Why Is CES Such A Bunch Of Balls?

Posted by on January 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm


The Consumer Electronics Show…It’s been around for a long time. First held in 1967, it has been the show of shows for introducing new concepts and visions in consumer electronics, since its inception.

Introducing new products like the VCR (in 1970) and the DVD (in 1996), lots of cool new stuff has come out of CES. Unfortunately, a lot of really boring stuff has come out of there, as well.

If we look back at the history of CES and what major types of products have been announced there, we can easily get the feeling that the show is a utopia of gadgety goodness, that the people who attend are amazed and astounded by revelation after introduction after sneak peek and in some limited cases, that is correct.

Unfortunately, it seems that CES has been boiled down to showing off basically all the same crap over the last few years. What crap am I talking about?

Smart phones, tablets and televisions.

Yep…CES has become a revolving door of crap. Crap in, crap out. Gone seem to be the days of major new types of products or things which amaze and astound and in their place seem to be the days of “This TV has moar pixels!” and “This phone has moar cores” and “This tablet has USB 3.0 OMGZ0RZ!!”.

Let’s take a look at some of the things which have come out of CES in past years:

Videocassette recorder (VCR), 1970
Laserdisc Player, 1974
Camcorder, 1981
Compact Disc (CD) player, 1981
Digital Audio Technology, 1990
Compact Disc Interactive, 1991
Mini Disc, 1993
Radio Data System, 1993
Digital Satellite System, 1994
Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), 1996
HDTV, 1998
Hard-disc VCR (PVR), 1999
Digital Audio Radio (DAR), 2000
Microsoft Xbox, 2001
Plasma TV, 2001
Home Media Server, 2002
HD Radio, 2003
Blu-Ray DVD, 2003
HDTV PVR, 2003
HD Radio, 2004
IP TV, 2005
OLED TV, 2008
3D HDTV, 2009
Tablets, Netbooks and Android Devices, 2010
Connected TV, Smart Appliances, 2011

Notice that Televisions never had a major place at CES until around 1998, with the announcement of HDTV…so for 30 years, TV wasn’t bit there. Then, in the last 14 years we suddenly get hit with not 1, not 2, not 3, not even 4 but 7 years in which TV or TV related products are major announcements. And now that Smart phones are becoming all the rage, we seem to be getting hit with more and more crap about phones. New operating systems, more memory, faster processors, more cores, faster data rates…


I want to see something NEW and EXCITING come out of CES again. Sure, sure, the self driving car was demoed this year but even that’s a bunch of crap. Yeah, it drives itself but it needs to be guided by lasers and moves slightly slower than a dead snail on a broken conveyor belt.

Get back to me when the car flies, TV’s are doing holograms and the smart phone gives me a blowie when I need one.

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