Booth babes, tote bags, and the future: typical day at CES

Ready, set, go!

It is the big day. The Consumer Electronics Show opens with over 3,000 vendors and more than 150,000 attendees. I was ready, arrived at the opening, with my trusty backpack, layered clothing, comfortable walking shoes and my pedometer to track how much I walked.
Just to recap, I sort of retired last year, but am still doing a lot of stuff (founding president of the CIO Association of Canada, CEO and Chair of Canadian Women in Technology,  Executive In Residence at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver). I decided to attend, as part of the press, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, something I wanted to do before but never got around to it. The show presents new technologies, many of them are prototypes and may not make it to the market but it gives a great idea of what the future trends are.
My blogs are meant to cover some of the stuff the big newspapers are not, so I won’t describe the Samsung 85″ ultra HDTV (who has a wall that big, anyway?). But I will mention that Samsung  had the biggest booth with the most new devices and while an 85″ TV may impress people, what I found interesting is having 10 regular size TVs that were set up, gliding back and forth, moving  up and down on tracks, was cool. It must have taken Samsung a while to set that up.
There were rows and rows of booths with tablets and smartphone cases, diamond studded, dual layer (gel inside, hard case outside), cases that waterproof your device, act as shock absorber if you drop it, cases that increase the sound volume of your device, a cover that’s touch sensitive in the back of the case so you don’t cover the graphics as you move your finger.
And then there is the war of the bags. Lots of vendors give out bags with marketing material and the competition is on to make theirs stand out the most. There were pink bags, yellow bags and all colours of the rainbow.
There is some innovative marketing by the vendors. Nikon had professional dancers and set up about a dozen different cameras around the dance floor so that the attendees can test out each camera.
Another booth demoing powerful speakers, had go-go dancers dancing to the sound. The most unusual booth was showing a wireless 2 TB hard drive for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices by drawing in the attendees to the booth with four good-looking young ladies with minimal (if any) clothes on and their body painted. They were standing motionless, just blinking every now and then. It certainly drew in the attendees, whether they remember the young ladies or the device being marketed is questionable.
I mentioned yesterday the “connected” fork that vibrated if you ate too fast. Today I saw an LG  dishwasher that was controlled remotely with an iPhone. The theme of the show seems to be integration of appliances, reducing the number of remote control devices through the use of a tablet or smartphone. Integrating everything to tablets and smartphones.
It’s now evening here and i chose not to go to the party that started at 10:00 PM. I’m pooped! Even though I walked 5.8 km and close to 15,000 steps, I think I covered less than a quarter of the booths, it would take a month to see them all.
Catherine Aczel Boivie
Catherine Aczel Boivie
Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie is a widely respected executive with over 30 years of experience in the leadership of advancing the value of information technology as a business and education enabler. Prior executive roles includes: CEO Inventure Solutions and Senior Vice President of Information Technology/Facility Management for Vancity Credit Union; SVP of IT and Chief Information Officer at Pacific Blue Cross and Canadian Automobile Association of British Columbia. Catherine is also an experienced board member serving on several boards, including those of Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, Canada Foundation for Innovation and MedicAlert Canada. Dr. Boivie is the founding Chair and President of the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Association of Canada that has over 400 Chief Information Officers as members across Canada. She has been publicly recognized for her contributions, including being named as one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network in the "Trailblazers and Trendsetters" category and the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for being a "catalyst for technology transformation".

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