We’re done with CES – in both senses

There was probably quite a lot of talk at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas about technology that will help us be the more productive, creative, happy people we should be but I wasn't listening. Were you?

CES gets feted as a big deal in a lot of places – BBC News's Click looked like it was going to love it there from the brief bit I saw before changing channels – and certainly big announcements there are treated as world-changing.

But I lost interest years ago when I noticed that the world kept on staying pretty much the same.

Full personal disclosure: I worked on computer magazines for many years and was never allowed to go to CES. I can tell you this now: that was because I don't drink. It was regarded as a waste to send me. But maybe I was showing signs of disinterest even then. Maybe I was sober.

Because CES still talks the talk yet it's been a very long time since anything was unveiled there that you remember. We're talking home video recorders. CDs. There have been others since but I'm struggling here. And the show is now better known for big announcements of new products that then never go on sale.

So CES is an empty roar and it was so obvious to me that I wouldn't be talking to you about it that I can't even call this a big editorial decision. It was just CES, uh-huh, what else is happening? But now that the show is closed and the excited pre-event articles are being followed by post-event shrugs, I came across a description I just like a lot.

In the New York Times article about the Consumer Electronics Show, MIT's Natasha Dow Schüll summed it up exquisitely: “It’s like a high tech SkyMall”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blue Captcha Image