Last week EAST sent Mr. Jerry Prince to Las Vegas to explore the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Recently, you might have read or seen news stories on CES where all of the big “next” things are introduced. Jerry got to see the future…and the present.
I have heard of CES (Consumer Electronic Show) for years. For those somewhat familiar, this event showcases some of the latest consumer gadgets in hopes that visiting buyers will take a liking and make some deals.
And now I have experienced CES first-hand. Wow! My purpose was to track down some new technology that might be good for the EASTdom. I registered many months back giving me ample opportunity to plan and create some logistical strategy. After spending countless hours of staring at exhibit hall layouts and schedules, it was show time!
When I arrived I thought best to survey the exhibit hall prior to opening to get my feel of the land and how to navigate – sort of like staring at the monster while he sleeps. This event is rather difficult to comprehend. Several convention centers give over two-million square feet of exhibit space. (For perspective the average size of a Walmart shopping center is just over 100,000 square feet – so imagine 20 Walmart buildings.)
There were over 3,000 vendors visited by over 150,000 attendees representing more than 140 countries. What did I see? Cell phones, tablets, computers (only very few though), cases, chargers, cables, massage chairs, fitness devices, sensors, watches and other wearables, robots large and small, a belt that automatically adjust, a clothes de-wrinkler and freshener, headphones and earbuds, kitchens, washing machines, drones, cameras, cell phone cases followed by more cell phone cases, Bluetooth gadgetry like portable speakers, virtual and augmented reality (get an appointment to get hands on), 3D printers (including one that printed food – kind of), scooters and Segway-like contraptions, video game systems, batteries, home security and monitoring, concept vehicles, apps, car stereos that really go boom!, switches, wireless everything, monster TV’s, and the list goes on and on and on.
“Overwhelming” would best fit my experience at CES. First is the extent some go in order to show off their gadgets. The amount of time, money and energy that some put toward booth space and design was yes, overwhelming. The sheer volume was overwhelming too, both noise level and amount of technology. For instance, interested in 3D printers? There were more booths than I could count. One could have spent an entire day just learning about the 3D printers on the market.
The amount of visual stimulation was also a plenty. I had to take a mental break at least twice a day from mental fatigue. And of a similar note was the physical component of walking 10-14 miles per day in the halls.
Something overwhelming that I did not prepare for was perhaps the biggest take-away of all. The American Dream is alive and well. And there is a long line of those with hope. While some companies were bragging, others were just trying to get a nibble. I was overwhelmed again in being reminded of just how fortunate I was to experience CES first hand. And fortunate to have opportunity to already have experienced much of what was presented at CES 2015. Wow indeed!
We’re lucky to have Jerry on staff because he’s brave enough to tackle projects like CES. His reconnaissance mission last week will pay dividends as we configure our new EAST classrooms.
Until next time…I’m Matt, and that’s that!