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Event Article: CES Show Coverage

TackleTour finds the latest consumer electronics for anglers at the 2003 International CES show

Date: 1/11/03
Location Las Vegas, NV
Admission 75 Dollars
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

CES runs from Jan 9th - 12th in Las Vegas

Introduction: Welcome to CES 2003, an international show that highlights the products and direction in which the consumer electronics industry is headed. TackleTour visits CES to discover what exciting new products and technologies will soon find their way into the hands of anglers. While the show may be all about high-tech, vision, and innovation, the TackleTour team found plenty of interesting products and solutions that anglers and outdoorsman are sure to appreciate.


Flying over the Las Vegas strip, home to many of the world's largest tradeshows, including the 2003 CES

The Show Itself: "CES" stands for "Consumer Electronics Show," and is now one of the largest and fastest growing international hi-tech shows in the world. While not focused on the fishing industry, it is no secret that anglers these days are becoming more and more tech savvy. The latest radio, GPS, and marine equipment were all showcased at CES this week, and TackleTour made sure that we were here at Las Vegas to see them all unveiled.


Why so many of the worlds largest tradeshows, including ICAST and CES are held in the heart of the Las Vegas strip is no mystery....this is one truly entertaining place to be! The air of excitement of Vegas combined with the sheer magnitude of cramming all the worlds latest hi-tech gadgets into 5 halls in the Las Vegas Convention Center is more then enough to create an energetic environment for all attendees. CES draws vendors from over 100 countries, the largest gathering of international hi-tech industry players under one roof. What this basically equated to us was the world's largest hi-tech "candy store," and we were more then ready to start discovering all this sweet technology.

CES is filled with hundreds of vendors, and tens of thousands of attendees

The Trends: At this year's CES show we observed a major push by countless manufacturers to actively design technology not just for a single purpose...but for a lifestyle. Many manufacturers stressed the goal to make peoples lives better by making it easier access entertainment, information, and education from anywhere and at anytime. While many new technologies and products were highlighted to us, we couldn't help but imagine how all this would impact and benefit anglers. One of the key things we took away from the show was the effective merging of technology into activities within our daily lifestyle.

Zander is dwarfed by a Samsung backdrop highlighting one of many uses for their new smart phone

The merging of hi-tech and lifestyles: Imagine you are out fishing. Many of us would gladly leave our hi-tech toys at home, turn off those cell phones, and immerse ourselves in the pure act of wetting our lines. But what if there were supplementary tools that could enable us to catch more fish and have more fun doing it? Would you take advantage of the  new tools? The consumer electronics industry is betting that we will. Companies that once made mundane products like analog phones and radios are now producing innovative products that are setting new standards in what we can access in terms of information and communication for all aspects of life....including fishing.

Cobra showcased a complete range of radios for every price range

Phones: Samsung was just one of the many companies now designing smarter more interactive phones. No longer just simple mobile handsets, this new generation of smart phone allows users to send and receive an unprecedented amount of information. One example for anglers is the ability to check local weather and fishing conditions on a web based browser prior to heading out to you favorite destination. Suppose on your trip you are lucky enough to hook that fish of a lifetime! Now you can capture that fish forever with the built in digital camera, and even better...you can instantly send that image to your best friend for visual bragging rights!

Xact introduced a number of stylish radios that were small in size but big in range performance

Radios: Manufactures like Motorola, Cobra, Xact all introduced a new generation of smaller, cheaper, and yet...more powerful radio communication devices. Anglers can now stay in touch with one another with radios that are small enough to be worn as watches, and boast a range of 5+ miles! New battery technology allows anglers in the backcountry to carry less power cells, or hook up your radio to a convenient solar cell charger for unlimited talk time.

Garmin makes a complete range of accurate, user-friendly, rugged, and reliable GPS products

GPS: Finding that secret fishing and never getting lost is now a reality with advancements by Garmin in both high performance marine and portable GPS technology. Garmin's slogan at the show was "products for an active world," which pretty much sums up their design philosophy. Garmin's new GPS units merge technology with true purpose.  We can expect to see new GPS units in 2003 that are more affordable and even more portable, they will range from the basic handheld GPS receivers to sophisticated voice guided in-car and marine navigation systems.

A good example of a good hybrid product, the Garmin Rino combines GPS functionality with Radio communication

One of the most interesting products from Garmin was the new Rino110. The Rino is a waterproof GPS integrated FRS/GPRS radio. Not only can you communicate over a 2 mile range, but you have the complete functionality of a GPS...with the added ability to beam your exact location to a friend! This will allow anglers to hit different stretches of water without ever getting lost, or losing each other.

