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The Choblog – CES 2015: The Future of Tech & The Emptying of My Wallet

Before I launch into my CES 2015 post, let me get a few other things out of the way first: I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a happy new year! Cheers all around and here’s to making Nerdist even bigger and better in 2015!

And… Welcome to THE CHOBLOG!

It’s been a while since I posted my musings online beyond the quickie FB and Twitter hits, and now that I’ve found a dedicated space within Nerdist, I can’t wait to chat with you guys about anything and everything! Content-wise, you can look forward to more personal and in-depth posts regarding my views on gaming, my weird and wacky paranormal obsession via my podcast, Bizarre States, movies, tech, and any other pop culture mumbo-jumbo that piques my interest.

I’ll be posting this blog on a weekly basis and, fingers crossed, if it gains steam, I have no qualms with going daily! And what better way to launch The Choblog then talking some CES 2015?

I haven’t been to a CES since right before G4 went ka-boom! I think that was, what? Maybe 2012? While it was fun to attend, because of my noob reporter status at the channel, I got stuck reporting on fridges. Don’t get me wrong, LG has some amazeball fridges out there but, um… yeah… it’s a fridge.

That’s why, now that I’m here at CES 2015 and rolling solo, I can pick out what I want to cover. The show floor doesn’t open until tomorrow (Tuesday, January 6) but announcements are already rolling out, and the two big items that have caught my eye are: Wearable Tech and Gaming.

I’m planning on heading straight over to Apple to see if they will be showcasing their watch. I highly doubt they will, since they usually save those types of reveals for their own events. BUT one might see a 3rd-party accessories developer slip up and display one of their products for it, which could give us a better idea of what Apple might be planning. It’s happened in the past with iPads and iPhones, so it never hurts to keep your eyes peeled.

Gear S

After that, I’ll be hitting up the Samsung booth. I currently have their Gear S watch and, while I’ve enjoyed it, for my lifestyle, I’ve found it to be more of a conversation piece rather than of practical use. Still, it’s the first time I’ve taken wearable tech seriously (not counting the workout bands that hit the world by storm. But I don’t exercise, so screw those things) and I’m curious to see any changes they may have made to their watch series in anticipation of Apple’s incoming competition.

Wearable tech isn’t limited to smartwatches, however. There’s also the much gossiped and smirked about, “Belty.” Developed by Paris-based company, Emiota, Belty is the current darling of CES even before the doors have opened. Debuted at CES Unveiled, Belty essentially measure a wearer’s waistline via built in motors. Emiota has the right idea as far as trying to take the wearable tech phase and utilize it into more “everyday” objects outside of smartwatches and exercise bands, but I feel bad enough when I put on my pants in the morning. I don’t need a motorized metal belt to body-shame me. Thanks but no thanks, Belty.

(I’m still going to go hunt it down and try it on though. Why? Sadisim. That’s why.)

This is the part in the post where I should mention Google Glass and Sony’s SmartEye but honestly, I kind of don’t care about those. Not much has changed in the smartglassses department. Maybe next year.

Oculus Rift

In the gaming arena it’s all about VR! VR! VR!!!!!! With Sony playing hard ball in the VR dept. with Project Morpheus, it leaves me wondering if they’re locked and loaded to take some of the wind out of the Oculus Rift’s sails here at CES. Maybe a release date and price point?

And in that same vein, here’s hoping that Oculus Rift commits to giving us a retail release announcement this week! While Msft is working on their own VR, since it’s still in the middle of development, I HIGHLY doubt we will be seeing anything from them. Which leaves us with Samsung’s GearVR, a light headset that attaches to a Galaxy 4 Note smartphone. (Although I can’t see the practicality in that from a mobile gaming angle. The absolutely LAST thing I want to do is drag around a VR headset for my phone.)

