If you've read my overviews before you know that I usually go to a trade show not so much to see a particular product but to get a feel for the trends. This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was no exception. I have a lot of pictures and a many thoughts about the show this time, so it looks like it will take 3 parts to get through everything and still keep it in readable bites.
First of all a couple of thoughts about Vegas itself. You can usually tell how the city is doing by watching the billboards on your way into the city. When times were good, Vegas casinos were advertising as far away as Baker (about 100 miles out of town down Route 15), and when times were bad like last year, there were as many empty billboards as there were ones that were occupied. This year I saw just a single empty billboard on the way in. Either the city is doing better, or the billboard company is pretty much giving the space away. Regardless, it made Vegas feel a little more prosperous this time around.
The CES show had a much larger crowd than last year and the general feeling was that things were looking up a bit. Where last year there was panic, this year there was hope.
Left is a picture of the Samsung booth.
Television trends besides 3D and 1080p? Most of the newer models we comprised of LED's, not LCD's, and certainly not plasma (which is relegated to sets beyond 65 inches now). Connectivity? Many sets now come network-ready for connection to Skype, Hulu and other social media video networks (more about this on my Music 3.0 blog). How about ultra-thin? Many TV monitors are now so thin that you have to worry about some serious damage should they ever fall. Some look downright dainty in their thinness. And a serious problem is still the cabling, which takes up far more space than television itself now. Until that becomes almost invisible, no one will ever be able to take real advantage of the slim proportions.
Yet another trend was all electronic things "green" and "sustainable", with an entire section of the floor dedicated to devices that had something to do with either of those catch-words. But every major manufacturer also put on their "green" marketing jackets, and after a while it was easy to not pay attention any more.
Much more tomorrow in Part 2.