Monday, January 11, 2010

CES 2010 rundown - final.

I wasn't actually going to post anything else about CES - I personally thought the whole thing was a dismal failure. I mean, I heard there were a hundred e-book reader companies there. Which, I can believe. E-book readers aren't exactly this years technology. So, I just can't get all excited about them. Yet, they were everywhere.

However, I've read many reviews out of CES which has resulted in a great deal of shock from me. It's like I was at a totally different show than these people. Sure, I've gone four years in a row - so I have a different perspective. I've gone on day 1 twice, day three and day four.

These reviews seem to indicate the show was wildly successful. While your appetite for technology can be suggestive, I will tell you what I am using as my barometer for success. Cab lines.

When we arrived at the airport we walked to the cab line, and got straight into a cab without waiting. That has never happened. Las Vegas has mad skills in moving people out of the airport. Still, that was a very unusual sign.

Similarly, when we got in the cab line to go back to the airport... we got through it in 30 minutes. We have never been able to wait that line out before. In previous years, people would get so frantic about missing their flights - they'd walk the line asking people to chip in on any transportation.

Last year we shared a cab with a guy. One year we chipped in on a limo. I'm telling you. People would become so frantic, that limos were lined up in the cab area. And, people would pay, just to get to the airport.

This year, no one was doing that. As a matter of a fact, there was a guy behind us in line who was going cataleptic on having to wait the line. Finally I said to him, why don't you just share a cab with someone and get out of here sooner? He finally shut up, and just stayed in line.

I was loving the line. I'd never seen anything like it. Also, the cabbies were obviously agitated. A marked difference even over last year.

The only reason I decided to post this anyway is - the marketing hype did a really good job on CES. If I wouldn't have gone, I might have thought "things were much better than I expected". I already knew attendance was estimated to be down 25%. They'd closed two exhibition halls.

With the news cycle on "everything is getting better" I often have a hard time telling if things are in fact getting better. I mean.. I don't think they are. But, everyone saying it is - just gets to you. Maybe things are getting better you think.

You have to wonder what is up when they were demo'ing rabbitears. Old timey, 1960's rabbit ears. And blow dryers. I'm not even kidding.


  1. It's not that things are getting better, it's that they stopped getting worse. I have no doubt that they'll be longer lines next year. I appreciate your comments though because I also got the impression that it was very successful just from the buzz. Frankly, I'd rather use a laptop or an iPhone then an ereader and all this 3D technology is just crap to try and make it look like the next big thing is on the way, when it pales in comparison to the advancement we saw with DVD, then DVR, then HDTV. Big freakin' deal if 4 movies a year make you wear geeky glasses to enjoy them. I'd be more impressed by more 100 inch flat screens.

  2. I think the driver for the adoption of 3DTV will be primarily from Sports fans.

    As you point out, for 3D movies and entertainment, there's a limited amount of content. But there are multiple sporting events per day, every day. And ESPN is going to start broadcasting sports in 3D.

    Sports fans were the primary driver behind the adoption of the original big screen projection TVs, and I think they will be the driver here.

  3. Mr S. and I have differing opinions on 3D. I remain skeptical. Although Avatar did show that 3D can be less stabby with your depth perception. I had noticeably less eye strain.

    Still, I just don't think there will be wide spread adoption of the glasses. There are a bunch of people making TV's that don't need glasses, but you really have to sit in the sweet spot.

    Frankly, I'd rather use a laptop or an iPhone then an ereader

    Oddly, that is one of my irritations right now. The kindle became so popular (which was never going to sell BTW) that now all these knock offs are trying to load them up to do all sorts of things. Which seems ridiculous to me. If we wanted an ebook reader to do all sorts of things - we'd just buy a laptop. It does those things really well. The power of the kindle was the wireless download.

    If you load these things up with all kinds of crappy features - it defeats the simplicity. But hey - at least they are making them waterproof now. Whatever.