I have to admit, when this whole VR thing first started taking off with the Oculus Rift, I rolled my eyes and thought, “Oh yeah. Here we go. It’s 3D TVs all over again.” I swiftly changed my mind after experiencing the Oculus Rift VR Pacific Rim experience over at the Legendary booth during SDCC. (Full disclosure: Nerdist’s parent company is Legendary. So, yeah.. I could be blowing smoke up your butts to suck up to the boss, but lucky for you, I’m not. It was a rather epic experience.)

While the Pacific Rim experience was cool as hell, what it really did was show me the potential that I hadn’t been seeing despite all of the game developer play-throughs and videos I watched up to that point. I truly believe now that there is a place for retail VR, both for gaming and movies/TV that I think can and will, if done properly, take off. We’re not too far off having a VR headset in the home as common as your standard game controller.

Oh, and PS Now: As I’m sure you’ve heard, Sony changed the pricing structure for their PS Now service. It is now: 1 month = $19.99 & 3 months = $45.00. While I still think that’s a tad expensive for older games that you won’t technically own, at least knowing what you’re paying for is less confusing. Still, I’ll be purchasing all of those via a subscription/gift card or something. It would be dishonest of me if I didn’t say that all their high-profile hacks haven’t made me more than a little skittish of giving them my credit card info.

4k TV

What about those 4K TVs, tho? I’m going to be darting my eyeballs about in the hopes of finding some affordable 4K television options. I will be seriously surprised if we don’t see some on the show floor. The only reason I can think of for there being a void in that arena would be a lack of available 4K content. However, Amazon announced that they’re currently ready to support 4K streaming via Amazon Prime Instant Video (and with no additional cost to members) and Netflix is nipping right at their heels planning their own 4K battle plan. Plus, let me just say how much I LOVE that THE INTERNET supports 4K before standard TV/Cable stations do. GO INTERNET! The only downside to 4K TVs is that, our current gaming consoles don’t support 4K…..yet.

Believe me when I say that the lack of 4K ability within my gaming system will not stop me from snagging a 4K TV, but man…do you know how glorious a Dragon Age: Inquisition, or Skyrim II, or FallOut 4, or Half-Life 3 would look in 4k!!!??? OMG! Half-Life 3 in4K!!!


And with that, dear readers, I leave you with my first Nerdist CHOBLOG post from CES 2015. More posts shall follow sometime tomorrow — after I stand in line for hours waiting for a taxi, fight my way through crowds of businessmen and women who dress in suits and make me feel immature and inadequate, fling myself onto the show floor, and fight with YouTubers in order to try on the Oculus Rift first.

Keep your eyes peeled for my tomorrow, on CNET’S Tomorrow Daily Show with Ashley Esqueda (@AshleyEsqueda) where I’ll be guesting and talking more in-depth about what crazy shizz I find on the show floor.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @JessicaChobot, and get your daily dose of nerdomania over at Nerdist News, Monday through Friday! Hosted by me (except when it’s not, like right now because I’m here at CES).

And lastly, Check out my Bizarre States podcast with Andrew Bowser over on iTunes and! You can follow us at: @Bizarre_States! And send us your scary stories via: [email protected]

This shit sure beats reporting on futuristic fridges.

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  1. JWolf says:

    That was a great write up.  Looking forward to your next blog post.

  2. Wearable tech: I like the concept of the Razer Nabu. Yes it has the fitness and notifications mostly, but it has a gaming aspect to it if you look more into it. 

    I’m excited to see more of what VR can do for gaming.

    VR gaming in 4k in the future is wishful thinking.

  3. Timmay says:

    Is this going to be another Apple fan person Blog?

  4. kerrell says:

    Very cool Jess, sounds like you had a good time at CES.I’ll definitely be lookin’ forward to more of the Choblog.

  5. Tyler says:

    I got to use the Oculus Rift back at Sundance 2014 for a demo of EVE Valkerie and it was sweet!!!!!!! You totally get immersed in the environment and it is fantastic. What are your thoughts on the movie side of things? Are u more excited for Age of Ultron or Force Awakens or both on same level? Do you have a pick at all for what u would like to see win Best Picture at the Oscars this year??

