CES has jumped the shark

9 Jan

Robert at Infoworld is absolutely right about CES.  There wasn’t anything that was truly exciting and new.  There was incremental improvement in fidelity, size, speed and usability in many new devices but gone are the revolutionary days of the late 90’s where everything was new and potentially disruptive.

Maybe I’m getting old (ok, that’s a given — I am getting old) but there’s something decidedly yawnish about this year’s CES. Having assumed the mantle of The Big Show from Comdex at the turn of the millennium, CES is still an anarchic sprawling mess, but attendance seems a little down from last year’s 140K. The cab and bus lines aren’t as long. Attendees are leaving town faster. Vendors are grumbling about being gouged by the Vegas tourism Mafia.

Worse, there’s little new to report. Flatter flat screens, fatter wireless connections, and now you can send YouTube videos directly to your TV, isn’t that special? When the most exciting news is the absence of something — the possible extinction of the HD-DVD format — something is clearly amiss.

In speaking with cabbies the word was that attendance was down to sub 140k numbers and the thousand dollar a night hotel rooms were still vacant. 

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