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I never knew I needed that.

Here’s another one of those “Gee this used to be important but now, with the pandemic, I don’t know…” moments:CES2020
the Consumer Electronics Show.

Once upon a time, the CES was so big that there was a winter CES in Las Vegas and a summer CES in Chicago. The January Vegas show attracted all of us snow-weary northerners out to “Sin City” to see the latest tech gadgets and gizmos. The Chicago show, in June, attracted the rest of the world to one of the prettiest summertime lakeside cities on the planet…and Chi-town did not disappoint. Chicago is both the king and queen of putting on large conferences and shows.

I only attended one CES. It was in Chicago way back in the 80s and, even then, it was a mind-blowing experience. Acres of exhibits and displays filling McCormick Place’s halls with all kinds of wacky stuff. I don’t remember much of the show as far as new and innovative products go but what I still remember to this day is the awe and wonder I felt at seeing this extravagant abundance all gathered in one place.

CES 2020 was held, live, in Las Vegas. Remember, last January we were still blissfully unaware of what was in store for us. CES 2021 is virtual as is most everything else. Luckily, our friends at Wired magazine are live-blogging about all of the wonderful things they are seeing and archiving it for the rest of us. Here’s a sampling of some of the more unique offerings from the first few days.

  • A self-contained recycling bin that separates, steam-cleans and grinds up your recyclables and guarantees that the material will actually be re-used. ($3500).
  • A front door with a fully integrated doggie door that reads the chip on your dog’s collar and opens automatically ($3000)
  • Segway scooters for kids
  • A smart mask that measures pollution in the air and monitors your respiration at the same time.

And my favorite, the “Cold Snap,” a Keurig-like device that instantly freezes everything from ice cream to frozen margaritas. No price yet but it weighs 50 pounds and takes up a lot of real estate on your kitchen counter

You’ll find Wired’s blog about all of these new and wonderful gadgets here. And here’s to a brighter tomorrow when we can all fly again, go to Vegas again and waste our money on soon-to-be-obsolescent crap, again.

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