The first moments of CES blend Vegas' superficial glamor with the anxiety of knowing busy days lie ahead -- an anxiety heightened by cellular networks choked half-dead by the concentration of reporters, bloggers and techfolk.
Three things happen in Vegas during CES week and, by the end of it, you're only too happy to leave them there.
First, there is queueing. Queueing for the official lanyard that allows access to the events. Queueing for the keynote speeches. Queueing for taxis and buses, to shuttle you from hotel to show floor to private PR shmoozing in furry-walled temporary offices and suites. Queueing for the vile ichor served as coffee in the convention center's vast and crowded lobby.
Then, there is walking. You could say the city's majesty (casinos notwithstanding!) is revealed not in the fiberglass statues and epic shows but the maze of hallways and corridors linking everything to everything. The beige carpet beneath one's feet is matched in its sinister inoffensiveness by the relentless light jazz
playing overhead, spiteful in its ubiquity. One year, I wandered somewhere the light jazz did not play: instantly, I knew I was lost, somewhere I should not be.
Finally, there are the toys! This year promises a few things of interest
and we'll be checking them out in the coming days, between the queueing and walking. This is the part you're interested in, and the part we shall endeavor to serve with blurry incandescent-orange cellphone photos and half-baked opinions on 7000 nearly-identical Android tablets.
Last year, CES attracted about 110,000 people, and that was deemed an off year. It's not really clear if things will be 'better' this time around, though the industry expects so and there's always something interesting to report when this many people gather in one place, for one purpose. Failing all else, there will be show-offs in silly costumes, slick marketing folk fluffing their lines, and the warm glowing hope that epic drama will occur
as boredom, fatigue and frustration takes over the pack.
If you've gotten this far, you'll enjoy two more pre-CES thoughts from two you know well: Gizmodo's Joel Johnson explains Why you should and shouldn't care about CES
and Gearfuse's John Brownlee explains Why CES is Hell
It's not all that bad, really. And if there's anything in particular you want covered here, fire away in the comments.
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