  6. I have a 4k tv and i love it. Even with the lack of content at the moment. It seems to make everything i watch a little nicer.

  7. Drenel says:

    Woo! Since the tragic fall of G4, I’ve never had a good source for CES. Glad to see you doing what you like to do.

    Btw Excited to see if there is anything new tech wise. Something that no one expected to come out. 

  8. Leonard panek says:

    I look forward to reading more CHOBLOG , I loved how detailed hilarious and serious you can get while writing. Have fun at CES2015 

  9. Krafter says:

    If your going to be looking at VR stuff you might want to check out some AR too. castAR is going to be at CES too.

  10. ChadHatter says:

    Great to see you blogging!  I’m excited to see what all the 4k TVs have to offer.  Also interested in the Apple watch but as you have said, that will probably be saved for an Apple event.  Love Bizarre States so keep them coming! 

  11. Hunter says:

    Well this is first. Excited about the potential for new VR systems. Is that how we are supposed to do this?

    • Hunter says:

      Sorry about that this is first blog thing I’ve read. I didn’t know what to do for the comment thing.

    • Chibot says:

      I have some renewed faith in the VR systems. Especially if we hold it up to the same standards as how we pushed so hard for home theater 3D (which I never understood).  Quality 3D has been around for a decent time, even before everyone tried to force us to give a shit (remember 3D IMAX documentaries back in the early to mid -90s?). Hell, remember Capt. Eo at Epcot? That shit was THE SHIT! Anyway, IMO, 3D wasn’t “special” enough to justify a higher priced specialty 3D TV & having to wear specific glasses for all your piddly 3D enhanced content. I call it, “James Cameron Fever.”Now, I’ve interviewed Mr. Cameron and he’s an electrifying man I could watch talk for hours and I can EASILY see how he might mesmerize folks into thinking that the 3D version of Avatar justified why you should adopt a whole new home entertainment format…..but, no. It just doesn’t work.
      In contrast, due to my experience with home 3D, I was very hyper sensitive to the more gimmicky aspects of home VR. especially since the OR was a Kickstarter campaign and one that focused on Devs (what’s the point in getting Devs a tool to create something for a public that doesn’t even have access to enjoy it). then OR started REALLY moving forward, retail versions were gossiped about, then announced and everyone was jumping onto the VR bandwagon and I thought, “well…shit. Here we go again.” And I stuck fast to my guns about it all the way up to SDCC 2014 when I got my first OR hands on with the Pacific Rim experience. Now, just to give you some context, up to that point, I had experienced the OR at the developer even with some games that were in the process of trying it out (including DAYLIGHT). It was fun, interesting but still CHOCK FULL OF FLAWS! The least of which was the constant desire t throw up while wearing the headset. Then, at the SDCC Pacific Rim experience, I was BLOWN AWAY -everything was precise, dialed in, SUPER SHARP and just amazing. It’s was unique and special enough to really  justify changing up your entire home entertainment system. I truly think VR will catch on and I don’t often say that about what is essentially an entertainment gimmick. 

  12. Brubacca says:

    Great to see you blogging again. Can’t wait to read more! I am very interested in hearing you review of the Apple Watch!

    • Chobot says:

      Let’s hope they have something here (although I’m not holding my breath). My biggest sue with wearable tech is that it’s not that wearable. It has a tendency to be clunky and VERY unfashionable. There have been some minor improvements, the curved surface and beveled edges of the Samsung G as one example, but more often then not the wearer is very acutely aware that they are WEARING something. All of this tech is a great step in the right direction but we’re just not quite there yet. I give it another 7 years.

      • Brubacca says:

        Yes, exactly. Nothing worse then having something heavy and clunky on your wrist. Can’t wait to see what the future holds.