The show must go on, but at what cost? Thats the question myself and thousands of others were asking as we made our way through the carpet-lined halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the newly renovated 2.9 million-square-foot monolith currently hosting several thousand tech-hungry visitors for this years Consumer Electronics Showcase. After going completely virtual in 2021, this year was set to be the glorious return of the conferences in-person experience.
It wasnt quite as glorious as hoped. In normal years, CES would have housed pavilions showcasing the latest and greatest from a bevy of industry giants. This year, however, the specter of Omicron loomed over the entire event. Several major players such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Intel decided to withdraw from an in-person presence at CES over safety concerns, shifting to a completely virtual participation. Even companies like LG, which normally uses CES as a marketing pice de rsistance, have unsurprisingly decided to scrap their usual hands-on ensemble of OLED and LCD displays for deserted kiosks and QR codes.
Its not just major brands that decided to upend their Las Vegas vacation. Only about 2,200 exhibitors are earmarked to attend this years show, compared to the 4,400 that attended in January 2020. The pressure to end the event was so great that Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, tried his best to address the exodus in his opening keynote address Wednesday morning: With all the upheaval in the past several weeks, [this years CES] may be a bit messy.
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, delivers a keynote address at CES 2022.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
A bit messy is putting it nicely. This years CES was an exercise in good ideas executed poorly. There was Canons TogetherNEXT press conference, which showcased its innovative (albeit extremely laggy) AMLOS motion gesture technology which promised to deliver seamless gesture controls for video conferencing. Or look at CESs failed compromise at networking and social distancing: an la carte sticker engagement system, which assigned colors to patrons depending on their interaction preferences. Attendees could choose between stickers that indicated preferences for handshakes, fist bumps, or wavesscience be damned.
As I sat down in a half-empty ballroom and watched Shapiro awkwardly interact with a digital avatar of General Motors CEO Mary Barra, I couldnt help but feel like the entire event was strung together at the last minute. Here I am at CES, an event thats supposed to showcase the bleeding edge of consumer technology, and the host cant even manage to get the WiFi connection to run smoothly. Even companies like Sony, which wowed the world in 2020 with their Vision S electric vehicle, limped into CES 2022 with a different version of the same products we saw two years ago.
Despite the overall lack of crowds, electricity, and marquee vendors that attendees come to see, reviews on the ground were surprisingly positive. It was as if the pandemic had self-selected a crop of fearless (if naively optimistic) attendees. When I asked about his experience at the event, Julian Sanchez, director of emerging technologies at John Deere, told me: Last year what I missed out on was seeing what other people were doing. The digital medium is really nice but it provides a very linear pipeline of information. You see when Im here, not only am I going to be here all week at the booth, but Im going to sneak away and check stuff out. And I hate to say it, but when it was virtual I didnt sneak away and go check out another website. I just didnt.
Sanchezs comments make sense. At the end of the day, CES is a trade show where the top brass of the tech world congregate in the hopes of networking and making meaningful connections. With that being said, it might come as a surprise that the company that showed up in the most numbers was Samsung, the brand that hangs its hat on VR Headsets and augmented reality. Despite lauding the merits of remote connective technologies, even companies like Samsung understand that no screen can replace the bonds made through human interaction.
The LG company booth at CES 2022.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
This social interaction was what patrons like Jeremiah Winfrey, co-founder of NXT Level Smart Home, had waited nearly two years for.
As humans, we like to congregate and I think that its much easier to do that in person. The energy is definitely different. Obviously, in these past two years, there was a necessity for virtual meetings in corporate America. But I think that having this event go on in-person will bring back some of that interaction that we lost over that pandemic. I think after this event were going to see companies come back bigger and better.
Looking back at CES its tough to decide whether or not the event was actually a success. In some ways it wasthe bowing-out of the large companies gave room for the little guys to shine. This years event brought with it record-setting delegations from countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, and South Korea. Unlike their more established counterparts, these startups brought forth innovations in transportation, health, and display technologies. If the pandemic never happened, Im willing to bet that the spotlight would have missed these small companies.
Although I can attest that this years CES left much to be desired, I would be remiss to leave out that this event almost never happened. Sure, the stands were empty and the halls were thinner than usual, but those who did come on came on blind faith, not knowing whether the event would be canceled the next day. If there is anything to take away from CES 2022 its the fact that despite all the obstacles thrown its way, CES survivedor at the very least, proved it wasnt dead. Although it may not have been a success on paper, the show still went on.
