Updated: 1/14/2021 at 3:31pm

This post is a day-by-day update of my experience attending the very first fully online CES.

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Like most folks in the tech industry, I’ve been attending CES events for many years. I was amped at the idea of an all-digital CES. It’s the first, after all. Plus, a year without CES blisters is a godsend. What I didn’t want to miss out on is the cool new tech.

If you want the Coles-Cliff Note version, you’ll find that below the day-to-day overviews.

CES — DAY ONE

It’s day one of four. …


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Quest 2 — Photo by Oculus

VR is a fun way to escape into a new world, fight lifesize zombies, go fishing and actually catch things, and create musical jams with friends.

I’m sharing my particular unboxing experience to highlight a few user experience tips and snafus. As well, to plant a flag in writing/YouTube history of it because I believe this really is a monumental time in the VR space and consumer electronics. We’re entering a new phase, where accessibility is opening up, which means big things are ahead for consumers.

The Unboxing

Me Unboxing the Quest 2

Unboxing — Things You Should Know

  • The headset and controllers have a battery charge straight out of the box, so you can get it up and running right away. There’s no need to charge it beforehand. So get work done so you can focus on this shiny object. …

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1/22/2021 — Since this story was published, quite a few things have changed. It goes without saying that things can change quickly in every facet of our life. Often, when we least expect it or want it. All we can do is be as prepared as possible and hang on for dear life.

Being a TikTok creator is one of those careers that’s difficult to tell parents you want to be, and when successful, it is hard to describe to your family what you do for a living.

You do what now??

The TikTok app is a social media powerhouse with 800 million active users worldwide, which includes 100 million in the USA. …


The ban on China-made apps is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

If you’re reading this and you’re a member of a North American startup that has somehow withstood the storm from the pandemic, I tip my hat to you. It’s horrifying how many companies are now out of business, and people are out of work.

I’d love to say things only go up from here, but truthfully, things are going to get even worse before they get better. Similar to a hurricane that has an eerily peaceful eye of the storm.

Current pandemic aside, we’re now seeing how business and politics don’t mix and the fall-out on apps like WeChat and Tik Tok being banned in the USA. More broadly, if you rely on anything from overseas, especially China, your business is still at risk. …


Coverage from the livestream on July 9, 2020, with Brad Feld and Lucy Sanders via Computer History Museum

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Photo via Computerhistory.org

Brad Feld joined a live stream today as part of The Startup Community Way by Computer History Museum (CHM). He was accompanied by moderator Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-Founder of NCWIT.

Brad is well known for being the founder of TechStars, one of the earliest VC bloggers and coiner of the term “startup community.” For anyone from or in the Bay area, he’s considered Silicon Valley royalty.

More specifically on the blogging side, Brad is a pioneer in demystifying venture capital. Back in 2015, transparency was not a thing then, and there was a general lack of understanding of how venture capital worked. …


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Image courtesy of Oculus (as seen on roadtovr.com)

Often explaining VR to someone who has never tried, it ends up sounding more like incoherent fangirling. Explanatory buzzwords like “engaging,” “so-real,” and “like the movies” don’t cut it.

In the exciting moment of describing VR to others, I feel like I come off more like a pushy salesperson over an enthused user and storyteller. You know the kind that verbally bombards you with a list of things, many of which you have no context for or may not even care about.

So, I apologize on behalf of VR users everywhere, in particular those facing people like me trying to explain to them what it’s like to experience VR for the first time. …


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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

If you work for a company, chances are you’ve already signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). In its most basic form, an NDA is a legally binding agreement that creates a confidential relationship between a person and a company.

NDAs can come in the form of a mutual non-disclosures too, but oftentimes they’re one-way, meaning they specifically protect the company and its information.

As a startup company, protecting your intellectual property early on is pretty imperative. If you’re new to the subject, there are tons of online resources to help, including RocketLaywer and this Entrepreneur Magazine guide on legal documents.

NDAs typically cover topics like “protecting sensitive information,” including things like technologies your company is developing and the names of its business partners. As well as “Disclosure of confidential information to anyone outside the…


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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Trade shows and events are all pay to play. The more money you have, the better placement and exposure you get. The great equalizer has been that at in-person events, you inevitably get foot traffic. This is especially true for CES, the world’s largest consumer technology event, where Fortune 500 companies send out scouts to look for cool new technologies.

What happens when more trade shows and events like these go online?

There is a real danger that this pay to play game will do very little for fledgling companies who need the exposure, and will only create an echo chamber of Fortune 500 and bigger companies willing to fork out to be front and center. …


Updated 6/23/2020

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This week, the news dropped that CES has decided to go forward with an in-person version of their infamous trade show, happening January 6–9, 2021. Strangely, the notice is also available on their website last updated May 7, 2020. It’s unclear why it popped up this week specifically. What is clear is there was a slurry of well-timed stories on tech news sites and subsequent shares on Twitter.

Did you know CES first kicked off in 1967? That feels like a very long time ago.

Still a tech fan favorite for many, the show has been ridiculed for the quality of tech on showcase. Having seen it with my own eyes, the sheer number of phone cases, selfie sticks, and portable speakers is vast. Historically, CES is an integral event for businesses that want to meet new partners and introduce their tech to the press. …


If one or more of these things don’t add up, you’re probably being scammed.

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photo via Digitalspy.com

The idea of getting your products into the hands of celebrities or on the set of a TV show or movie is a pretty existing prospect. There are tons of examples out there, like Pizza Hut in Wayne’s World, Starbucks in Zoolander, and Nokia in The Matrix.

When you sell a cool popular consumer product, you’ll begin to see requests from people saying that they can do these things. “I can get you in this movie!” , “I can get you into the hands of Taylor Swift” or “I can get you in front of a big audience at an upcoming event.” …

About

Ashley Huffman

Strategic alliances (haptics & magnetics) at http://Nanoport.io. Founding team @Nanodots. Writes about VR, tech, startups, and autocross.

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