As you know if you've been following our CES 2010 coverage, the best parts of CES are the happy accidents, the incidental freakouts, the stuff that washes up in the corners while everybody's jostling to see the latest 40-acre 3D TV. And with five writers on the ground, we found a LOT of it. Cancel your appointments, shut off your pager, and settle in with several dozen of our favorite CES moments...
Best Use Of Torture As Ad Campaign
I'm guessing the "magic" involves having metal spikes shoved under your toenails. I can only imagine what they're forcing this guy to watch.
Weirdest Movie Tie-In
Keep your paper clips handy while you relive Willem Dafoe’s excruciating death scene from PLATOON!
Product Name Most Often Typed into Word Processors by Old People
No, grandpa, that's not how you watch videos online. Remember YouTube? Sorry. Remember THE YouTube? C'mon, I'll show you. Again.
Catchiest Booth Name
Us industry insiders just call it the Z.N.I.C.D.Z.C.A. for short.
Just like King Midas, those "rewarded" with the Chocolate Touch often end up afraid to lay a hand on their loved ones.
Most Potentially Embarrassing Product
It's not that a black box for a car is a completely BAD idea; we're just terrified that investigators will deem our fatal crash was caused by inattentiveness due to singing along to that annoying Owl City song on the radio.
Scariest iPod Dock
I'm sorry I made you play that song I know it's an annoying song but my daughter likes Owl City and see she's never heard the Postal Service so it's not OH GOD PLEASE DON'T HURT ME
Most Awkward Use Of Comma
The Buyer's Remorse, You Feel Later
Most Terrifying Ad Campaign
“Anything you can imagine,” Sony says, “you can make real.” Like, for example, scenes from the mass-extinction thriller 2012, because apparently Sony is imagining the total destruction of our planet and total snuffing of the human species. Someone put Sony on a government watchlist, please.
Most Moxy (Or Best "Booth")
A few of us are leaving the convention and jumping on the monorail back to the hotel on Saturday night when these three appear out of nowhere with handshakes and kudos aplenty (which, incidentally, is the BEST way to greet the Woot writers, in case you were wondering). Turns out they're Owle - yes, these three guys are the whole company - to show off these really cool attachments for an iPhone 3GS that turn it into a camcorder, allowing for better video focus, stabilty, and sound capturing. But they did so with NO BOOTH. That's right. No flashy signage, no booth babes, no chintzy swag. They just threw on some sharp hats and t-shirts, then hit the floor with a metric crap-ton of energy and excitement for their product. (Unbeknownst to this correspondent, they'd also stopped by our booth and recorded an interview with Jason Toon - yup, on the Owle.) Pretty refreshing to see after visiting a lot of booths where the furniture looked more thrilled to be there than the actual people manning them.
Good on ya, fellas. Way to take a small budget appraoch to a big budget affair.
Strangest Use Of Text Alerts
"Shhh, Sheri. It's gonna be okay. I know the accident has left you paralyzed and the doctors don't know if they'll be able to reconstruct the left side of your face, but I'm here for you. I'm gonna stay right by your side for as long as it takes because I lo... Hold on a sec. OH MY GOD, MY ANGEL FISH ARE CHILLY. I GOTTA GO!"
You won’t see Rita Rudner in her treetop sniper’s nest until it’s too late.
Best iPhone Wallpaper
Best Unexplainable Booth Decor
JVC had vases full of oranges. Vases full of oranges. It was like some symbolic dream or a Peter Greenaway movie come to life.
Most Needlessly Complex Product
Sweet, let's play a little Guitar Hero! Wait, what the hell is this thing? How many freaking buttons are on here? Hey man, I wanted to play Guitar Hero because I can't play an ACTUAL GUITAR!
Grossest Product Name
No thank you. I don't want to touch that at all. Please just put it away.
What kind of cruel madman sets out comfy chairs and then ropes them off from the public?
Most Dangerous Car Accessory
Still, I guess it's better than taking your hands off the wheel to pick up that can of whipped cream.
Print Ad That Most Looks Like It Should've Been At That Other Show
No thanks, the view from here is fine.
Most Troubling Development for Civilization
We've seen motorized remote-control coolers before, but not with an onboard TV. Bravo, nameless destroyer of all that makes us human.
Most Unappealing Product Name
Maybe there was something lost in translation? We're not sure, but the words "brain" and "ignite" should never go together, particularly with the image of a man screaming right below, as if to say, "Hey! I can feel it work-AAAAAAAAAGGHHHHH!"
Most Blatant Use of Sex to Try and Sell a Product
Hey, we get it. Sex sells and all that. But come on, Supernova MKV (if that IS your real name), at least put some product specs or something on that poster rather than just drilling a scantily-clad lady into our eyes. Oh, there IS product info on that poster? Wow. That's a hell of a poster.
What, was "Ebola Vibe" taken?
Most Insulting Assumption of Your Stupidity
So let me get this straight: it's a decorative wall mount. That will be hidden by the thing I'm mounting? I'll take a dozen.
Best Booth Oasis
Motorola's use of grass and trees really captured the feeling of watching a crazy man yelling in the park on a nice day.
