The news out of CES this year has again revolved around the coolest of tech gadgets and toys, from Samsung‘s transparent laptop OLED display to mobile DTV devices. And of course, 3D TV and tablet technologies were all over. It’s still easy to get lost in the sea of gleaming black gloss and bright lights on the show floor. But perhaps more subtly, we continue to see exhibitors focus less on speeds and feeds and more on technology that’s intuitive, approachable and fun.
Technological innovation is no more solely tailored to the technophiles, and you could really see how innovators in the consumer electronics space are trying to touch people’s lives in more relevant and broad-reaching ways. For example, companies like Intel and Microsoft showcased their latest efforts with technology in such verticals as healthcare and the automotive industry. I was also excited to see companies like Panasonic, Samsung and Casio discussing their products’ impact on the environment. Amidst the green gadget focus, there was a plethora of solar charging devices on display this year. Even books, arguably a last bastion of the non-digital world, have married technology in a slew of eReaders showcased at CES. And that sea of boring black was now more often dotted with products in fun colors, patterns and materials. We’ve been seeing laptop cases, cell phone covers and digital cameras come in diverse designs for a few years now, but this year, color and pattern was unabashedly splashed broadly across categories, especially in the audio space. It was also really fun to see some nostalgia creeping into the mix at CES, with such highlights as Polaroid‘s PIC-1000.
Although I work for a technology company, just hearing a product’s long resume of specs still makes my eyes glaze over. It’s far more compelling for me to hear how that product makes my life a little easier and more enjoyable, or makes the world a better place. And it’s great to see companies continue to strive to show us how their products do that – even if it’s all just a bit hidden behind the dazzle of bright lights and big screens.