C You Soon
Well, it's that time of year -- CES is upon us. I'm off to the Consumer Electronics Show today, driving to Las Vegas. I left early for two reasons. The first is "early" by the clock -- the Chicago Bears have their game in the playoffs today at 1:30, and I want to get to my hotel in time to watch. I should be there by now, and hopefully the Bears did well. And then I head off again because of the second reason for being there early.
This second "early" is by the calendar. There have always been two evening events I enjoy going to: Pepcom's Digital Experience and ShowStoppers. These are where an organization takes over a huge ballroom, gets about 100-150 vendors to show up and invite the press to attend. Plus a buffet. Can't forget that. (Both shows are very good, and it just depends on which has better vendors that year -- but ShowStoppers always has a FAR superior buffet...) There's a third show that I've never gone to, called CES Unveiled. It's very similar to the other two and run by CEA which puts on the Consumer Electronics Show -- and I've always been interested in going, but it starts two days before CES begins, so I've always passed. This year I decided, what the heck, and RSVP'd. And that's tonight. So, we'll see.
Anyway, I don't know if I'll have access to Internet access later in the day, so this may be the last not for the day. But if I do get online and am not exhausted, then I'll pop in.
As for the rest of the week, I'll post here about the ongoings of the show. I'll be pretty much out of touch with news and politics, so probably not so much on that. And the timing of things will be random, when I can get to the press room and off the show floor and gotten my work out of the way.
I do have a pretty good sense what the big themes will be for the show this year already though. That's because my Inbox has been inundated with two particular technologies. And subsequent tech articles have largely confirmed this. Both are related to one another, though one will surprise you. The first is artificial intelligence (the sort of thing that used predominately in Smart homes, but also elsewhere). The other is -- robots. Yes, robots. Go figure. To be clear, just because these will have a particularly big presence at CES doesn't mean they'll be making their way into the consumer world with as much prominence. I don't consumers are ready yet for robots, but I do suspect they're part of the future. And artificial intelligence has been developing strongly over the past few years.
Another area of interest this year will surprisingly be mobile phones. That's because of two advances -- one huge, the other could be but is still wait-and-see. That's a development from Samsung for foldable screens. I've seen it demonstrated in the past as a sort of beta to come, but now it's going to market. What this does is allow your small phone screen to double in size, without increasing the size of the phone. The other advance is something I've written about in the past -- 5G connectivity. This is a massive development, and it's now here with a couple of service providers. Verizon and AT&T, though very limited in very few cities. But this is a major, massive change from the 4G broadband you have now, not an incremental one. The short version -- it's like the different between sending a message from New York to Los Angeles by train...and using email. More on this later, but here's a fairly detailed article I wrote about it from the IFA tech show in Lisbon in April, 2017.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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