Seven Quotes From CES 2014

Samsung ultra-HD TVs at CES

I’ve thought of attending the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the past several years. Once more “CES” has come and gone. In an effort to understand the latest, greatest gadgets that manufacturers will hope lure us into spending our money, I’ve read a variety of articles.

Since you probably didn’t go to CES 2014, Herewith I offer you the benefit of my research in the hopes that you won’t feel as though you missed out on anything really, really big.

First off: a great graphic of social media coverage can be found here. Stats and insights…light reading.

Alright, the quotes:

1. Innovation…not: Natasha Dow Schüll, an associate professor in the science, technology and society program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…was…skeptical about finding real innovation in Vegas, saying,

“A lot of CES is complete nonsense. It’s like a high tech SkyMall. There is this overuse of the word — innovation, innovation, innovation.”

2. Wearable technology: About the expected trend of wearable devices (like the Samsung wristwatch which only works when withing a certain distance of the companion phone) J. P. Gownder, a technology analyst for Forrester Research suggested,

“Nine out of 10 of these wearables are going to fail.”

3. Curved TV: Not everything it is cracked up to be (pun not intended). Geoffrey Morrison, a writer for CNET, admitted that, in general, most people do not get a better viewing experience with curved televisions.

“In order to get the “more immersive” benefits, you have to be sitting at a very exact point, not only in terms of distance but in height as well…”

4. Ultra High Def TV:

“The only question is how affordable the UHD TVs are going to be; and as technology advances, the prices will drop. So I think it’s very highly likely that consumers will choose UHD TVs, and I think this will happen faster than anticipated.”

5. Mobile: Cell phone carriers aren’t new to the technology game, and T-Mobile CEO John Legere indicted those “other guys” (and did so in his typically provocative style)

What a stupid, broken, arrogant industry.

6. Television video enhancements: Roland Vlaicu, Senior Director, Broadcast Imaging, Dolby Laboratories, offered perhaps one of the more sophisticated assessments of a new technology his company is offering,

“The creative community is thrilled to have an expanded color palette and the added contrast so that viewers can see details that might have previously gone unnoticed,” “Meanwhile, TV manufacturers can offer consumers a dramatically improved video experience, regardless of screen size or viewing distance.”

7. Finally, a most ironic quote comes from Michael Bay, a film producer who was hawking the benefits of curved screen televisions. Working off a rather old technology, his teleprompter failed. When his script vaporized he was unable to sound very convincing about the technology:

Yeah. We’ll wing it right now. Um…I take…I try to take people on an emotional ride and, um…(awkward pause and shuffling and looking at the teleprompter and hoping against hope that it offers some way out of this interview) Excuse me, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. (leaves the stage unexpectedly)

Some poetic justice there – in so many ways, given Mr. Bay’s “Transformers” movies. I feel for him on this public speaking embarrassment. Perhaps Mr. Bay could have tossed out the word, “innovation,” in hopes that it would seem he really knew what he was talking about?

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