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October 31, 2014

CES to Bring New Toys to Congress in April

Our digital overlords know how much the masses enjoy bright and shiny things. Which is why they’ll be dangling their snazziest smart-things before lawmakers at the 2013 CES on the Hill techstravaganza.

The Consumer Electronics Association treks to Congress every year, and the annual fly-in is usually well-attended by gadget-loving lawmakers and smartphone-tethered staffers.

This year’s invitation-only CES event, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 16 in Rayburn B-357, appears determined to strike a balance between civic responsibility and reckless abandon.

Featured exhibitors include:

LG Electronics: LG will be driving an even bigger wedge between man and wife by unveiling a man-cave-worthy 84-inch “ultra” television set promising 8 million pixels and a pixel resolution four times higher than that of full high-definition.

Dish Network and DirecTV: The programming delivery giants are aiming to enslave even more hearts and minds by rolling out more multipurpose HD DVR units: the whole-house servicing Hopper and “energy-efficient” Genie, respectively. The updated recorders should ensure that you will never again miss an episode of “1600 Penn,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Scandal,” “Veep,” “Homeland,” or any of the umpteen other political shows currently on TV.

FutureDash: Avid penny-pinchers will be able to experience real-time reporting of household energy consumption via a new tool that zaps incoming data to smartphones, tablets and home PCs.

On the educational front, attendees will get it drilled into their heads that distracted driving is not cool.

One wake-up call will be AT&T’s “It Can Wait” virtual reality simulator, which is designed to illustrate the dangers of texting while driving. Participants will also be shown the new Dock-n-Lock, a prophylactic accessory that prevents drivers from being able to operate their motor vehicles unless their mobile devices have been stowed for the trip. Think of it as a Breathalyzer for insatiable texters.

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