01. 11. 2008
CES - It's a wrap
The CES convention, the world's largest trade show, wrapped up last night and not a day too soon. After 4 days of covering 1.85 million net square feet of exhibit space, bumping into 140,000 people, trying to visit more than 2,700 companies, hitting all the keynote speeches - kicked off by Bill Gates' news that he is leaving Microsoft - and attending all the parties (hey, someone has to do it), attendees are dragging themselves to the airport, too tired to even network on the shuttles.
The big buzz words this year included "connectivity," "HDTV" , "digital entertainment" and, surprisingly, "green technology."
While over 20,000 products were introduced to the market, nothing blew our socks off.
Highlights included Panasonic’s Toshihiro Sakamoto's opening keynote address and unveiling of a 150” plasma HDTV, the largest in the world. Intel’s Paul Otellini spoke of his vision for the future of information technology, Comcast’s Brian Roberts demonstrated the first portable DVR and General Motors’ Rick Wagoner unveiled a new car model during his CES keynote and spoke to energy efficient innovations, including advancements in fuel cell technology and electronically driven propulsion systems. "If the automobile was invented today, it would have debuted at CES," said Wagoner. "Because more and more, that's exactly what today's cars and trucks are – highly sophisticated consumer electronics."
We were moved by Nicholas Negroponte's speech, founder of the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) and the MIT Media Lab. At the CES Industry Insider Program, “Technology and Emerging Countries: Advancing Development Through Technology Investment.” Negroponte spoke passionately about OLPC's goal of eliminating poverty in third-world countries through education. He explained that most of the nearly two-billion children in developing countries are poorly educated, suggesting that, "We must restore, introduce and create the passion for learning in children."
We loved the Logitech booth, made to look like a typical home, with gadgets suitable to each room and we really appreciated the free coffee bar. Sony's booth took up an entire city block and wowed us with the new nav systems, phones and skinny OLED TVs.
Appropriately for a company that makes headphones, speakers and the popular Zen MP3 players, the Creative Labs booth resembled a raucous rock party.
Celebrities, present for often no clear reason, included Jerry Seinfeld, Dr. Dre, Ryan Seacrest, Will.I.Am, Natasha Beddingfield, Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Mary J. Blige, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, David Ortiz and many others.
We're exhausted, overloaded with gadgets, and hung-over to boot, but wouldn't have missed it for the world. See you there next year.