Protect your electronics with the hermetically sealed Dry Pak

Protection: How frustrating is it to bring your latest hi-tech gadgets on your fishing expedition only to have them damaged or rendered inoperable with contact to the elements? Kwik-Tek introduces the Dry-Pak, a simple yet highly effective solution to protect all your electronics from tiny cell phones to bulky camcorders. Dry-Pak is essentially a thermo-plastic-polyurethane bag that is built with cam lock clips capable of hermetically sealing out water. While inside the Dry Pak all your electronics can continue to function in a completely waterproof environment. The material is 10 times stronger then vinyl and has incredible resistance to extreme hot and cold temperatures. The material is optically clear and sound transmits through the material with less then 5% loss of volume, so all your cameras and camcorders will operate normally.

Sony used a colorful fish backdrop, complete very colorful rainbow trout, as the test arena for all its new digital video camcorders

Video: Sony came out in full force with a cornucopia of products. With a new theme "A World about U," Sony's new user-centric approach demonstrates the company's vision to empower consumer lifestyles by enhancing "entertainment, creativity, and mobility, on any device...anytime, anywhere." At Sony we saw video cameras get smaller, operate on less power, and have complete interoperability with their other products. With connections like wireless, firewire, and memory stick you will be able to transfer memories from that great fishing trip into your computer, PDA, or direct to photo printers with no difficulty at all.

The new Sony RMXM10W is a wired water resistant  remote that allows you to keep your head unit in a safe dry location

Audio: Many audio companies including Sony and Clarion introduced new audio solutions for home, auto, and marine applications. While there is always a trend for bigger, cleaner, more powerful systems...one area that we found very interesting was the drive to make it easier for users to control their audio systems. Sony for example released new water resistant wired control units that can be placed around different areas of your watercraft. These remotes allow complete control of your head unit and amplifiers so that you can tuck them safely away in the most dry section of your boat.

The Casio GV-20 is engineered tough, and designed for an active lifestyle


Photography: It seemed like an endless supply of digital cameras from all makes were displayed at the show, but what caught our attention was the new generation of weather resistant cameras. These new cameras can go anywhere you choose to go in your quest for exotic fishing locations. New shock resistant constructed cameras like Casio's GV-20 are designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. Built with water, dirt, and dust resistance, this affordable camera can really take a beating. At the show we witnessed the camera function perfectly, even after being completely soaked for 30 minutes in a test tank. This is just an example of the new digital cameras that are engineered tougher to accommodate a more active lifestyle.

Imagine your tow vehicle as a complete multimedia/entertainment center

Auto: The North halls of the convention center looked more like an exotic car show then a hi-tech convention. The buildings were filled with Ferrari's, Porsches, and modified SUV's. Companies like Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, and Rockford have the technology to turn your tow vehicle into a complete multimedia/entertainment center. While most Hummers were appointed to the point of overkill, I couldn't help but imagine how nice it would be to really own one of these stirring vehicles. With a system like this your kids will never ask that annoying question, "are we there yet?"


The Galaxy SRA-10 is a satellite radio antenna designed for watercraft


Watercraft: Shakespeare finally makes satellite radio truly seaworthy. In the Sirius booth we found two of their latest marine satellite radio antennas. Specially engineered for marine use, the SRA-10 receives and amplifies the satellite signal. Simply connect any Sirius Satellite Radio receiver, and enjoy radio coast to coast. This Shakespeare antenna mounts easily, weighs less then a pound, and is completely weather proof.


The Delphi SKYFi receiver plugs into this portable boom box to take satellite radio to a place it has never been before...EVERYWHERE


Freedom: Whether you are at home, driving to work, camping out in the high country, or relaxing on your boat, you can now take advantage of uninterrupted satellite radio. Delphi introduces more and more uses for its popular satellite radio receiver. This small handheld XM SkyFi receiver can plug into your home stereo, marine deck, existing car system, and now even a portable boom box. The SKYFi Audio System is the first truly portable satellite radio product. This incredible versatility will allow anglers to stay in touch and be entertained by over 100 digital channels wherever you choose to go!

Conclusion: It was quite refreshing to see so many more "solutions," rather then just more "products" at this year's CES show. There is no doubt that technology is merging faster and faster into consumer devices that are designed to appease our more active lifestyles. Anglers can take advantage of this acceleration of consumer technology by being able to purchase hi-tech tools that make it easier to communicate, locate our favorite destinations, protect our valuable equipment, and ultimately free us to infinitely expand the range of our fishing expeditions.









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