The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the dreamy convention that every tech enthusiast is dying to go to. The show celebrates its 50th anniversary this year at Las Vegas, where thousands tech companies perform their annual pilgrimage to flaunt their stuff. It is also the time where tech fans and media from around the world flock the sin city of the US to catch the latest and the trendiest in tech. But is it all glamour in tech like we see in magazines and online media?
This is indeed my first ever trip to CES, not to mention that it is also my first appearance at a global tech convention, given my measly 1 year experience in the industry. Of all conventions to begin with, I was lucky enough to attend and face the world's largest consumer tech show, depending on which way I look at it. I'm not gonna lie, CES turned out to be way more overwhelming than I thought it would be. It is no doubt, a monumental trade show. In a typical competitive fashion of these tech companies, CES may commence as early as 2 or 3 days before it officially begins. Well, not exactly but companies tend to hold their press events for the press before CES kicks off. A good tactic I would say, before the public crowds the convention, and just to get our media minded engines warmed up.
I had the opportunity to attend the press event by Honor, which saw the global unveiling of the dual camera Honor 6X, also spotting the appearance of Honor's beautiful Artificial Intelligence driven concept phone, the Honor Magic. ASUS has also launched two handsets - the ZenFone 3 Zoom, which now sports an extra camera and a significantly larger battery, plus the ZenFone AR, the world's first ever Google Daydream and Tango compatible device, also the first ever 8GB RAM smartphone. The real thing however, which is the hustle and bustle of CES itself, hasn't hit me just yet.
I'm gonna take a step back and say that I came to this tradeshow with a lot of expectations, not from the human experience aspect but from the tech aspect. I was hoping that a thing or two will actually wow me and rock my socks off, to make the flame of passion for technology continue to burn, if not burning even brighter than before. On the other hand, a small part of me told myself to take everything with an open mind, so let's find out.
I can confidently say that I've managed to walk through the whole floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is where majority of the CES tech booths were at. From smartphones, PC’s, fitness gadgets, drones, VR and AR devices, electric cars, and many more on the endless list. You name it, and I’ve probably seen it. However, the first word that stood out to me the most was “concept”. I did some homework to find out that the word “concept” is an abstract idea. For example, a concept phone will mean that it is an abstract idea of a phone, a heightened perception of what a person calls a phone. Concept devices and products are what I came across most at the show floor, and at some point of time, I was ticked off.
Don’t get me wrong. Concept inventions can be a pretty sight, but most ideas and concepts about products have been existent for many years now. Inventors and manufacturers manage to birth out concepts, but are mostly for the future. Why not work on what we have in the present and perfect them, Rather than thinking from a futuristic mindset the entire time? I personally do think that companies have been too focused on adding new features to their products, even if they aren’t fully ready or optimized. To top that off, some of the current features don’t work well enough to begin with. It seems as though companies are trying to push out new stuff that mankind does not require at this point of time. But then again, there are probably just too many concept inventions and features that triggered this little rant of mine.
By saying that, the next thing I would like to point out might be a contradiction to my earlier statement. The tech fanboy in me feels that there isn’t enough innovation to be seen at CES 2017. As mentioned earlier, I was looking forward to come across a thing or two to get heads rolling, to trigger the “techgasm” inside of me. As i recalled, there seems to be nothing at all which is completely new, or haven’t been seen before. Yes, there were newer and more capable drones, safer self driving cars, slimmer and better display TV’s, new speakers with better sound quality, but those weren’t unexpected. There wasn’t “some cool totally new thing” out of my expectations, so my tech hunger pangs weren’t entirely cured.
As for the experience as a normal human being at this gargantuan tech convention, since it is a global tradeshow, I crossed paths with all sorts of people from all over the world. Based on their badge labels, ranging from industry attendees, industy advisors, members of the press, exhibitors, buyers, engineers and probably a couple more whom I’m still trying to recall. Some of these people have been loyal attendees to CES, for a couple of years ranging to decades, indicated on their badges as well, which makes me wonder whether I would still grace another global tradeshow with the same mindset and passion. Other than that, it is a convention with a constant sea of people from morning till evening, for 4 days.
Today marks the third day of CES, also the second last. Should I make my rounds at the CES show floor again to hunt for hidden gems? What would you like me to visit at the tradeshow? Let me know at the comments section below! Also, tell me your thoughts!