Daily Archives: January 7, 2006

The word-of-mouth killer product of CES

VIC GUNDOTRA GADGET ALERT!!!

I asked dozens of people “what did you see at CES that you’d spend your own money on?” I also asked “what was the coolest thing you saw?”

Most people stammered on both answers, but yesterday I started hearing about the Celestron SkyScout so Buzz, Shel, and I went over to the Sands to check it out.

It wins my award for the single coolest thing I saw at the show. By far. I’m not alone, either. Shel and Buzz were both speechless when they saw it.

What is it?

Well, for that I asked the inventor, Mike Lemp about it. Here’s a picture of Mike with Shel holding a SkyScout.

Mike and his team has been working on this for five years. It is a revolutionary product. One that you’ll want the first time you play with it. I’m buying one.

So, what is it?

It’s a $400 box with a lens that you look through.

It comes out in April. Order it on Amazon. But do it soon. Amazon has sold dozens and the hype hasn’t yet started on this thing.

So, why am I spending my 400 bones on this thing?

Here’s why.

You look through this device at the night-time sky and it tells you what you’re looking at. Oh, it doesn’t need to be night, either.

Celestron is a famous maker of telescopes (I sold a truckload of their product in the Silicon Valley camera store I used to manage and they always made great products).

It has GPS, gravity, and magnetic field sensors to detect where it’s going.

But it just gets better from there. You can tell it “show me the cool stuff in the sky right now.” It’ll take you on a tour and show you how to point the device with a series of LED’s in the viewfinder.

But it gets cooler than that. It has an audio guide that tells you what you’re looking at and gives you some facts about it.

Oh, wait, there’s more! You hook it up to your computer via USB and it does even more! (Sorry, Windows only for now).

This is going to revolutionize astronomy. It is simply the coolest thing I’ve seen lately (and I’ve seen some pretty cool stuff walking around CES).

What do you think? I can’t wait to go out with Patrick on a dark night and play around.

Nine Guy gets lucky in Vegas

Damn, that Nine Guy has all the fun. Here he gets a kiss from Amanda Congdon. The famous face in Rocketboom. I didn’t recognize her at first. I said “you look different when you aren’t in a 320×240 square.”

Seriously, she has a nice set of, um, archives! Rocketboom has become a huge success story. 130,000 daily viewers. Let’s see. There are 130,000 people at CES. Now imagine they all sign in every day to watch Amanda. That just is nuts. Here’s a picture with her and Andrew Baron, the other key member of the Rocketboom production crew. Oh, and how much do they spend again? How about almost nothing?

I met them at CES Camp, which was organized by Albert Lai of Bubbleshare. Great idea, and lots of fun! I left about 200 Channel 9 guys in their hands. We’ll see what happens with them! Bubbleshare is a cool photo sharing service.

The Tablet PC geek dinner was a big success (Rob Bushway has a nice writeup, oh, and everyone got free dinner!) Monstercable’s Chris Greene showed up and gave everyone tickets to see Stevie Wonder. Just got back from that, it’s always fun to see a guy who is a master at what he does.

Oh, and Chris showed off a new remote control that Monster Cable is working on. Controls everything in your entertainment center plus your home automation stuff too. I’ll drop by their booth tomorrow for more details.

Unfortunately today I didn’t get to see much. I had tons of stuff I needed to work on (email, email, sigh). Tomorrow I’ll try to get to everything I missed and then head home late tomorrow night.

I’m excited. Tomorrow morning I get to see our finished book for the first time. Joe Wikert, our publisher, writes that he’s already had his hands on one.

I’ll tell ya what. We forced Joe to start blogging. And what a great blog that’s turned out to be. Special thanks to Jim Minatel. He is a dream to work with. Responsive, caring, professional, connected. I’d recommend the Wiley team to any new book author.