Two unidentified prototypes were stolen from Razer’s booth Sunday night, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan wrote on Facebook early this morning.
He said that the company has filed a police report and is working both with show management and law enforcement to track down the thief.
He didn’t say which of the prototypes were stolen. The company showed off two new devices this year: a laptop with three screens that automatically pop into place when opened and a special projector that extends the lights and looks of a video game to an entire room.
While no more details were offered, Tan did raise the possibility of this being a case of industrial espionage.
“At Razer, we play hard and we play fair,” he wrote on the Facebook post. “Our teams worked months on end to conceptualize and develop these units and we pride ourselves in pushing the envelope to deliver the latest and greatest.
“We treat theft/larceny, and if relevant to this case, industrial espionage, very seriously – it is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart.”
Tan said that if anyone has any information about the thefts to reach out to the company at email@example.com.
“All information provided will be kept in the strictest of confidence,” he wrote.
Razer unveiled prototypes for its two new concepts on Thursday at the show.
Project Valerie is a Razer laptop with a built-in mechanical keyboard and three, 17.3-inch 4K monitors. The monitors automatically slide out of the sides of the main screen and adjust into place when the laptop is open.
Project Ariana uses an ultra-wide fisheye lens and advanced processing capabilities to communicate with games in real time to create both lighting and video effects. A pair of 3D depth sensing cameras are used with proprietary calibration software, which automatically calibrates itself to detect environmental factors such as furniture and room lighting.
On Sunday, Razer announced that Project Ariana, which it calls a virtual reality projector, won “official Best Gaming show honors, as well as distinction as this year’s People’s Choice.” The device was also nominated for Best Home Theater Product and Best Disruption Tech awards.
The company said it plans to develop Ariana into a consumer-ready model by the end of this year. No word on what future plans for Valerie the company may have.
This weekend’s theft isn’t the first time someone has stolen a Razer concept prototype.
In 2011, someone broke into Razer's San Francisco Bay Area research and development labs and made off with two prototypes for the peripheral maker's Razer Blade.
The break-in happened over the weekend of Nov. 4, according to a Facebook post by Razer at the time.
In that case, someone managed to get into the lobby of the building that houses Razer's research and development offices. The thief or thieves then pried open the door to the office and methodically picked through the desks, taking two of the prototypes from different parts of the office as well as a laptop and digital camera. The rest of the computers and electronic equipment in the office, where roughly 30 people work, were untouched.
We’ve reached out to Razer for more details about this weekend’s theft and what specifically was stolen and will update this story when they reply.
Update: Razer answered a few of our questions in a comment they provided us this afternoon. I’ve put the entire comment below.
“This note is to confirm that two Razer Project Valerie laptop prototypes were stolen from the Razer booth at CES. The product was taken from the Razer press room at approximately 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 8, 2017. A $25,000 reward is being offered for original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a criminal suspect. Razer, in its sole discretion, will decide who is entitled to a reward and in what amount. Razer may pay only a portion of the maximum reward offered. The decision will be based primarily upon law enforcement's evaluation of the value of the information provided. When there are multiple claimants, the reward will be shared in amounts determined by Razer. Razer associates are not eligible for the reward. This reward offer is good for one year from the date it is first offered, unless extended by Razer. Information about the theft can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Razer will not publicly disclose material that it receives or details about respondents, except to those persons with whom Razer is directly working to resolve this matter or as may be required by law.”