Wednesday, January 05, 2011

CES Is Here, Best Place To See It: At Home On Your Laptop

This year, once again, I'm headed to the much-vaunted Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  I'm going to see clients and chat with colleagues.  I'll also be doing some walking around.  It's nice to get a sense of the power and strength of the industry and the general trend of innovation.

Truth be told, however, you can actually see more of CES from your web browser than you can from walking the show halls.  Thanks to blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo, you get better visibility and more data on new product launches, so I highly recommend that.  You'll also get your questions answered online much faster than anywhere else, thanks to multiple viewpoints and coverage.  I've found that most booth staff are blissfully unaware of the details of their new products.

What you can't get online is a visceral sense of the industry's direction.  The square footage dedicated to iPad covers and cases alone will say  a lot about what the industry thinks is going to happen.  The other thing that's great to see is all the knock-offs.  The booths that feature vendors from China and Taiwan are a powerful reminder of how sophisticated local producers are becoming - the spec sheets of their tablets this year will, no doubt, be very impressive.

And, of course, you can't get that Las Vegas atmosphere on your PC at home.  Many consider that a good thing, however.

When navigating the crowd, throw your shoulder into the shoving.  Photo from Betsy Weber

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