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August 22, 2014

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So, what’s CES really like?

Mr. Gadget and Me

Steve Kruschen is an expert at interpreting new technological innovations for everyday consumers. Mr. Gadget took 702.tv on a behind-the-scenes tour of the invite-only Showstoppers showcase to highlight his new favorite toys and explain how they can benefit consumers.

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So all these Sun blog posts are telling you about the big new products and trends at CES this week, right?

I've noticed that no one has told you what it's really like to be there.

I just got back from spending three hours walking the expo floor, and -- although I'm as much of a gadget-hound as anyone, maybe more so -- I kinda hated it.

Imagine a nightmarish massive multiplayer version of "The Office." For hours, you plod on thinly carpeted concrete floors, wending your way blindly through miles of intestinally twisting aisles, each one choked with exalted cubicles purveying inscrutable products and staffed by already-exhausted salespeople still hungry to make eye contact and collect your business card to justify next year's budget line item.

The lobbies and hallways of the Sands Expo and Convention Center look like triage scenes from one of those disaster movies like "The Day After," with the victims of some airborne toxic event crouched on the floor, backs against the walls, heads in hands or hands shielding eyes.

First impression of CES: Whoever the genius was who installed one of the new Dyson Airblade hand dryers in the men's room deserves a big raise. The odd-looking, touch-free gizmo lives up to its catchphrase: "Finally, a hand dryer that works properly."

Final impression: Ow. Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow. My eyes. My ears. My feet. My soul.

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