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Barf Bags and Smart Cars: CES 2017 Kicks Off With Wild Ride

Once again, CES is reaching for the stars, and promising things that only the future knows if it can deliver

The tech marketplace can be a bumpy ride for those trying to hawk new wares: Products sell or flop, stock prices soar or dive.

But Intel, arguably one of the more sedate companies in Silicon Valley, was apparently so concerned about its virtual reality demo Thursday night at the annual CES convention in Las Vegas, company reps handed out barf bags along with Oculus Rift headsets.

No word if any of the assembled fans actually needed them. (And, by the way, the barf bags are the one detail anyone seems to remember from the speech. Not necessarily a good look for Intel.)

Contrast that with early talks from chip rival Nvidia, which laid out a plan to, among other things, develop a car using artificial intelligence with Audi (they're aiming for 2020), and Faraday Future, a shambolic, all-over-the-place company that also aims to bring AI into its electric cars. FF, as it calls itself, wants to take on Tesla while also using artificial intelligence to self-park its cars.

As the remaining ballots cast in Tuesday's presidential election are counted Wednesday, there's the possibility Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote after having lost the electoral college to Donald Trump. As of 10:12 a.m. Wednesday, Clinton held a lead of more than 170,000 votes nationally, NBC News reported. She conceded the race, however, early Wednesday morning after Trump took Wisconsin, putting the electoral college out of her reach. If Clinton wins the popular vote after losing the electoral college, it would be the second time in 16 years a Democratic nominee has done so.

Once again, CES is reaching for the stars, and promising things that only the future knows if it can deliver. And that's good news. When the economy was slow, CES showed us incremental growth. These days, with the stock market soaring and tech promise seemingly unlimited, CES is taking some wild guesses. Will the industry deliver?

In a year that's about to be filled with all sorts of drama, crazy visionary companies are welcome.

Strap yourself in .. and if you need it, there's a bag below.

Scott roams CES on Twitter & Periscope: @scottbudman

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