. Know of some other clutch places to recharge? Let us know in comments below!
1. EXHIBITOR BOOTHS:
This is CES -- the Consumer Electronics Show -- so, of course, companies hawking charging stations will demonstrate their products here. Here's a few we found. Fingers crossed they have them out of the display boxes for you!
· Samsung: Booth 224 (North Hall meeting rooms). FYI: Samsung is known to bring their mobile charging stations out for CES so hit up here first.
· Griffin: Booth 5212 (North Hall)
· Ventev: Booth 35877 (South Hall)
· myCharge: Booth 4014 (North Hall)
· Nectar Mobile Power System: Booth 36037 (South Hall)
Yesterday we threw out our observations on the tech behemoth that is CES. Jelly bean refrigerators and beating on the monorail is all fun and games but not really what we went in search of at the event. We wanted gamechangers. Wowsers. Gadgets that provoke tech envy. Instead we found smartphones, tablets, thinner laptopzzzzzzz, plastic phone cases, leather phone cases, phone cases that were batteries, headphonezzzzzz, and Radio Shack-like popup shops.
Then again, there are plenty of tech-focused websites with backstage access to the really cool stuff. That leaves the odd, unexpected, and interesting for us to report. Oh, and we'll try to picture uses for some of them in Vegas
to keep the bosses happy.
CES is still going strong for another day or so but we're back at VegasChatter headquarters for the moment nursing our tech hangover and soaking our weary feet. As we sort through the freebies and brochures, here are this CES-virgin's thoughts on 2012's AVN-less geek porn.
To avoid the traffic and parking nightmares we expected at the LVCC, our CES adventure started at the Venetian. Once we quickly got bored there, we took the shuttle over to the real main event at LVCC. Shuttles apparently aren't immune to traffic, so we watched hundreds of badged CES-goers pass us both ways on the street as we putted along.
Lots of up and down, down and back
With CES booths setup in Venetian meeting rooms across four floors (instead of the Sands Convention Center for some reason), techies got lots of practice in the art of escalatoring up a floor, walking down the hallway to reach the next escalator, lather, rinse repeat.
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CES 2012 officially gets underway tomorrow although attendees have already been checking in for sneak peeks, previews, and leaks. Welcome, techies! Two years ago, one VegasChatter member broke their CES-cherry, last year it was another's turn, and now the honor falls to this writer. What do we have our eyes peeled for this year?
3D TVs, tablets, bigger and better yet thinner laptops have been all the rage the past couple CES installments, a pattern likely to (zzzzzz) continue. What will pop the wow factor in Vegas this year? Can TVs get smarter? Will we care enough to shake an e-reader like a Polaroid picture? Could Microsoft actually convince us to trade in our iPhones? Will it be technology that's the 2012 story at all or celebrity appearances that are the most exciting news? Personally, we're hoping to hear "Dennis Rodman, 50 Cent, and Justin Bieber walk into
a bar Olympic Gardens..."
If you still don't have a room for CES, but are too busy gathering intel on Intel, Googling deets about Google TV, and wondering how you can get the new iHomes in your home first -- you needn't fear. We have fired up our rapidly aging 2010 MacBook Pro and dutifully done it for you
in between catching up on news like someone breaking into Mike Tyson's room at The Cosmo.
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In somewhat surprising and sad news, the AVN Expo and Awards decoupled their dates in Las Vegas from CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in 2012.
As previously announced CES is set for January 10-13 and will take place, again, at Sands Expo Center and Las Vegas Convention Center, while the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo and the AVN Awards will now be a week later January 18–21 and will move to The Palms. The AVN Awards will be Saturday, January 21 at the Pearl Theater.
One of our favorite things about attending CES this year was watching the awkward interaction (mostly non-interaction) between tech nerds and those in Vegas for the AVN convention. While there may be some overlap with the conventioneers at home, there wasn't much in public and that was fun to watch. Being Las Vegas, there's always a convention in town. Next year, the AVN Expo and Awards will overlap with the SHOT show a.k.a. the hunting show.
Blackjack / CES / G2E / Planet Hollywood / Technology / → All Tags
We love new stuff. Earlier this year, we went to CES to see what new tech things we might see in casinos soon. The show wasn't geared towards casinos, but we found a few things. We also went to G2E and previewed a few things that we knew we'd see sooner or later on The Strip.
The i-Tables seem pretty cool as they are meant to make life easier for both the player and the casino. Blackjack is already fairly simple but now you don't have to worry about hand signals or chips. All moves are made on the table using a touch screen. Of course, most of the benefits are with the casino as the i-table is said to increase the amount of hands by at least 30%. So, with the house having the edge in general, players can expect to lose more money.
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While at CES last week, we saw lots of toys that we want for our home, but we also thought about what we will be seeing in the casinos, sooner and later. Here are our three favorite things in order of how soon we'll likely see them in the hotels we love.