Behind the scenes in the car tech hall

CNET Car Tech takes a look at behind the scenes of CES 2009 and sets up in the North Hall.

Car Tech booth
CBS Interactive

I got an early look at the CES North Hall today, as I was called in to make sure our Car Tech stage was coming together. The place is a labyrinth with boxes, crates, fork lifts, carpet rolls, AV equipment, and some snazzy-looking cars all being put into each company's bit of booth space. Our North Hall Car Tech stage is coming together well, with our Scion xB test platform parked right in the middle. During the show, we have invited a number of car electronics makers to come by and install their latest products in our car. Myself and Antuan Goodwin will be on hand to try the products out. We will blog about these products and get some video recorded while we push buttons and check out how well they work.

Scion xB test car
Our test car sits in our booth at CES. CBS Interactive

The North Hall, devoted to car technology, promises to have some eye candy for gearheads. Parked in the booth next to CNET Car Tech is a giant black truck, designed like a crew cab pick-up but the size of a semi. It also has a little brother parked next to it. I also saw a crazy custom job in blue that looked like a Hot Wheels car I had when I was six. During the show, we will get photos of all these cars and more and post them in our CES coverage.

With all the speaker and amps in evidence at the various booths, the North Hall is also going to be loud. And we're adding to that noise with a couple of games, Name That Tune and Engine Karaoke. After a vendor installs a product in our Scion, we will let the games begin, inviting audience members to compete to see who can guess which song we are playing the fastest. For Engine Karoake we will play a recording of a particular car revving, and see which audience member can best emulate the sound using their vocal cords. Extra points if they can guess which car the sound came from.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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