CES 2010: Big Awesome In Little China

by Jason Toon

Today we rode a motorized skateboard, shattered a JPG with our minds, listened to music through our cranial bones. And you won't hear about it in any of the big media reports about CES. Why? Because it all took place in a cramped little corner of the North Hall we call Chinatown.

Our blog posts have had some fun with the weirdness of this warren of Asian vendors, but we had more flat-out fun in an hour here today than in a whole day in the hyped-up Central Hall. And we've got video and photographic evidence to prove it...

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I'm no skateboarder. The one time I ever tried it in public, I fell down repeatedly and tried to play it off by picking up the board and looking at the wheels like they were broken. No such chicanery necessary with the EZSkater, the motorized skateboard that even a hopeless klutz like me can stay upright on. Here I go zooming around the aisle to the delight of the assembled showgoers. Now I know how Christian Hosoi feels.

But us writers are really more about mind than body. And this game uses a sensor on your forehead to measure your concentration, progressively shattering a picture on the screen without the player ever having to move a muscle. Watch as Scott Lydon smashes his picture in a mere 15 seconds, while I take about twice as long. Guess we know who's got the more powerful mind. Does this mean I have to give him my job?

"Do you still use ear?" That's the question posed by the Bone Conduction Technology Headset, which works pressed against any part of your skull. And it actually sounds awesome. Here Woot writer Jason Hinklin-Lauderdale gives it a try. Watch him grimace as they play him the brown tone. He had to run back to the hotel to freshen up, but on the good side, he somehow got a monorail car all to himself.

Pilot Gets the Brown Note

Too bad he didn't have one of these handy. Like soccer and socialism, the bidet is something that's caught on pretty much everywhere but the U.S. market. If the makers of the NANO-Silver Bidet have their way, our star-spangled butts will be soon be joining the rest of the world. Check out the power of this jet spray. It's cleansing, yes, but also a little frightening.

For those with the fortitude to venture into them, the narrow alleyways of Chinatown hold adventure and surprise around every corner. And if you get hungry, there's even a Panda Express nearby.

You can follow the rest of our CES 2010 coverage, but it won't be this cool.