THE THREE LETTERS 'CES' are spoken in hushed and hallowed terms by tech fans. Perhaps its the fact that, despite its size, it's not open to the public that gives it such a mystical status.
But the truth is, for all the weird and wonderful stuff that makes the headlines, there is so much absolute drivel that your feet can actually take umbrage at your body for being used in such an unseemly way.
In a relatively short space of time this week, we saw items as utterly impractical as smart irons, an AI t-shirt folding machine and a virtual ice hockey set.
Oh yes. And a 'smart' tazer. We couldn't get close enough to that to work out what the heck was going on.
Then there are the small companies and Chinese resellers that seem to be releasing the same five products over and over again, with clearly nothing new under the sun - fitness trackers, smart doorbells, Google AI-infused mp3 speakers, cheap AR headsets and endless phone cases.
All these companies are waiting for some handsome buyer from a major retailer to come along and place an order for half a million.
Oh yes, and not to mention the companies that have just come to show off that they make components - LEDs, diodes, ARM chips. Thrilling stuff.
Then there are the companies (some of them major ones) who pedal the same product from show-to-show and don't seem to have a reliable release date for it. These magical boxes of vapour-tech seem to suggest that the world's insatiable appetite for new bits of kit can't be matched by the ability to have it working and demonstratable in time.
The point is this. So far this year, the announcements from the big boys have been, well, disappointing to say the least.
And with the sheer ratio of rough to diamond, CES is acting as a reminder that we're still in a tech bubble where everyone believes that they can change the world, if only they get their big break. But that in reality, most of what's here is the answer to a problem that nobody was struggling with. μ
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