We’re Forcing Our CES 2016 Crew to Exercise While They Blog
It’s CES 2016, and you (might?) know what that means: It’s time for WIRED’s Third Annual CES Smartphone Thunderdome, where overworked reporters blog from their phones and accomplish ridiculous tasks in order to win slightly fabulous prizes. In 2014, Tim won 20 sandwiches for bloggin’ on a Blackberry. Last year, Christina won “a fancy dinner” for her efforts, but then she left WIRED so I just kinda flaked on the meal.
ANYWAY. In previous years, it’s been enough of a challenge for our reporters to cover the entire show on their mobile handsets; not anymore. It’s 2016, and WIRED is a mobile-first shop. This year’s crew is new and young (except Tim, who is old and old), and the mobile bit would be too easy. David barely uses a computer anyway, and Molly could blog with a coconut and a pocket full of pennies. OK, SuperDad Brian Barrett is not super young, but he ran Gizmodo with two kids bouncing on his knee. Often using a Windows Phone! (Currently on Android.)
So to make it trickier this year, we had to come up with a challenge that millennials and grizzled oldsters alike would find tough. Inspired by the avalanche of wearables that buried our inboxes in the weeks leading up to the show, we chose … [drumroll] … fitness. Get ready, Gadget Lab: CES 2016 is all about getting your pulse up. As before, there will be an overall goal and daily challenges.
Here be the rules:
- All in-Vegas writing from the time of this post’s publication until 12:01 a.m. on Friday January 8, 2016, will be done on cellphone only.
- We’ll use our smartphones’ built-in step counters to track movement. The player with the highest number of steps between 12:01 a.m. today and 12:01 a.m. on Friday will get 1,000 points. This is a highly imperfect metric because our different phones track our steps differently and the clock’s already running. You’re gonna have to cheat like hell.
- Cheating is allowed, as long as it is documented on the live blog and doesn’t violate the One Cardinal Rule: You write using your cellphone only.
- Reporters will get 100 bonus points per day per additional fitness metric they record—as long as they document it on the live blog. The definition of “fitness metric” is subjective and determined by Mike or Joe, but generally means “some body-related thing that you can objectively measure over a period of time—but not a physical measurement, like diameter of your biceps. (Sorry, Tim.)” Think: pulse, resting heart rate, calories burned, body temperature, blood pressure, average mile time, the number you get when you hit that giant-thermometer-looking carnival thing with the big mallet.
- Every morning, I’ll post a daily challenge on the live blog—and nowhere else. Winning those is the key to winning the show.
The prize, as before, is a fancy dinner or 20 sandwiches. Best of luck to you all. Let the games begin!
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