With CEOs being kicked out of hotels and a barrage of wearable-tech products, it was a good year to be among the 152,000 visitors at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014.
The biggest reason for attending: the innovation, especially wearable tech. Everything from "smart" watches to glasses to golf gloves were on display.
But the four-day tech extravaganza featured a lot more than just futuristic gadgets. Some events, personalities, and simply odd products ended up stealing the show.
For example, video of Director Michael Bay's on-stage meltdown when his teleprompter failed quickly went viral. And considering how awkward watching the video online is, sitting front-row view at the debacle must have been really bizarre.
Aside from Bay's on-stage flub, here are five of the coolest things from this year's CES.
The Best of CES 2014
T-Mobile CEO Shown the Door:
"I just wanted to hear Macklemore," T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere told Re/code after being escorted away from AT&T's party at the Palms Hotel. Sadly, Legere was not allowed to hear "Thrift Shop," or any other of the Seattle-based hip-hop artist's songs.
As Forbes pointed out after the incident, it could be that Legere just wanted to be the talk of the event. Supporters took to Twitter after the party-crashing news broke to tweet about his bold move (which took some attention away from embarrassed Michael Bay).
Legere claimed he wasn't trying to start a commotion. AT&T officials didn't care. The sight of Legere in his bright pink T-Mobile shirt was clearly not welcome.
The two companies are fiercely competitive. Just last week, AT&T began offering customers a $450 credit to switch to their service from T-Mobile. During CES 2014, Legere fired back by offering $650 to customers who switch to T-Mobile.
AT&T representatives have not commented on the matter.
Yahoo's New Media Strategy:
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer took the stage at CES 2014 and revealed two additions: "Yahoo News Digest" and "Yahoo Magazines." Mayer projects they will factor heavily in Yahoo's media strategy moving forward.
Yahoo News Digest will deliver a small feed of news stories to readers twice daily. It involves much of the technology Yahoo! purchased when it acquired the app Summly in 2013.
Yahoo's acquisition of Tumblr is at the forefront of Yahoo Magazines, which will deliver articles through a Tumblr-powered interface. Yahoo Magazines is said to modernize the news content Yahoo offers online.
An Endless Supply of Chocolate in Your Home:
3D printers have met chocolate - and that sound you hear is the standing ovation from techies and chocoholics at CES 2014.
The "countertop-sized" ChefJet 3D by 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) creates edible items using flavored sugar. It uses the same substance to create chocolate. A "color" version of the printer (Pro model) is also available, which allows users to print materials in the following flavors: chocolate, vanilla, mint, sour apple, cherry and watermelon.
Because the device works with a sugar substance, it's not like any food can be created with the printer. A pizza won't come out of that machine - that technology may take a few years.
The ChefJet 3D is expected in the second half of 2014 and will be priced in the "sub-$5,000 range," according to 3D Systems. The Pro model will cost closer to $10,000.
Users hit a button on their remote to bend the screen, which is optimal for widescreen viewing. The TV has a plastic frame and a 4K resolution LCD screen. According to Samsung, the TV is only a prototype, and there is no timetable set for commercial release.
SNL Cast Members Love CES 2014:
"Saturday Night Live" cast members Cecily Strong and Keenan Thompson made an appearance during Yahoo's exhibition. Strong, reprising her role as a "Weekend Update" cohost, told some tech news-inspired jokes before welcoming Thompson to the stage.
Thompson played his SNL recurring role of Reverend Al Sharpton and immediately told the crowd "Yeah I don't know what the hell I'm doing here either," before thanking "Yoo-hoo" for having him.
Tanning Meets Fashion:
At least, we think that's the point of the Netatmo JUNE bracelet.
The bracelet (tailored to women) is designed to monitor the amount of UV rays the user gets. Rather than looking like a traditional wearable-tech health bracelet, the JUNE uses a trendy looking "jewel" to capture UV rays.
The bracelet connects with an app on the user's smartphone and notifies her when she should apply more sunscreen or start wearing a hat.
The product will be available by the second quarter of 2014 and is expected to retail at $99. No word on how tanning women will conceal their bracelet tan lines.
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