Like Father, Like Son: CES 2016 from the Eyes of a 13-year-old Geek

Ben Rosenthal got the Bar Mitzvah gift of his dreams: a romp through CES 2016 with his father Avi Rosenthal, 2016 CTA TechHome Leadership Award recipient.

Benjamin Rosenthal

Thirteen-year-old Benjamin Rosenthal had just wrapped up his bar mitzvah in San Diego when he was swept off to Las Vegas for the gift of his dreams: a stroll through the geekdom known as CES. He would celebrate his Dad Avi Rosenthal's acceptance of the CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and then follow Dad and Grandpa through the halls they had already roamed for a couple of decades.

Ben has grown up in Avi's tech playhouse, wallowing in audio, video, IT and home automation for a lifetime. And now the boy becomes a man, filing this report from the show. 

CES 2016

by Benjamin Rosenthal

CES 2016 was my first opportunity to explore the world of consumer electronics, firsthand. I read a lot about it and watched hundreds of videos before heading to Las Vegas. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to see if it would meet my expectations.

I reviewed the maps of the show floors before leaving. The Sands was just as I pictured it. The booths were small and in perfect rows, on the first floor. LVCC North was more like a car show, with scattered large booths and not very organized. I preferred the Sands first floor and the Central Hall because they were easier to ensure that I saw everything. 

After checking out the maps I reviewed the exhibitors' list hoping to get a better look at several new innovative and interesting products. Some of the products I liked were the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook and Razer Core, as well as Sphero’s BB8 Forceband.

The Razer Company manufactures computer parts specializing in creating gaming PC systems. The Ultrabook was a high-powered gaming laptop with a very thin case and desktop-level performance. The Core held a graphics card of your choice that connected to the Ultrabook via Thunderbolt. This would allow a gamer to have desktop-level graphics when at home.

The BB8 from Sphero is a remote control robotic toy that has an innovative design. It is a sphere with a magnetic gyroscope that holds the head on the top, even when it is rolling. The forceband would allow you to drive BB8 using hand gestures. This would be a great toy for ages 8-16, as it works off an app on a smart phone. I already own a BB8, so I will definitely be getting a forceband when it comes out this fall.

One more product I really liked was the WonderCube, in Eureka Park. This product was an all-in-one device that allowed you to charge and back up your smart phone. It had a built-in cable, phone stand and a micro SD card slot. It also contained many additional features in its one-cubic-inch size. 

One smart home device that I thought was remarkable is a product called Zipatile from Zipato. Zipatile Is essentially an Android tablet (with some extra smart-home features) mounted on a wall. I found this amazing because the possibilities are endless. There is also a very intuitive program on it that allows you to turn on and off the lights with a few extras. 

CES 2016 met my hopes and dreams with great excitement. There were many other awesome products which I hope to use in the future. I can’t wait for next year!