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January 9, 2023 53 mins

Robert and Garrison traveled through a portal to the future located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now they're going to tell you what (good) things to expect from our techno overlords.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:05):
It could happen here it being the future and here
being to you. Um this well, last week when you
hear this, but this week when we were recording this,
because we're recording this in the past for you. Garrison Davis,
intrepid correspondent and myself, Garrison Davis's boss, went to c

e S, the Consumer Electronics Show in in order to
explore the future. Uh and and in keeping with our
guide both to the future which we cover here and
collapse because the tech industry is falling apart. Um. I
think this was a pretty interesting time to be at
c E S. I did an episode last week where
I kind of talked preliminary about some preliminaries. You know.

I went to an event called CS Unveiled where some
of the more prominent products were there. But we've we've
since spent three days walking around the convention floor, probably
around thirty miles on foot something like that. My legs
and back are falling apart. Yeah, we've turned you into
an old man, um, but we have we have learned
what the future is going to be. Uh And I

am I'm boy howdy, I'm excited to tell the folks
what they can expect. Garrison, where do you where do
you think we should start. Let's start with some of
the more COLLAPSI type things revolving around crypto, because crypto
was kind of Crypto was kind of like the white
elephant in the CDs because this is happening right after
the FTX fiasco, so it's it's kind of it's kind

of weird. It was we saw it printed the word
crypto and web three point oh printed on more stuff
than I heard people talk about. Yeah, people are people
were not talking about it the way I think they
would have been definitely, definitely last c e s, even
even like a few months ago. Mhm. And that was
really interesting. Um. We did sit in at one crypto

industry event where it was a group of like French
regulators UM and French crypto business people talking about what
they felt like regulations were basically in the in the
wake of the FTX collapse, what kind of regulations did
they think would make crypto work? And you might have
got more than I did, Garrison, because they couldn't get

their microphones to work. Their microphone stopped working, then they're
back up microphone stopped working, and then they got a
third backup mike, which is a little tiny lav mic
that they had to finish the speaking into a tiny
little lava lier mike, and you were amplifying it and
sending painful feedback into everyone's ears. And look, they're gonna

be defending the traditional financial system. But I will bet
you when a bunch of Goldman Sacks bankers get up
on stage, microphones work. Yeah. I mean that was just
the one thing in a long line of crypto and
metaverse kind of fiascos that we ran into too at CES.
We the first night we got here, we were going

to be going to a crypto happy hour. Um that
was supposed to be held at a bar called The
Nerd on Fremont Street. You've never been to Fremont Street.
Fremont Street is old Las Vegas, so it's the worst
part of town. Um, there's a gigantic fucking football field,
long LCD screen above you that plays animated versions of

God Bless America. How do you feel about Fremont Street?
Here SMA horrible. There's cigar key. The smell walking back
to the car was something I don't think I'll ever
forget that smell. By the way, folks, one of the
things you're gonna get from. This is a travelogue of
Young Garrison's first trip to Las Vegas. Yeah, um, it's

been a real one. So we get to Fremont Street.
Nobody is in the nerd. Um No, the nerd is
completely empty. It's a it's a bowling alley bar, which
sounds like a great idea, but it was completely deserted.
There was there was not a single soul and I
poked my head in. It was all under harsh purple
light and completely empty. And this is this is like

off off a Freemont Street, so like there's there were
plenty of people around and the music music was blaring
both inside and outside. Completely dead. Um. So once this
so we we saw this being empty. So we checked
the email for the Crypto party again and they said
there there there was another location list, which there's obviously

just to clarify, there was the party invitation thing that
you would click in the list of c S parties
and it had one invitation, one location, and then there
was also what you got emailed, which was a separate local,
separate location. There was zero indication as to which was accurate.
So we decided to go to the other location listed
because no one was at this one, which was which

was called the go to bar. Yes, immediately immediately upon
pulling up, we got great impressions. Um, yeah, it was
the hole in the all little box, uh wind windows box.
All of the letters were coming off of the science.
It was impossible to tell what they had, and they

were descending in an almost artful manner, like there's a
photo on my Twitter, we'll probably use it to headline
this episode. It's beautiful. It's like, I don't know if
someone could have intentionally intentionally placed those as well as
they were it was. It was a perfect microcosm of
this entire thing. Um, we went inside, very nice people.
The person there said that the party wasn't happening here anymore,

but that this bar is the crypto guy's the usual
hangout spot, which was a glorious sentence to here not
a big money location. And look, I I've drink. I've
drank a lot of dive bars. I have both been
poor and in need of alcohol for much of my life.
This is, Um, this is a classic dive bar. This

really really and by that I mean not the kind
of like like trying to play it being a dive bar.
So that people feel like they're getting a dive bar.
I mean, like you will get tetanus from the bathroom
dive bar. It was great. Just the fact that that
the person like running the bar referred to this as
their regular hangouts, referred to this as the Crypto guys

regular hangout spot is just warm into my heart. My
biggest regret from this trip is that we didn't stay
for karaoke, but yeah, we had other plans. Yeah, so
that probably leads us into meta There's not a lot
else to say about Christ was the which is the
other kind of like but both like Crypto, n f
t S, and Metaverse, we're all kind of trying to

piggyback off each other, and I think metaverse has survived
the best out of those three us. It's doing better
than Crypto and n f t S, which isn't saying much,
um but but even still, I think there was a
slight It was weird. Some people were trying to emphasize
that the metaverse aspects. Some people were trying to emphasize
just the VR aspect. Yeah, there I saw metaverse and

meta around. But when I would go to the company's
advertising various VR products, they would usually were focused more
often on other applications for VR tech technology, like I
kind of get the feeling again. A lot of them
ordered stuff with Meta on it before it became clear
what a disaster it was, and there's some backing for this.
So for one we we went and we saw um