Go here to read the rest:
CES Is Back in Las Vegas for 2022, and It Is a Zombie Version of Its Former Self - Daily Beast
- Unhuman Official Trailer: Zombies Bring The Breakfast Club Formula Back From The Dead On June 3 - The Illuminerdi - May 17th, 2022
- Erie County Clerk says he is addressing tax zombie properties - WGRZ.com - May 17th, 2022
- The zombie economics of inflation and unemployment - The Hill - May 17th, 2022
- Tax & Spend: The zombie companies are finally expiring - The Globe and Mail - May 17th, 2022
- Sense of dj vu with Stormont as 'zombie' Executive continues - The Irish Times - May 17th, 2022
- Best Guns for Zombies Cold War: Best Weapons 2022 - Turkish Weekly - Journal of Turkish Weekly - May 17th, 2022
- Myanmar and the Zombie Five-Point Consensus - Foreign Policy - May 17th, 2022
- "The zombie ship": where it is and why it could unleash an environmental catastrophe - Zyri - May 17th, 2022
- Terrifying 'zombie worms' that eat bones by boring into them to get at nutrients - The Mirror - May 17th, 2022
- SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring 'Bugsnax' and 'Zombie Army 4', Plus the Latest Releases and Sales TouchArcade - Touch Arcade - May 4th, 2022
- 'Zombie Survival RPG' Decision: Red Daze rises from the grave on May 19 to PC - RPG Site - May 4th, 2022
- Ireland needs to tackle 'zombie' companies, says leading law firm - The Irish Times - May 4th, 2022
- 'Zombie TV': The disintegration of Russia's free press - DW (English) - May 4th, 2022
- Stark: Weird and Wild, The Rays, Red Sox zombie apocalypse edition - The Athletic - May 4th, 2022
- Vincenzo star Ok Taecyeon in talks to lead webtoon based zombie drama Taereung Zombie Village - PINKVILLA - May 4th, 2022
- Zombies: why they matter in the philosophy of mind - TheArticle - May 4th, 2022
- Pax East 2022 Interview: Paul Cousins of Dead Fury - The Workprint - May 4th, 2022
- This Cult '80s Horror Put Brains On The Menu For Zombie Flicks - /Film - May 4th, 2022
- Will There Ever Be A Warm Bodies 2? - Looper - May 4th, 2022
- Nottinghamshire Police issue warning as zombie and adapted knives seized in Radford warrant - Nottinghamshire Live - May 4th, 2022
- 'Isle Of The Dead' Adds New Cast Member To Zombie Series - Horror News Network - May 4th, 2022
- Bugsnax, Zombie Army 4, Nintendo Switch Sports, The Stanley Parable, and Layer Section S-Tribute hit the Switch - Games Asylum - May 4th, 2022
- Idaho mom charged with killing her 2 children in zombie case appears in court - OregonLive - April 21st, 2022
- STATIC-X Announces Headlining Shows Around ROB ZOMBIE Tour - Metal Injection - April 21st, 2022
- [Review] You Have Less Than A Minute To Survive in Zombie Outbreak Thriller VIRUS :32 - Nightmare on Film Street - April 21st, 2022
- Bull Skit Comedy players are excited to bring Zombie Tag and other events to Red Deer audiences - Red Deer Advocate - April 21st, 2022
- 'Out of control': Sinking coal industry swamps Kentucky with 'zombie' mine violations - Courier Journal - April 21st, 2022
- 'Zombie properties' abandoned homes can be reported with a new tool in Monroe County & Rochester - WXXI News - April 21st, 2022
- Google Wallet is the Zombie of Easter We Can All Celebrate - Droid Life - April 21st, 2022
- Nature's "zombies": the disturbing science of neuroparasitology - Big Think - April 21st, 2022
- Explained: The 'zombie disease' epidemic that is killing deer in Canada - CNBCTV18 - April 8th, 2022
- UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie odds, predictions: MMA insider shares surprising fight card picks - CBS Sports - April 8th, 2022
- JK Rowling and the curse of the zombie author - The Real News Network - April 8th, 2022
- Unplugged is getting songs from Slayer, Rob Zombie and more in a new DLC pack - Android Central - April 8th, 2022
- Korean Zombie has the power to hurt Alexander Volkanovski, will KO him within two rounds says coach - BJPENN.COM - April 8th, 2022
- The House Of The Dead: Remake review - the original zombie shooter - Metro.co.uk - April 8th, 2022
- Granger Cherry Fest...Food, Fun and...A Zombie Camel? What The... - newstalkkit.com - April 8th, 2022
- Ten Zombie Comedies That Won't Rot Your Brain - tor.com - January 9th, 2022
- A big zombie blockbuster is among the movies on TV tonight - JOE.ie - January 9th, 2022
- Why its grim, but unsurprising, that the U.S. Capitol attack looked like it was out of a 'zombie movie' - The Conversation CA - January 9th, 2022
- Spyker brand set to return in 2022 like a zombie - CNET - January 9th, 2022
