CES is seen as the roadmap of what we can expect from tech in the upcoming year which is why thousands of people attend the expo from across the globe to see everything from a voice-activated toilet to self-driving cars and everything in between.
This year was no different.
Maybe it was the odd rain in Vegas. Maybe it was the power failure. Maybe it was because things didn’t go smoothly this year, but as I headed home, I left CES with a strange mix bag of feelings that I couldn’t shake.
This was a strange year at CES which left me irritated and frustrated – here is why:
Ladies in tech industry
Over the past several days during CES I spoke with several ladies who are tech gurus and each one had many horror stories about being mistreated and having to deal with guys who try to “mansplain” tech to them.
The fight is real. And it’s everyday. And is not acceptable.
When a guy and a girl walk into a computer shop, there is an immediate assumption that the guy is “in charge” or the tech is for him. Why? Why is still happening in 2018?
While on the topic, in 2018 “booth babes” are still around for a simple reason – they draw attention. Statistically, since more males than females attend the convention, this is still a marking technique. And it works. Often at CES I notice how guys go gaga when they chat to a booth babe… Newsflash – she is not into you!
Ffs be professional and snapping photos is just creepy.
Some beef with Uber and Lyft
I LOVE LOVE the ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft. Every single trip in Vegas was done with an Uber or with a Lyft.
When I was in a rush I used the option which allowed me to be the only passenger. However, when I had time to kill, I used the Uber Pool or the Lyft Line option. For the uninitiated, this meant that other people could be added to the trip so that the total cost of the trip is reduced.
The system matches other passengers who are in close proximity to you and heading in the same direction.
This didn’t work at all.
I was often standing next to people heading to the exact same location and we would be assigned different drivers even though we were headed to the exact same location. We even tried pushing the button at the exact same time and were still allocated different drivers.
The system should be programmed that during a major event such as CES, it should prioritize and group people leaving the same location and heading to the same destination.
I noticed that many venues have a designated pickup locations for ride share vehicles. Nice! However when this location is underground or on the lower level of a hotel, then the app doesn’t identify the location correctly as GPS doesn’t work underground. Neither does data which fluctuated between Edge and 4G. Add to this hundred of people all requested rides at roughly the same time…chaos.
Electricity is king
No matter how far we have come with technology, it relies on electricity. No electricity = pricey chunks of metal.
When the power failed at the convention center due to rain, it instantly changed the narrative from “oh wow look at this high tech” to “this is all pointless now” as displays and demos dramatically powered down.
This was a short outage, but I imagine people stuck in areas after a hurricane or a flood not to mention people who live in areas that don’t have electricity at all…
We need better power solution – looking at you Mr. Elon Musk.
Innovation is difficult
Mashing several products together is not innovation. Adding a TV with an internet connection to an exercise bicycle is nice, but is not a paradigm shift.
Yes, each year we have loads of Bigger-Faster-Smarter tech which is certainly evolutionary, but I would not classify it as revolutionary.
There are so many “me too” companies who create virtually the identical products to the point where the products even look the same. Even made out of the same factory in China.
Real innovation is difficult and that is the real unicorn.
Traffic brings a strip to its knees
When thousands of people all need to get to the same location mostly in individual vehicles, the resulting traffic congestion is nightmarish. A trip that usually would take several minutes becomes 45min of frustration.
There has to be a smarter way to move a large number of people without laying train tracks.
Perhaps smart mobility of the future with driverless cars is the solution for smooth traffic management. In the meantime, we can dream about that day while staring at the bumper of the car in front of us.
Like I said,a strange year for me at CES…