Magic Leap, which is a company that makes VR headsets
and VR programs. Um they have had pretty disastrous sales
to the consumer market, even though they have a very
good product, because it's really high end and people aren't
willing to spend in a headset, and kind of prior
to CE s sort of reoriented themselves trying to sell
to enterprise and and trying to like move units uh

in like an industrial capacity for people doing like training,
and it's one of those things one of the things
you can do with VR as you can sit a
guy down um and have someone remotely explained to him
how to fix or repair something if he has us anyway,
So they were showcasing a lot of that as opposed
to games, and certainly no one tried to make me
hop into a fucking Horizon Worlds or even VR chat.

There wasn't much in terms of like trying to advertise
their their their software hardware for building like virtual concerts.
I probably had a lot of It was way more
enterprise and like you know, workplace training, and a lot
a lot more very like practical applications was gaming or gaming.
But like in terms of like what what the like

the high end you know, expensive, big big VR producers were. Therefore,
they were definitely pivoting or at least at least showcasing
the applications that were more for enterprise. Yeah, and that
that's what I found really interesting because I probably had
a dozen different VR headsets on my head at some point.
Uh and and not once was I dropped into like

the kind of metaverse type thing that Facebook is. And
again none of their products were on this play. Um
Meta Facebook was not here at all. There was another
company called Meta that I think that's some kind of machining,
which was funny because the Meta booth was just some
completely different company. Yeah. Um, But in terms of circling

back to the collapse aspect of the metaverse, so Night
one was this failed crypto party where we went to
two locations and they were at neither one of them.
They weren't Night too. We signed up for an invite
to a metaverse party. And I can't tell you how
excited we were for this metaverse, but we were actually
very well. For one thing, legs are now in the Metaverse,

and Garrison's never experienced legs, so I was really excited
for them to see that. Yeah, I only had the
quest one which did which did not include legs. I
was also psyched to maybe make a big red robot
friend like in that horrible video that Mark Zuckerberg made
where his friends are playing poker on a spaceship. So
the party on the invite that we request, like, you
couldn't just show up, you need you need to request

an invite, and like, get a ticket. We got four tickets.
We got four tickets to this metaverse party. It was
first for it. First said it was at the Palazzo,
um about Polazzo being part of the Venetian and about
two hours before the party, they said it was no
longer at the Polazzo and instead where we were supposed
to meet them at the uh At that at the

fountain at the fountains outside of the Blaggio, which is
one of the big famous Vegas landmarks and quite far
away from the Venetian yeah, because um, the Venetian is
where half of CS was taking place. The other half
was in the Las Vegas Convention Center. So we make
our our jaunty walk over to to Blaggio. We get

there and we realize that we have to doubt, we
have to use this application on our phones for the
for the metaverse party thing to work. It's like this
a R application that and they did tell you if
you have your headset you should bring it. Yeah, I
think one person did at least, uh and bringing a
charged phone, bring a charge phone, bring your headphones. So

we all, you know, open up this QR code or
whatever or link to try to get this software working.
And around twenty people there are all are all met
with perpetual loading screens. Now a few people did have
I saw one or two people that this was working
for mine loaded just the VR avatars of people, but

it was on like a gray background. But it didn't
look any of the background or any of the the
way it was supposed to look. Because one guy had
it more or less working. I think it was. Basically
it was a video like a live feed of the
Bellaggio fountain in front of us, as is like camera
scanned over it. It's using the phone camera all of
the different like a bunch of different awkwardly jerking avatars

kind of crudely dancing in front of it. They did
have legs ringing endorsement. Yeah, it was, it was. It
was supposed to be that. It was supposed to be. This,
this a r animated experienced thing sink to the Blagio
Fountain and to Viva Las Vegas, and that was what
it was supposed to be. The thing is only one
or two people it was working for. Everyone else had

these loading screens or had just the just had the
avatars popped in with none of the other features working
um as before the Vellaccio founded, Like just like the guy,
the guy who's before the final Viva, the guy running
this party left. He was gone quite rapidly. He exited

the premises. He took advantage of the pact fact that
people were confused and trying to figure out what was happening,
and he escaped. So we have all like twenty people,
I'm not sure what to do, and then we get
a need We get an email like ten minutes later
saying that thank you for coming to the show of
I hope you enjoy your time at beer Park, which

is across the street. Your Park is a place, by
the way, I know, it's it seems like a joke name,
but it's no quite large. So we were told that
the party had a reservation at beer Park and that
we were all going to go over to beer Park
and you know, by the way, the people heading up there.
It's not just like pieces of ship like us. There's
like some serious industry people, like people who are including

like the CEO of arguably the most prominent virtual reality
game company. Yeah there was the CEO or whatever, the CEO. Yeah,
you like, there was people who who have been involved
in very popular VR games who are industry industry entrepreneurs, engineers, yeah,
and other other other like VR enthusiasts. And then also
people like us, I assume, who just wanted to watch

it crash and burn, which it did. It was just
there to be to be the sickos in the window laughing.
So we're told they had that. They were told that
they have the reservation for beer Park, Like, okay, well
the a R technology didn't work. That's that's a bummer.
You know, it would not happen. It's not the first
failed demo. I've seen it cs. Stuff happens. Maybe they

didn't test it for how many people was there? They
thought too many? Yeah, like who like actually who knows? Um,
But at least we can hang out with people. But
so but the guy, the guy running the party left,
so he's just gone, uh. But everyone else makes make
you know, like you know, like a dozen or a
dozens of people make our way over to beer Park
and we're told that there is in fact no reservation

for this party. But he has called them. They don't
know what we're talking about. Could we please get out
of the way. So we start our way to have
this staircase and that we then we that we stop
halfway down because someone at beer Park says, there is
like there's a bar in the very back of of
of of and they're not selling alcohol there, but you

guys can stand around and buy from other places. We
can stand there as they figure out what's going on.
We later learn that the that the guy who's who's
running the party, who's who did not show up, uh,
did have a did have a reservation for six people
at one table Garrison. That man hung himself at Circuits
Circuit within thirty minutes of the show. I do know

he actually made his way over to beer Park at
some point, but he did not go to where everyone
else was going. He was at the other side of
the bar, but he was not talking to anyone else
from the party. So that was That was the second
party we went to, which was of a similar level
of competency. So that is that is the crypto and

people did show up for the second part. So I'm
gonna have to give it to the metaverse. I mean,
they change locations three times from the Plaza to the
Blagia Fountain to be a park um with you know,
variety of issues along the way. In terms of the

v R stuff we actually got to try, so Robert
tried like I think three or four different haptic feedbacks.
I tried every haptic product I could find and APT Again,
for the folks who don't know this, whenever you like
touch your phone and it like buzzes like let you
know that you're you're typing or whatever. Um, that's haptic feedback.
And that's kind of the crudest form of it. But

the idea and the hope of the people kind of
playing with the technologies that you can find ways to
basically like simulate a keyboard so that you would be
able to touch type in a keyboard that's not really
there because you know, you would be wearing a glove
or something that would simulate the feeling so well. And
so this is a key part of when you think about,
like what would it take to go from where VR

is now, which is a pretty visually immersive and can
be a pretty auditorially immersive experience, but that leaves the
rest of your body isn't there, Yeah, um, to something
that is kind of more like a holid deck where
you feel and and like can you know, even people
have talked about like smell a vision and stuff, which

um is a little further behind, but like it's something
that's actually engaging the entirety of your of your physics
goal person at the very at least not being able
to like walk through walls or at least more of
your physical person than just your head and eyes and ears. Um.
So that's that's the goal. So the first one I
tried was the tax suit, which basically feels like and

I wrote this was in the last episode, it feels
like having much of in sixty four bumble packs on
your body. It does not mimic the feeling of hugging
or touching a human being. UM. Another one that we tried.
I tried one that was just gloves that did a
pretty good job of and and the tax suit gloves
did a pretty good job of mimicking keyboards UM, which
is kind of interesting. I don't think it would allow
me to touch tight, but it was it was neat

to see that kind of developing a little bit. UM.
Then we tried one by O W O. It's like
big capital O S little W We're just gonna call
it oh oh oh UM. And that was like a
a full body um suit where it's basically it's like
a skin tight like a workout shirt UM, with a
bunch of e G pads underneath it, so the e

G pads make direct conection to your skin. And then
if you have ever engaged in the kind of kinky
sex play that involves like a violet wand, which is
a device that erotically electrocutes you or your partner, you
can also like draw on each other with it, or
if you've ever used like any of those fake sex
cattle prods they used to sell them at the Kink

dot Com Arena in that old castle in San Francisco.
If you've ever used any of those, it's like that.
So you're just like getting zapped a bunch all over
your body. And on the low settings it's kind of
like a nicer massage gun thing, and on the higher
settings it's actually really associating. It's actually I tried this

one today. I put on the little skin tight and
jumper thing, and even just during the calibration settings, it
was really fascinating because it's even though the electrodes are
only on like a few of your muscle sections that
the current runs through, and it doesn't really it doesn't
necessarily have like you know, like a taser shocky feeling.
It just it just is like muscle pain. It's involuntarily

contracting your muscle. Yeah, so it's it's it's not just
like static e shocky stuff. Um there was, you know,
get you know. The cool thing about this is that
it can simulate you know, an entry round and an
exit wound. So Robert was playing the popular VR game
Pistol Whip where you get shot by dudes and you
do like a John Wick thing basically, and you can feel,

you know, like bullet goes in, bullet goes out. Yeah,
and yeah, so it's not just like a rumble pack
type things actually depth to the feeling. And one of
the things they simulated that was really cool is getting
stabbed and then having the knife twist was the worst
with the worst feeling for me is like honestly like
getting shot in like the Chester shoulders. It was. It
was painful, but it wasn't necessary. It wasn't like painful

in like a bad way. And I was like, oh,
I'm playing a game and this is this, this is
a punishment. It's it hurts, but it's kind of fun.
The stabbing was awful. I would seek to avoid it.
It was very painful because all the all the stuff
like below my chest was way more uncomfortable and painful
versus like chest and arms was kind of was kind
of fun. Yeah, And I don't know again, whether or

not you find this appealing will have to do with
the way that you like to do your video games.
But what I will say is that from a perspective
of just like enjoying a an FPS type game, it
it is the first time I've been playing a game
that's had some sort of feedback when you're hit. That
actually is negative reinforcement, like you do not want to
get hit, um, and you actually kind of dread getting hit. It.

Actually it makes the game a lot more immersive. Yeah,
and like this that's that's that's that's like a bullshit
phrase people use for like this is immersive, Like no,
this actually like this actually introducing consequence thought. I think
that they put into something like how do we simulate
a knife wound? How do we actually do like a
through and through gunshot? And and it also makes your
makes your VR body feel more connected to your actual body, Yeah,

which is something that usually doesn't happen. Yeah, you feel
a sense of like defensiveness towards your person um and
it like when I was trying to like dodge the
bullets and ship, like I actually felt it didn't just
kind of feel like I was playing a game, Like
my body felt more on the line, which was Which
is interesting because this is purely we're talking about this
kind of in the context of stuff that matters, and

the stuff that matters here not that gaming doesn't matter,
but the stuff that actually matters here is the ability
of people to simulate accurately life in a digital form.
Because if that can be done, then a lot of
other weird things are possible, many of which you're good,
some of what you're bad, many of what you're bad. Um.

I mean, I think the next the next day we'll
talk about has a bit more packed competition, because that's
what I want to say. All the only application I
saw for this was in gaming. This does not I
didn't see like a metaverse application of this, Like this
is not going to help in Mark Zuckerberg, Like you
don't want to unless you can get mugged into Metaveria
and some asshole Tenurea will lock up to you with

a knife and stab you. Well, that's a good point
when we're talking about is it possible that people will
be living increasing quantity like portions of their life in
persistent digital environments. One thing I would not want to
have as a suit like this because people will find
ways to access it. Well, and we've talked to we've

talked to some people who program for these things who
are like other versions of them, but the metaverse. Actually
at the metaverse party, they funk up and it's like
getting electrocuted. You can't take it off yourself. It's the
serious problem there is a competing model to the OO
suit called the Tesla Suit, not not made by Elon
Musk's Tesla, different company, but similar similar degrees of care
towards safety. Maybe I mean it is this is the

most high end haptic suit that does this electro shock
thing um. And he said that he has watched demos
where people have been in the suit and the suit
like glitches and all of the things turn on and
like at full capacity, which means you're you you're get
You're not only in extruciating pain, you also you also
just like can't move your body, like you're stuck frozen

in horrible pain until someone turns the suit off. So
like there is there is this type of like logistical
problems with with these sort of things as well, and
it's one of those Like the first that I had
when using that thing was like, oh, this is kind
of neat, uh, this what makes this actually would make
certain video games better? And the second thought I had
was I would only ever want to have this on

if I was playing a video game that was not
connected to the Internet, because the instant I would never
want to invocage in a multiplayer game where I could
be that would be horrible constantly. I mean obviously, like
you you can have lower settings on these things to
make it not painful at all, and you do get
to pick that. But I I tried to go as

far as I could. But in terms of practical applications
beyond just gaming, the next haptic suit that we tried,
this company is working with governments. Haptics is the is,
the is the come. But we know that they do
the thing where they like remove o um and they

have they have military contracts. We we we saw we
saw army people testing it to two employees of the
United States Army. But they already are working with law enforcement.
Um well and you know industrial government training video of
Jeff Bezos using their products to like wirelessly control a
robot that is like based off of human hands in

order to do that. But they work with governments, they
work with businesses, corporations. This is this isn't really a
consumer thing at this point because the full suit, I
think they said the next it's going to be like
eighty thou dollars. No, no, no, the the gloves are
four thousand, the gloves and battery pack. The next full
suit that they're doing, it's gonna be eighty thou dollars
or four months subscription. But that's for their suit that's

not even released yet. That is their next model. Yeah,
not a consumer Like theoretically, if you're willing to pay
the monthly fee, you could have the thing um, But
that's not the intent. But I think what's interesting about
it is this is kind of where all of the
technology is going and and the main difference is that
the haptics that we had used on us in the

lower end gaming products, where again they're basically just kind
of like shocking you a bunch in specific ways or
just like vibrating, yeah, or just like vibrating, whereas this
suit used airport is like pneumatic. So it was basically
you have these gloves on and the gloves are much
more cumbersome than the other gloves. Um. You have these

gloves on and they're like blowing air onto you parts
of your hand. It's it's it's compressed air that that
that feeds into these little sensor things that actually go
in they they make contact with your skin and so
you're the feeling is is real um in a way

that the other haptic stuff isn't UM and it doesn't
first off, it does not actually does not feel like
you're getting puffs of air blown on your hands. No. Not.
One of the things that they did in there is
they simulated holding your hand under a leak with drops
of I think it was oil in that, but like
drops of a liquid coming down on your hand, and
it felt like having water cup pour onto your hands

without wetness, which is an odd feeling. Um. But the
they had like a bonzaiet tree which kind of felt
like a it felt like a prickly almost. Yeah, it
felt like it felt like a prickly plant. Running your
hands through both plants. If you'd closed your eyes and
you'd run your hands through both plants, they would feel

like different plants. Um. And one thing you could do
is you could grab the vine with leaves on it
and pull your hand down. The leaves would come off
the way they would in a real vine and felt it.
You can feel it. And then your hand is full
of leaves at the end and you feel them too.
Is they like slide off of your hand, which is
a kind of fidelity I didn't really realize was possible

at the moment. Um. There was other stuff that really
there was some stuff that worked better. Like the turning
wheels and stuff was kind of like whatever. Um, the
knobs and buttons weren't great. I actually thought that the
weak point was turning knobs. It just felt kind of
shocky um. But the straw. There was one where the rope. Yeah,

there was a rope hanging from the ceiling, so you
could like pull it to like it was kind of
like attached to you were basically like a fake airship
in the sky, so it's kind of like attached to
a horn. So you could pull the rope and then
you could the way you can grab a rope and
pull it down hand over hand. You could pull it
and it felt like it felt just like pulling a
rope through your hand. Like it was like if if

I was if I had no near perfect fidelity, if
I had no like visual sensory perception, I would think
I am pulling a rope through my hand. It felt perfect.
And there there were there was a moment where I
was at a desk and I had to open it,
and so I like I pull like and normally in VR,
if you're like opening a desk or something, you just

kind of like grab and pull in the right area
and it opens the drawer. This I I felt like
there was a big metal kind of like hook thing
that you get your hand up into pull. So I
pull it out and I feel my hand inside that
thing as I pull it, and then at a certain
point I stuck my hand into the drawer to push
it open the rest of the way, which I do

on real drawers when they get stuck. And it worked
the same way that it does in a real drawer,
and it it felt like one I mean. And the
other thing that was impressive about that is that even
just I instinctually picked up a mug by putting like
half my hand inside the mug and holding onto the
other side, which you can't really you can't do that
if you're using VR controllers, and you can't even do

that if you're doing like hand tracking. It just it
just doesn't work. But that you you put your hand
in pinched both sides of the mug and picked it
up and like just that by itself, like as you're
like feeling the mug in your hand, is like extremely
impressive right now, which kind of sounds silly because you're
talking about like the mechanics of grabbing a but it's
it's actually also talking ament the capacity for mimicking reality

with close to perfect fidelity, which um I would not
have guessed walking into the show, you could do the
things that we're doing. Yeah, and and we talked. We
talked to one of the products managers. They're they're talking
where they were speaking about how how they're using this
for workplace training, but also even even talking about how

you don't want to just use this tech for workplace
training because then people will get too used to doing
it in VR and then when they actually go into
the real world will actually be completely lost because it's
not close enough to to the VR. So they actually
talked about how, you know, VR, it can only do
so much. You want to you want to use you know,
VR training as a supplemental thing for also in person
training and kind of go back and forth so that

you actually stay grounded in what you're going to be
actually doing. But then you can also use the VR
as an assistant, so you can you know, train it on,
you can train on your own, but also you get
to apply it to the real world so you don't
get stuck just doing the stuff in the in the
digital world, which I thought was an interesting comment from
the person who's like trying to sell the technology. Yeah, yeah,
which yeah, And that was kind of the thing one

of the neat things about ce s. So most of
the people you encounter and and CS for those of
you have never been to a trade show, it's rooms
that are bigger than you ever thought. Rooms could be
filled with thousands of booths, and some of the booths
contain earth movers by the company CAT that are like
the size of a mansion in terms of their actual

like mass, and some of the booths are crazy person
sitting with his homemade air conditioner and his cut open
gloves explaining to you the new way he's figured out
how to make air condition your coils um. And so
you get this mix of at the big corporate booths
a lot of the time, like pr people who are
hired to sell a line and don't know what they're

talking about and they're just trying to hype a product.
And then inventors uh and people who like have are
actually have actually made the thing in front of you
and are very excited about it and are kind of
incapable of bullshitting you. Sometimes they believe irrationally in their products,
but they don't they're not pr people. UM and yeah,

I got that that feeling from the from the haptic people.
We should move on from metaverse, so I want to
talk about some of the other since we're doing the good.
The other products we saw or things that we saw

in mentions. We saw that that I made me kind
of hopeful about aspects of the future. So we we
saw some a R glasses and again VR is immersive.
A R is just kind of putting an overlay from
the digital world on the regular ship. You're wearing glasses
and you're seeing something that a computer is showing you. UM.
One of the things that we saw that I was

most impressed by was by a company called los x
v U z I x UM and it was there
Zander glasses, Zander with an ex like the guy from Buffy. UM.
And these are glasses that are designed to provide real
time captioning those with hearing loss. So you are wearing
them and you are conversing with people all around you,
and you see every word that's being set around you,

including the words you say on screen in front of
you live caption ing. UM. And it worked extremely I
didn't see it miss or Funk up any words. It's
not like punctuated or anything. But it was perfectly easy
to follow, and it works for all of the voices
around you. Um to the extent that I could tell.
And I'm not hard of hearing in a way that

I need captioning glasses, but I think that if you are,
this is kind of a miracle product. It worked incredibly
well as far as I could tell, And um, I
think a good amount of thought from what they said,
at least it seems like a good amount of thought
went into the fact that if you are acting as
someone's ears, you have a responsibility to take care of
their privacy. Um. But because all of it was local,

none of it was going into the cloud. There are
no app it doesn't touch your fucking phone. It's just
it's just the glasses. It's that's all it is. There's
no Internet, there's no app's just the glasses. So that
was one of the coolest things that I think we
saw there, and was just also a fairly rare, legitimate
example of a need being met through fascinating technology that

I think could really improve people's lives. Yeah, one of
the pair of air glasses I tried was by Ant
Reality Optics. They had a few different models. They're the
ones that make the actual lenses. They had models that
were that you could switch between A R and VR.
It was actually pretty impressive how there. They look pretty

much like regular glasses. Um, the specific A R and
VR ones look a little bit funky, but they're not.
They're not completely ridiculous. But you could with a button,
you could switch between having like the A R path
through modes, so it's like you can see you see
the A R screen and then but you also see
the world around you. Then you can hit to the

VR mode and it blacks out the real world and
you just see the VR stuff. And that that was
That was pretty impressive. They also had a full frame
A R glasses that again looked look look relatively normal
in terms of like, you know, this is the regular
pair of glasses. And but this was the only pair
of air glasses I saw at the show that had

the A R going over the course of like the
entire lens. All the other ones had like a little
box that they operated in some cases up your vision
when you didn't have Yeah, and it's like hard to
it's hard for your eye. Yeah, and it's hard it's
hard for your eye to know what to focus on. UM.
But this the A R was was over. There was

was across the entirety of the lens, and that one
was was very nice to uh to test out. Now,
I think one of the things that we're kind of
talking around here is the fact that if you've paid
attention to this, you'll note that none of the really
cool stuff we're talking about is made by a giant
tech companacebook, yeah, Facebook, Matter or like Samsung, Panasonic, um LG.

We went to those booths. Those are the largest boosts
at the show. They're fucking massively million dollars. God knows
how much money UM Panasonic spent one of the largest
boots at the show, which had to be probably was
tens of millions of dollars. It is not cheap to
get the listate in the LBCC. They had like the
third largest booths in the entire show. Massive. They didn't

really have any of the problems. They didn't have any
products Panasonic makes things. No. They had like they had
like two cameras and like maybe like ten lenses, but
and like not not multiple ones of those, just those
the only two cameras and like ten lenses that that's
all they had for this massive, massive, some fucking TVs

and like nothing blue displays and like like not not
not displaced for sale. It was like just like like
like projected displays of people using their stuff. Like they
didn't they didn't have anything to show at all. But
they did have they did have a breakdancing stage, and
they brought up DJ Funky and his Breakdancing Crew, which

I swear were pulled right out of Times Square in
two thousand and three, um, and just thrust into into
into our reality. It was deeply ak because it's these
very like clearly people who spend most of their time
doing breakdancing shows out in public in streets and crowded cities,

and a bunch of confused Japanese businessmen just like staring
back at them, and they're being like, come on, come on,
make some noise. And the Japanese businessmen are continuing to
do not want to make any noise, don't understand why
this is being asked of them. Um. It was extremely funny. Um.

But uh yeah, And and that was one of kind
of the takeaways for me was the lack of ideas
from big tech. Most of what the big companies were
showing was like either a million different cars and you
know our technologies, this car technology, and I'm sure they're
all great cars. Cars were very popular. That That was

one of the bigger trends we saw was how much
people were pushing their V cars, which is I think,
if you want to read something about that, it's bad
news for Tesla. I also don't think it's good news
for the rest of us, because just replacing all of
the cars on the road with e v cars does
not solve many of the fundamental problems that we have,
including even emissions because even yeah, it's not easy to

make a lot of that electricities generated. And like some
of them look neat. There were a lot of e bikes,
a lot of a lot of e bikes which all
look neat, and of course that's going to be a
huge thing. A big, big impetus for the e bikes
right now is that Ukrainians have been using them very
effectively in combination with drones to murder Russian soldiers, and

the U. S Military is actually put in large orders
for e bikes as a result of that, So I
suspect you're going to see a lot more ebikes geared
towards military applications too in the near future. But like
what most of the big companies had were like TVs,
like like they fucking Samsung, like Samsung and l G
mostly big TVs, and like LG had one that it

was like stored in the little box where it was
all rolled up and it was like when you press
a button, kind of like the you ever had a
hotel that has automatic blackout curtains that kind of works
that way. Um, but which is like conceptually like, oh, neat,
you've developed a TV that can fold and put itself away.
But also, is this really better than my current TV

in a way that's going to alter my life? Is
this like yeah, there isn't there's not much in terms
of actual new innovation. Like they were trying to make
their transparent TVs seem really cool and new, but like
that's not new tech either. It's just that people don't
really like using them outside of the corporate space. Yeah,
transparent TVs are neat for if you're decorating a space,
if you're doing like a lobby like that in your room,

because it's a worse experience. But but like so like
I I think out of all the big companies. LG
had the best booth experience. Um I walked through Samsung
after waiting in a massive line, and all it looked
half like a hospital and half like an Ikea where
you're walking through and they're kind of showing you all
their different like smart appliance products, but nothing is like

actually new or innovative. It's all it's all the same
ship you can find it at like the best Buy.
It's not it's not cool or interesting. You're just waiting
in line to walk through these little Ikea homes. That that,
and they show you how you can now use you
can now use like Microsoft Teams from your television, and
you're like, oh, a lot of people bragging about their

Microsoft Teams integration. Look, you and I both have to
use Teams for work sometimes always the worst part of
my day. But now, but now, Robert, with with your
new rollable TV, you too can use Microsoft Teams. Finally,
a rollable TV that automatically takes me into my team's room.
So would you boot up Microsoft Teams and you and
you don't want to be there. When I first when

I first on Firefox, and it says this browser is
not supported you're going to have to use another browser
does start Microsoft Teams. You probably wouldn't run into that
issue if you had your roll Lible TV that was
a smart TV that could connect it directly to Microsoft Teams. Yeah, um,
I hate it. The Samsung booth was horrible. Sony mostly

had PlayStations, which find that's their people themstaystations, and Masonic
was a complete bust. LG at least had some interesting stuff,
like they had this one projection powered TV extension room
where you have you have an image or a three
D a three D like a three D video file

of the of the thing on the television that then
rejects out into the entirety of the room. At least
that was cool and new there was. There was no
stated release date for this, no stated price point for
complication because honestly, what what movies are going to work
in that? Now? The answer is that what you want
to do is you wanna combine that kind of drawing

AI and use it so you can run a movie
through it and it will finish the rest of the scene. So,
for example, you can put on Boogie Nights that opening
scene where it's that one long shot as they go through.
It's just all around you, but everyone looks a little
wrong and their hands are tweaked and fucked up. We
have mid Journey continuing up the movie to fill the
Lord of the Rings. When you look to your right,

one of the elves has hands that just curl up
in themselves, and then you just take a shipload of
acid and permanently damage your brain. I think the funniest
thing at the l G Booth though, although despite being corny,
was still miles miles better than anything else in Panasonic
or inside Samsung. It was the Home of the Future.
Was they three different Home of the futures, which was

mostly talking about how do you smart appliances and how
to integrate them with your phone or whatever. That That
was most of what they were talking about. But they
had three actors in each of the home, actual ass
human beings who are like kind of kind of doing
like a kind of doing a presentation, kind of doing
a fourth wall breaking performance. It's a it was a
weird it was a weird mix of the Mom kept

emphasizing that she was almost criminally incompetent at cooking and
thus had to be taught by a robot how to
make pasta but like they're talking about like their kids
and my husband, and it's like it's a weird performance
art thing. But honestly, that way of presenting their products
was much more enjoyable to watch than walking through the
Samsung booth who didn't have any of that. You were

just walking through like it's despite being silly, it was
still much much more enjoyable. Yeah, and so I have
been attending c e s since two thousand ten, not
every year, but often. I tried to hit it every
couple of years just to d of keep abreast of
what's not just like what's possible, because you always see
some exciting new stuff that you wouldn't have guessed was

a thing, but also to just kind of get an
eye for how the tech industry is talking about itself
to itself. Um. And the thing that struck me most
was how completely out of the driver's seat the big
tech companies were, um and not even really even not
even trying. Google's big Box was not in the main

convention center, their main booth. They had it outside the
convention center, And it does not seem to be a
focus of much coverage, right people, people are not do
not care it's just more phones and it's like razors.
They're right, the company makes gaming laptops, and they make
perfectly fine gaming laptops. But it's also just like, well,
now I can see what the new sixteen inch razor
looks like. It looks like a Razor laptop. Um, you know,

I can go to Lenovo and see what they had.
Actually a couple of cool laptop a Leiva. I was
bummed because they took away the laptop clit. They did
take the clitter iss off of the laptop, which is
a shame. Although they have a semi clitterest button on
the side of the phone. It's red like the old anyway, whatever,
um look up Lenovo clitter ist or just type clitter

ist into red tube. Um don't well, I don't know, whatever,
it's your life. Uh So, the Lenovo has, like I mean,
there's some like, oh, here's a laptop with two screens
that doesn't completely suck. Um, you know, here's a laptop
that is in a slightly better form factor, but it's
there's kind of they've given up the idea that like, um,

there's anything kind of but iterative, like here's TVs that
are slightly better than your current TV, but not in
a way that you can notice. And that's most of
like the products there, which is like, well, on paper,
this is slightly better than the thing I have, But
I don't think I would actually notice a difference in
and when you're seeing that from the companies that are
put spending thirty million twenty million, have a many fucking

million of dollars to be at C E S and
have god knows how many billions that they put into
R and D when that's what they're bringing to the table.
And there's just like three nerds in a tiny booth
in a corner of a room that have a device
that like is capable of reading all of the speech
around you and translating and like captioning it live. Or
there's those I mean that little not a massive company,

although not you know, clearly a decent amount of backing
doing that kind of ship with haptics, Like that's all
of the that's the I think that the main takeaway
to me is like there's big tech um seems to
have entirely given up driving the conversation about what the
future is going to look like. I mean, even I
don't take as a bad thing. Actually even we went

to the John Deer booth and they had this. They
had this u AI assisted way to scan your crops
and locate where weeds are and another kind of and
it was on one of those gigantic UH irrigation plot
to drive it around. It's like a hundred yards long

and it waters and sprays pesticide. But it's it's the
AI power thing that recognizes things that are not crops
and tries to remove them. The case and point being
like trying to spray pesticides just on the weeds and
not on the rest of the crops. And it can,
it can go. It can do this while operating at
twelve hours an This this the person we talked to.