- How the CDC would act in a zombie outbreak - Boing Boing - January 9th, 2022
- 'Project Zomboid': Healing And First-Aid Guide - International Business Times - January 9th, 2022
- This B-Movie-Inspired Action-RPG Looks Like An Anime Fan's Fever Dream - Kotaku - January 9th, 2022
- Middletown Mayor Tony Perry takes office for fourth consecutive year - Asbury Park Press - January 9th, 2022
- Best Zombie Games To Play In 2022 - Tech News Today - December 27th, 2021
- Living with COVID doesnt mean being a zoomed-out zombie - Sydney Morning Herald - December 27th, 2021
- Rob Zombie, Mastodon and Mudvayne are the metal pirates of the Caribbean on the Voragos cruise - Louder - December 27th, 2021
- 'Difficult for zombies to survive in South Korea': Park Hyung-sik on what if outbreak in his K-drama Happiness occurs in real life - AsiaOne - December 27th, 2021
- Sherdogs 2021 Walkout Song of the Year - Sherdog.com - December 27th, 2021
- Every Evil Doctor Strange Marvel Has Already Introduced Before Multiverse Of Madness - FandomWire - December 27th, 2021
- What to watch on TV this Christmas Day - from Strictly to the zombie Christmas movie - Essex Live - December 27th, 2021
- Zombie Army 4: Dead War Update 1.45 Patch Notes - Attack of the Fanboy - December 14th, 2021
- The World's Coldest Inhabited Place Is Burning Because of ... - December 14th, 2021
- Rhik Samadder tries fencing: Now Im ready for the zombie apocalypse - The Guardian - December 14th, 2021
- There's An IRL Zombie Apocalypse You Can Try To Survive In Vancouver & It's Legit Scary - Narcity Canada - December 14th, 2021
- Remember When the Tri-City Americans Were on 'Z Nation', a Popular Zombie Show? - newstalk870.am - December 14th, 2021
- This Mashup of ROB ZOMBIE & The Succession Theme Is Basically Perfect - Metal Injection - December 14th, 2021
- Pennsylvania, RGGI, and the Case of the Zombie Resolution - NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) - December 14th, 2021
- Covid supports have not created 'zombie' firms - report - RTE.ie - December 14th, 2021
- Recap: Day of the Dead Episode 9 turns everyone into a detective and a suspect - SYFY WIRE - December 14th, 2021
- The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers might be the NFLs zombie squad - Behind the Steel Curtain - December 14th, 2021
- UFC 269 video: Embedded, part 5 - Hes the Brazilian Zombie - Bloody Elbow - December 14th, 2021
- How TV and movie zombies have evolved from the mindless undead to superhuman killing machines - Yahoo News - November 29th, 2021
- Zombie properties a growing problem in Capital Region The Daily Gazette - The Daily Gazette - November 29th, 2021
- Yeon Sang-ho Talks Season 2 of 'Hellbound' and Third Zombie Movie - - The Nerd Stash - November 29th, 2021
- Hellbound Creator Yeon Sang-ho Details Season 2 Plans, Teases Third Zombie Movie in World of Train to Busan - Variety - November 29th, 2021
- Recap: Weddings, funerals, and sexy time: Day of the Dead Ep. 7 gets at what it means to be a human (and not a zombie) - SYFY WIRE - November 29th, 2021
- BSU professor presents on zombies and colonialism as part of Native American Heritage Month events - Bemidji Pioneer - November 29th, 2021
- America's Favorite Zombie Officer Returns on 4K with Blue Underground's Maniac Cop II and III - Critical Blast - November 29th, 2021
- Warnings of orphan and zombie wells spark debate on bonding by oil, gas companies - The Denver Post - November 29th, 2021
- Zombie river? London's Thames, once biologically dead, has been coming back to life - NPR - November 13th, 2021
- Zombies to the rescue: The arcane voting rule that could save Dems antitrust agenda - POLITICO - November 13th, 2021
- Rob Zombie Confirms The Munsters Officially Shooting, Offers Tease of Logo - ComicBook.com - November 13th, 2021
- LUCE: The zombie issues of legacy preference - Yale Daily News - November 13th, 2021
- RUPCO seeks to rehabilitate and sell 10 zombie properties in Kingston - The Daily Freeman - November 13th, 2021
- Stream Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Code Orange and more from Welcome To Rockville this weekend Kerrang! - Kerrang! - November 13th, 2021
- Joivan Wade Talks About Doom Patrol's Cyborg, Being A Zombie, And His Doctor Who Inspiration - Exclusive Interview - Looper - November 13th, 2021
- Zombie skydivers, zombie drag queens, food and more planned for Halloween Zombie Bike Ride - The Aggie - The Aggie - October 9th, 2021
- Rob Jabbaz Brings THE SADNESS To The Zombie Apocalypse - FANGORIA - October 9th, 2021
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero