by Jim Bennett (January 17, 2000)
Judging by the structures and the activity around the convention centers, hotels and other sites throughout the city of Las Vegas, CES 2000 is going to be very big and important. My first sight of the large tent structure in the parking lot, in front of LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center), was a good sign. In talking with Gary Shapiro, the Consumer Electronics Association's top executive, about the Y2K issues, I found that they were handled and did not have any negative impact on event set up or show operations. I talked with Gary about Y2K planning at last year's CES, so he and his team certainly deserve a big thank you by delivering on their promise of a trouble free CES 2000. Great job!
The big rig truck and trailer combinations, myriads of supply vehicles, large crates, forklifts and workers are all racing around in order to be ready for opening day tomorrow (Thursday). It looks like military operation, but with the positive objective to create the show in over a million square foot venue that displays the technology that will empower the world with Consumer Electronics.
Looking at all the banners, I wonder if this is really the dawn of the post PC era. At Comdex 99 there was noticeably less focus on PC's and new emphasis on Web centric devices and information appliances.
Some of the questions I have going into CES 2000 center around questions like these. Will the digital age live up to all of its hype? Will wireless start to deliver on its promise? Will the "simpler PC interface" from Microsoft or others really happen? Will we still have to continue to wait for the "truly effective and efficient technology age"? Must we still have to invest countless time and money to acquire even more products and services to satisfy our needs? Will I find the promise and performance in automotive systems and devices that really improve upon previous offerings?
The first major show of this millennium displayed products and services that I can confidently and enthusiastically recommend. We may have a chance to see some of this century's new smart devices that will make us all more productive and more fully Internet enabled without the continuing operational hassles.
© 2000 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.