Latest to the Game Attempt at Going Green
It's 2010, and Casio is eager to report that smaller boxes equal less trash!
For the second year in a row, the Las Vegas Convention Center uses an innovative color we can only call "My Little Pony Butt".
Best Name That Should Be Offensive But Really Isn't
iClooly! It just runs right up and drives you crazy, because you KNOW this has to be offensive somehow, but you just can't quite make that connection work. And so you keep staring, and trying, and working on some horrible joke, and it never quite catches, does it, Iclooly? Does it? WHY ARE YOU HERE, ICLOOLY? DID YOU COME HERE TO DRIVE US MAD???
Most Pained-Looking Product
The soundproof Screaming Egg chair has a wailing mouth and two downward-pointing, baleful speakers/eyes inside it. All the foam is to prevent the cries of the damned from escaping.
Most Over-Accessorized Vehicle
Like you're going to use any of those bikes or canoes and crap when you've got four giant screens playing Halo 3.
Futurama Electronics & Communications for Aesop. Bringing you the most pungent Matt Groening-written stories of sour grapes since 1974.
Names That Most Sound Like They Were Thought Up By Frankenstein (tie)
Hey, industry, mind your i's and u's. At this level, you're one short step away from referring to your company by a series of grunts and yelps.
This homeless sheep just wants to be a productive member of society. Can't you give it a break?
We at least hope they got the sign for free.
Most Innovative (or Is That Creative?) Neologism
Innovative? Creative? It just takes too long to alternate between them. At last, there's a faster way!
Booth We Most Want To Live In
Who do we talk to about taking out a lease on this place? Hardwood floors, recessed lighting, mod furniture, and it's cleaned by the...
Your house has corners, right? So why is the most popular floor-cleaning robot round? Poor design or a sop to the side-brush industry? The Mint corrects that flaw. And although it's only for tile, wood, or laminate floors (no carpet), the only supplies you need to buy are Swiffer pads - no special fluid for Mint, thanks. Add its infrared mapping system and whisper-quiet operation and suddenly there's a new janitorial robot in town.
Most Essential Accessory For The CES 2011 Keynote
There won't be a bored face in the house when this lightweight, cloverleaf-shaped copter-flyer invades the stage during Ballmer's next spiel. The fact that you control it with your iPhone just makes it that much sweeter. If only we could remember what it was called - at least we've got a year to figure it out.
Most Ravenous Mob
We love our public, but boy, do you love our monkeys. Like, to a pathological degree. Not pictured: the guy trying to dislodge a stranded monkey with a crutch.
Most Likely a Scam Product
"No, sir, I assure you that box is absolutely FULL of Invisible Shields. It's not empty at all." Then you call tech support and all you get is this.
Most Pathetic Co-Opting of a Culture
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. It's the ULTIMATE CELEBRATION of the Motown sound. Not a tribute. Certainly not four white dudes from Australia just trying to make a buck. ULTIMATE CELEBRATION.
Best Casino Attraction
In a tiny (and too-dark) room off the main gaming floor at the Paris casino, there’s a collection of Harlequin paperback cover art paintings on display, dating to 1949 and including works by such masters as Norman Saunders. And you thought there wasn’t any culture in this town!
Most Ambiguous Product Description
This booth had solar panels on display too, which made it impossible for us to guess whether this is a green laser pointer or, you know, a “green” laser pointer.
Most Underwhelming Slogan
"It is possible." Was "It could happen" taken? This is like a half a step up from "Don't hold your breath," or maybe just "Hey. Eventually."
Least-Visited Display at the Conference
You people missed out, too, because Casio straight up brought the HEAT, son! Oh man, 2010 is going to be BANANAS for Trigonometry students!
Most Redundant Product Name
This is so much better than that Infinite Within the Geographical Boundaries of Our Nation of Origin company!
Most Intimidating Speaker System
Behind those huge, soulless eyes is a perfectly-calibrated killing machine.
Most Confusing Product Poster
Wait…what? Are these women some sort of T-1000s? Do I WANT my finger to be the key? And is that woman picking her nose with her key finger?
Strangest Sense of Scale
Swiss chalets are apparently much smaller than you’d think. But Swiss checks are much bigger.
Best Illustration That Everything Has Its Price
Branded for life with MSI’s corporate logo! We hope they compensated this poor girl fairly, whoever they are.
This is the new passphrase for entry into our super-special cool guy club. Ear-users need not apply.
Best Jimmy Buffet Song Come To Life
Forget “Margaritaville” on the strip. That place is trying too hard. This “Cheeseburger in Paradise” came about totally organically.
Best Vegas Sunset
It's a tie.
Thursday night's purple and blue was exactly what you'd expect to see on a postcard...
But Saturday's Martian Landscape takes the sunset in daring new directions.
And so the sun sets on our CES 2010 coverage. Probably. Except for a post or two about the shutdown. For the "best" of past shows, see the Wootable Awards from 2007, 2008, and 2009. And if you captured any CES weirdness of your own, post it below - obviously, we've got a bottomless appetite for this stuff.