Best marketing: Samsung Note. This is the new device that’s small enough to use as a phone yet big enough to use as a tablet, soon to be announced for AT&T. (I want one!) To show off its capabilities, they had two artists doing portraits of showgoers using the special pen that comes with the device, and all their advertising features examples of these portraits.
Best “dead man walking” imitation: Kodak. Even though they’re openly attempting to sell off their units to avoid bankruptcy, they were in their exhibit space maybe because they’d already paid for it. There was only a single wall of cameras, which they now call “sharing solutions”; more irony, they’ve now started packaging their inkjet cartridges in boxes that look like Tri-X film boxes.
Best commitment to 3D TV: LG. They ask you to put on the glasses before you enter their space, and leave them on because there’s just one 3D TV after another. I still predict a short lifetime for this fad and think it will wither once everybody who wants a 3D TV has one. The summer Olympics are being broadcast in 3D, I learned at the show, so that will be a tipping point one way or the other.
Best waste of time: Justin Bieber. He was standing doing something in the middle of the Vody robotics booth, and a huge press of people were seeing nothing except the back of each other’s heads. The C/Net camera, a few rows back, did capture a wisp of his famous locks. Meanwhile, other showgoers were actually learning something about technology.
Best food without leaving the show: Uncle Joel & Darryl’s New York Deli, toward the back of the central hall. Real deli sandwiches with a pickle and excellent cole slaw and potato salad, for just a couple bucks more than you’d pay on the street.
Best example of missing the boat: Casio. As the world switched to smartphones, they made a strategic decision to stick with watches. New this year, a Bluetooth watch that will alert you when a call is coming in. Hey, I have a phone for that.