An Expert’s Take on the Best Way to Do CES
CES, a massive consumer electronics event held in Las Vegas every year, doesn’t officially start until Tuesday. But if you’re a member of the media, it began weeks ago with a steady and unstoppable flow of entreaties to visit this or that booth and agreeing to keep an embargo on news that’s meant to be shared at a predetermined time. It’s the trade show’s version of pregaming but without the pleasant buzz.
Before CES officially opens, there’s a small sanctioned event called Unveiled that pools together all the gadgets, gizmos, and services you’re conditioned to care about. You can cover a lot of ground visiting that event alone, but it often misses the best of the show: the oddities and innovations collected in Eureka Park. The funky startup show at the Sands is packed full of entrepreneurs from countries around the world. The products are unusual, idiosyncratic, and always a highlight.
As you prepare to attend the 2019 show, or just read about the biggest announcements on tech sites, remind yourself that for all the spectacle of CES, some of the most worthwhile stuff is hidden away.
The big guns — Samsung, Sony, TCL, LG, and others — will open CES with press conferences, where they will sprint through tons of new products, services, and previews. Reporters will flow in and out of the room. But even though there are a few dozen press events set, a brief survey of the attendant scribes reveals that most are covering the same few announcements.
For the best experience, dig deep below the obvious and well-funded.
There will be the largest 8K TV, another intelligent vacuum, and lots of Amazon Alexa integration. There will be electric cars, autonomous technology, and appliances that know more about your cleaning needs than you do. Smart technology will be a given. Dumb gadgets and accessories that work like supplicants for the smart ones won’t get much play on those first heady days because the news coming out of the pre-show will be fast, furious, and exciting. By the time the exhibitor floors open on Tuesday, the torrent of news will have slowed to a steady drip of interesting discoveries.