Originally published on the Wildfire blog — JAN 11, 2013
Today CES 2013, the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, officially closes its doors for another year.
By Wednesday, a lot of the tech press had already decided the show was past its prime. In fact, many journalists seemed to have already decided that before the show even started.
Even European tech tabloid, The Kernel, pitched in with their cutting commentary and ‘in-depth’ analysis, which might well be informed by the fact that, apparently, nobody paid for them to go.
Absent, but not forgotten
It’s true Microsoft and Apple were, for the most part, notably absent from the show. Of course, you could argue that the only reason Microsoft and Apple don’t see the importance of attending is because somehow they can convince the press to come to their own events.
What’s even wilder is that, even though Apple hasn’t attended since 1992, there’s still a whole hall dedicated to Apple accessories.
For others though, CES is still a crucial event in the world of consumer tech. The exhibition gives companies, especially those not based in the US, a great platform to showcase their products and perhaps break into one of the biggest electronics markets in the world.
“It’s not just that CES isn’t dead yet. It’s where anyone who seriously covers the whole gamut of technology needs to go to find out what will form the foundations of what’s next.” — Matt Warman, The Telegraph
Show us what you’ve got
It has been observed (and complained about) that CES is, effectively, a hardware show; that too much focus is placed on the newest gadgets, underplaying the opportunity to expose useful new platforms and programs.
The thing about hardware is that it’s palpable, shiny and makes for much better photographs. Perhaps most importantly, without all of this hardware we wouldn’t have any software anyway.
To me it simply seems software companies aren’t going to reap as much benefit from an actual, physical show as the hardware guys.
A software company is essentially paying a lot of money to allow people to click links and buttons on a screen; something that could be done remotely or, at the very least, at a less software focused expensive event.
And let’s be honest, for company reps, PRs, journalists and consumers alike, CES is all about hitting Vegas, meeting up with other techies, geeking out over new gadgets and drinking until the early hours.
What’s not to like?