LAS VEGAS – Thousands of people arrive in Nevada in the first weeks of January for the biggest annual technology show in the world – and this year, I was one of them.
I had not yet returned to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – or Las Vegas, since 2012, which was the last time I was sent to hire the tech show.
Seven years is a very long time in the world of technology. Think only of the smartphones produced seven years ago: we were on iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3.
So I expected the 2019 show to be different. Better. More interesting.
Perhaps, I would see technology that has dealt with issues that have become more important in the last decade, such as climate change.
It did not really happen.
What I saw in 201
2, I saw it in 2019
At CES 2012, the 8K screens were the star of the show. In 2019, 8K screens are still the star – even though more companies are doing them like never before.
Electric cars and concept cars were also hit in 2012. It's the same deal as in 2019.  In 2012 I took dozens of photos of smartphone accessories, robots that can clean your home and keep you company, and smart appliances that talk to each other. In 2019, I felt I was seeing all the same things again, including Roomba's knock-offs, smart refrigerators and washing machines, and smart home monitoring equipment.
Read: The best smart-home device we saw at CES 2019
And, of course, I saw dozens of dozens of people snoozing on the showroom floor. Many of them have aligned the corridor leading to the media rooms, but most of them have opened one of the hundreds of massage chairs displayed at CES. It was like my last trip.
Some things are definitely better
For what it's worth, the Consumer Electronics Show has definitely improved in some areas.
Cars, in particular, appear to have improved considerably. Most companies are now pushing completely green, totally electric, and mostly autonomous experiences. And even if their external factors have not changed too drastically, companies are experimenting with more unique designs for the car, to offer more customizable experiences. This year, one of my favorite shows was from Magna, who showed how the seats could automatically move into a car or a next-generation van to adapt to the changing needs of passengers.
I also noticed fewer cases of female objectification – "booth babes" – compared to the last time I attended CES, and this is a good thing. However, I was not happy every time I saw a woman wearing an ornate and revealing dress for the sole purpose of the presentation, and I saw it even more often than I wanted.
These women should not talk to people; just to stand up, smile, and look beautiful as casual men take their pictures. While I have not noticed as many gross instances as in 2012, I was still disappointed to see so many companies like Nikon failing in this sense.
You can not fill the genie in the bottle
The last time I was at CES, it was Microsoft's last year to attend, and with a big stand, to show.
Years later, I have certainly noticed the impact of larger companies retiring from the ESC.
The largest companies have attracted attention to CES 2019: Google, Amazon, Samsung, LG and the big car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz were on the verge of all. Smaller companies have had some unique inventions to show off, but they have not offered anything as impressive or futuristic as larger companies, which makes sense. Technology giants have more money to spend on research and development, sales, advertising and, of course, with huge booths and hotel suites at the biggest technology show in the world.
However, the absence of Microsoft and Apple at CES are significant. They are two of the most influential technology companies in the world and choose to organize their events throughout the year instead of participating in this great show. And this creates a precedent. It would not be surprising to also see Google and Amazon abandon the CES in the coming years, for similar reasons – perhaps to give their ads more grit and exclusivity.
CES probably will not change very soon
While some participants go to CES every year, many people are beginners and this show is their first look into the future. And this is fantastic!
Overall, I like what symbolizes CES – optimism and progress – which are nice things to think about at the start of a new year.
But I hope the ETUC will continue to improve: I hope you find a way to get bigger companies back to the show, and I hope it also encourages more extravagant innovations, presentations and presentations to make the show a little bit more. different from year to year.
I also hope that the ETUC will find a better way to show the technology that addresses prevailing and immediate issues, such as climate change, because if that technology was at the show I could not find it.
CES does a great job in introducing people into the world of consumer technology at the forefront. But for those people who go every year, or every few years, it does not offer much in terms of news. Many technologies exhibited are iterative improvements, not radical reimagining.
CES may not be able to control the companies that participate and present at the show, but I hope to see the Consumer Technology Association, the group that manages the CES, try harder to make each show a little different from the past years.