Last week in Las Vegas, CES showcased, as always, a veritable garden of earthly delights. Artificial Intelligence and Alexa were everywhere. Autonomous cars zoomed around parking lots. 3D printers pumped out gadgets of every kind. Oceans of high-def TVs dazzled spectators with delightful images. Robots cleaned, virtual reality transported viewers to unimagined places, smart luggage trailed after its owners, and drones buzzed incessantly. But the real takeaway for some attendees this year wasn’t the whiz-bang of technology, it was something altogether different.
In a recent article in The Guardian, Olivia Solon points to the failure of CES 2018, lamenting that, despite all of the cool gadgets and devices, the show felt empty and without purpose.
“The annual tech trade show seems less about real innovation breakthroughs solving unmet needs and more about incrementally improved nice-to-haves for the 1%,” said Solon. “Given the other scandals that rocked the [technology] industry in 2017, including sexual harassment, poor factory working conditions and exploding batteries, and mounting evidence that people should spend less time glued to their devices, one might have hoped for a more cautious or conscientious display of mass consumerism. Here’s hoping for 2019.”