At CES, hunting the show floors for hidden beacons (photos)
Attendees at CES 2014 were tasked with tracking down nine hidden iBeacons that were scattered around Las Vegas. CNET's Daniel Terdiman found all nine and some unexpected surprises along the way.
LAS VEGAS -- The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the world's biggest trade shows, but while tens of thousands of people flock to the largest companies' booths, most never hit some of the lesser-known areas.
That's why the Consumer Electronics Association, which puts on CES, added a scavenger hunt to its official mobile app this year -- to give people a fun reason to go exploring some of those otherwise ignored areas.
And scattered around the city, were nine iBeacon transmitters that called out to the app once a user was in range. CNET's Daniel Terdiman took time out of a busy day of keynotes and panels to track down all nine. And in the end, he won a prize for his efforts.
Players who took part in the scavenger hunt started out with a blank slate. All they'd see is nine greyed-out circles telling them which areas of the show to visit. Once there, they'd have to pinpoint the actual iBeacon location.
The app would tell you (approximately) how far you were from an iBeacon. However, this information was usually an approximation, and would fluctuate wildly. Sometimes you would be standing in front of an iBeacon, and the app would think it was many feet away.
Playing the scavenger hunt provided some unexpected surprises. In the robotics section of the CES show floor, attendees could check out Pleo, a robotic dinosaur. What was a surprise was that Pleo was first introduced in 2007, but its developer, Ugobe, went out of business in 2009. Now, a new company is selling the creature.
The signs representing the iBeacon locations were usually mounted on a pillar or a wall. In this case, it was in an area far away from where it was supposed to be, meaning many people had trouble finding it.