They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas--but where's the fun in that? As part of a marathon trip through what seemed like miles and miles of vendor booths, housed in the apparently endless Las Vegas Convention Center, Calvin Tang snapped more photos than could possibly be utilized in the assorted articles produced as part of the Newsvine/MSNBC coverage of CES 2010.
So, as a bookend to the written updates, I've embedded the best of the rest, a fairly exhaustive Flickr photoset, in a futile effort to encapsulate the experience of attending CES.
The images are presented in chronological order, but if it all seems somewhat random and haphazard, well, that's just CES. Prior to this opportunity, the largest convention I'd ever attended/covered--the only convention I'd ever attended/covered--was Macworld in 2008. That's a big deal, if you're a Mac user, but it's not really anything like CES.
That's not to say that Macworld is a small event, by any stretch of the imagination. The EXPO portion is fairly expansive, and the showroom floor can be incredibly daunting, for a first timer. The difference, of course, is that the vendors are all somehow tied into the Apple ecosystem, and that tends to limit the scope.
As a technology writer, this limited scope was also a blessing: The theme was pretty much set in stone based on whatever Steve Jobs blurted out after his signature "one more thing". Other than the Keynote and Jobs's presence (back when Apple still had a presence at Macworld, anyway) there were a whole host of vendors parasitically latched-onto whatever mojo they could derive from the mothership.
All roads lead to Apple, or something like that.
So, that's what everyone would write about. Later this afternoon, for instance, Apple will unveil its long-rumored take on tablet computing--Canvas, iPad, whatever it ends up being called--and if that were to have gone down at Macworld, that's what people would have written about. "Jobs says Canvas will make toast, and I believe him." "The iPad single-handedly shows up CES." "The iSlate is too expensive, doesn't butter my toast, and can't raise the dead, so why would anyone buy this thing?" And so on.
There is no such built-in theme at CES. This year, 3DTV was all the rage, and there's the ongoing story of mobile computing, but hundreds of different companies are competing for coverage, and they're all determined to look like the center of the technology universe. It's just not possible to cover everything and much of what is on display doesn't warrant coverage anyway.
Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, delivered the opening Keynote--a new Tablet and a new-ish look at Project Natal--and they had what may have been the single largest footprint on the showroom floor, but other vendors were there looking out for their own interests, often with competing technologies.
In other words: It's a free for all.
All Photos: Calvin Tang