They just started working for John Deeer because this technology
was developed at a different company that John Deer just bought.
Like John Deer didn't make this, other companies did, and
then they just bought it. I think that's just another
interesting news case of like that was just another small,
random company who was doing you know, innovative farming technology
that then you know, another big company with money just

decided to buy and be like, hey, this is our
thing now, and I think I want to We'll do
another part where we talk about the dark side. We'll
talk about Palinteer, who was there and who we got
to chat with. We'll talk about surveillance, We'll talk more
about John Deer, because there's some some bleak ship in
the John Deer stuff too. Um, but I think this
is the stuff that I found broadly optimistic, even the

ship that didn't work, because what didn't work is like
big tech, and I kind of like the fact that
big tech it seems stumbling and crypto those particulars that
didn't work. What I like is the fact I like
to see big tech stumbling out the gate and a
bunch of weirdos um putting some cool shit out there.
And that actually makes me more hopeful of like a

future where technology makes things more accessible. And uh, I
get to wear motorized exoskeletons. Oh, let's end on the
exo skeleton. So we got to finally try the motorized
exo skeleton, which is supposed to basically increase your lifting
capacity by sixty or seventy pounds. Um. It's like a
backpack you were in your back with a chest piece

and hooks around your hips and stuff. Uh, and it
works when you're like carrying loads and moving and squatting.
You don't have to move the way you normally do
to protect your lower back, which is kind of harder
on your knees. If you've ever liked done cattle bell
spots or dead lifts, UM when you when you first
put it on and they had you bend over and
then stand back up. The first thing we did that

it was you kind of felt like you're getting launched
in their yeah. Yeah, because it's pushing up with you,
it's assisting you, but you can move like springs in
your step as you're running. It worked really well. It
was very cool. I want to and I was kind
of shocked at how this is from a German biotics
German German bionics um, which is the name of the company.

And it was a really awesome first off shout out.
The folks were fans, so that was nice. Um. But
it was really cool product for like, the price point
was surprisingly like we're not talking Toyota factories can afford them.
We're talking like if you are if you work in
like a mid like a small automotive company or whatever,

like you could afford one of these suits. They're not.
They're sub tin k so they're not cheap, but they're
not the kind of thing that only a multi billion
dollar corporation could have access and it will actually improve
the lives of workers. Like can rent them for two
fifty bucks a month, which is again very because it
would allow you to work lifting and hauling ship all day,
or do stuff like on a farm like bail hay

and huck hey up without straining your knees and back,
which you know, we talk a lot about like the
kind of devices oftentimes, the kind of devices that make
work more that are like marketed to companies in this
may make work more efficient, but they don't try to
They try to try to increase productivity, yeah, by just
doing more numbers, but not actually improving the experience for

the worker. Like the human side of this is that well,
maybe a bunch of people who ruin their backs and
knees working in factories every day won't and that would
be nice to uh and and it seems like it
works really well. Um So if you are currently working
a job or run a company and your employees are
destroying their backs and knees, maybe reach out to the

German biotics guys. Um. Also, it does seem like I
could rent or purchase one and then combine my plate
carrier with the chest rig purchased extra thigh and shoulder
armor and have what is effectively powered armor without straining
my body. I can't say any reason why that wouldn't work, Garrison. Um,

So come back next week where I will have recreated
space marine power armor. Um, and soon after that gone
mad with power and take over Circus Circus. Yeah, finally,
finally take over Garrison. Why don't we end this by
so Circus Circus most beautiful place in the Las Vegas Strip.
If you've never been, you've ever read the book Feared

Loathing in the Las Vegas you're watched the movie, it's
where Hunter Thompson starts hallucinating. Um. Now, the thing about
Circus Circus is that it's a clown them to casino,
and it's supposed to be a circus themed casino. There's
a lot of clowns, but there is a lot of
cleans in their branding, and it was it's like one
of the oldest casinos on the strip, so everything is faded.

They have not repainted it in a very long time.
It is the outside as a shade of like move
that you only get when the sun has deeply damaged
your building. You cannot purposely produce that color. No man
cannot create it, even with all of our talents. Um,
And it's it's just I perfectly put Garrison up there

because it's where I used to stay on the strip
and it's one of the worst places in the world.
I love it very much. UM, tell the people how
you found Circus Circus gear. I mean initially I wanted
I wanted more theming on the inside. I think it's
it's a bummer that clowns have gotten such a bad
rap in the past twenty years that I feel like
they've kind of taken a back pedal off the clown theming. Yeah,
it's coward is because with without the clown, without the

clown theming, it's just kind of dingy and depressing, where
instead it could be surreal and uncomfortable. And I would
prefer it to be surreal and uncomfortable. That just did
you depressing? See, this is why I wanted to support
you in your dream of sitting in dark corners of
Circus Circus wearing your clown costume. I brought a clown

costume you could give. I mean, you might get stabbed.
I still I still have one more night. That's right. Yesterday, yesterday,
after I said to my hotel there was a Las
Vegas police officer what time of day am? A Las
Vegas plice officer was walking the hallway in the very
top floor where I'm staying. And then then I go
downstairs and there's a whole team of police sweeping the

ground at seven am. Circus. Probably just a murder um
So this has been it could happen here reporting from
c E S. We'll be back probably tomorrow to talk
about the dark, horrifying things that we saw that made
us deeply uncomfortable, and then we'll probably have like in
an audio documentary on the way as well, using audio

that we recorded um at ces so that will be
integrated at some point in the future. Will continue to
inform you of the future that is mercilessly rushing towards
you and cannot be stopped and will inevitably crush you
and everything and everyone you love. But in this episode
in a good way, so true, so be happy it

could happen. Here is a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts, from cool Zone Media. Visit our website
cool zone media dot com, or check us out on
the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you
listen to podcasts, you can find sources for It could
happen here, Updated monthly at cool zone media dot com
slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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