In the Gibson guitar exhibit at International CES 2014, I received a “free” (to the press) set of wireless headphones. Inside the box was a long ad from the folks at Onkyo Corporation who made the headphones. Thank you, Onkyo, the wireless headphones paired with my smart phone work quite well. However, judging from the number of headphones on display at last week’s International CES, my give-away product probably could have been much fancier and far more expensive. How many high-quality headphones do most families own?!
Truth be told, headphones and calm music would have been a pleasure as one toured the exhibit halls of International CES 2014. As in past years, the halls were LOUD. Crowd noise mixed with pitch people, recorded narrations, music, TV audio and exhibitors demonstrating the power of bigger and better (or smaller and better) sound systems can be deafening. Little relief is found in typical trade show activities such as costumed characters, showgirls, basketball hoops or ping pong tables. CES, representing the $208 billion consumer electronics industry, is serious all the way.
On the other hand, looking around, the items on display were fascinating….and the noise was just a necessary aggravation. I present the attached video as just a “taste” of CES 2014…as seen by this non-techy. I visited one pre-show event and made two short visits to the Las Vegas Convention Center exhibits. Additional exhibits that I missed were available at LVH.
Lots of TVs in lots of sizes were part of the CES attraction. The films made to show off 3-D and ultra high definition were spectacular in color and precision. A number of cars were on display as well. I didn’t bother to look inside the cars and learn about their fancy electronics, but the cars themselves seemed to automatically draw crowds.
Long lines were everywhere –for food, buses and taxis and special demonstrations within CES. Even a men’s bathroom in the north hall had a regular line out the door into the hallway.
A lineup of celebrities attended the show, but sadly, I didn’t recognize most of the names, though I certainly would have recogized Shaquille O’Neal who appeared on behalf of Monster speakers.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), owner and producer of International CES, continued its tradition to award local organizations with funds for sustainability projects. This year, CEA is donating funds to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, DesertSol solar house and to the Springs Preserve. CEA also incorporated sustainable practices including the use of recyclable carpet and exhibit materials.
Events in connection with CES were everywhere — from informal after-hours cocktail parties, award events, suites available with an invitation, large parties at local nightclubs and business dinners at local restaurants. The official CES closing party was held at TAO Nightclub at the Venetian. The local papers said that the weather prevented some folks from coming to CES, but the hallways were full.
Lots of people who manned the 3200 exhibits at CES are probably right now giving a big sigh of relief.