The Consumer Electronics Show is boring; it’s too big; and for the most part, few companies are able to get their products into the spotlight for long enough to actually impress many customers.
And yet, CES is a necessary evil. Like it or not, the show is what the industry needs to ensure that the average non-Apple company can actually get some attention in a world dominated by the iPhone maker.
In some ways, the technology industry has become a sad place. Apple’s success has tossed all other companies in its growing shadow, and those firms can only hope to come out when the iPhone maker isn’t looking. Each year around this year, such an event happens.
CES is the opportunity that small vendors and even large companies like LG, Dish, and so many others, need to finally communicate their products to customers. For once, those companies can sit in front of a packed audience and show off their plans for the years. Better yet, they can get in touch with journalists, hold one-to-one meetings, and (hopefully) excite them into thinking that their latest inventions are the next big things in technology.
All of the rest of the year, things are much different for those companies. They’ll send out a press release here and there and typically receive a story or two. If they’re lucky, the average consumer will pay attention long enough to find out when the product will launch and how much it costs. If they’re really lucky, those companies might even be able to get the consumer out of their home and into the store to try the product out. And if they’re really, really lucky, those folks might just buy the respective device.
That’s the world that Apple, Microsoft, and Google has created. The big three are garnering all of the attention in the technology industry, and just about anything they have to say is newsworthy. All other companies are hoping to fill in the ever-smaller gaps that line up around them.
CES, though, levels the playing field. Apple is nowhere to be seen at the show, and Google and Microsoft hardly have a presence. CES, therefore, is open to smaller or less important companies that want to share off their wares while the giants are off working on products that will steal the world’s attention all the other days of the year.
That’s precisely why CES should not – and cannot – be shuttered. As big and annoying as it is, the show serves a very important purpose in the technology industry. And without CES, it’s hard to see how companies will be able to get their products out there and into our increasingly busy lives.
So, perhaps we should have a little patience with CES. Sure, it’s not what it used to be and there are increasingly boring aspects to it, but it’s an important event, nonetheless. And we can’t discount that.
Find all of our CES 2013 news at our CES Hub!
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear