The Worst of CES 2015
While most of the large tech outlets are handing out shiny Best of CES 2015 awards, we’re flipping the bird to everything that sucked ass during the annual consumer electronics convention. No, we’re not pointing and laughing at the guy who couldn’t afford a Sony-sized booth and is tucked away in the corner of South Hall — we’re not complete dicks. Instead, we’re putting the spotlight on the random annoyances and clichés found at the show.
iPhone Cases. iPhone Cases Everywhere.
Going by the press releases I received ahead of the conference, I knew there were going to be a lot of iPhone cases. But nothing could have ever prepared me for what I witnessed here at the show. There were iPhone cases that charge your battery, iPhone cases with more sparkles than a Twilight vampire, iPhone cases that could ward off ebola, iPhone screen protectors, iPhone cases that were speakers… you get it. If you’re going to make a splash with iPhone protection, you better use it as a target in a game of skee-ball.
Wearables, Drones, and VR Headsets, Oh My!
Why didn’t the hipster swim wearing wearable tech? Because they went mainstream (Yeah, my jokes are probably just as shitty as this stuff). God damn, these fucking things were everywhere. Smartwatches, wearable cameras, heart-rate monitors, step-tracking bandaids, cock rings that count every thrust — it was cool at first, now people might as well wear an old CRT PC monitor helmet that looks you’re one of the Daft Punk dudes, but you don’t get to hang out with Pharrell and his awesome hat.
And drones. They’re excellent for getting an aerial shot of your house for your real estate photo and are the future of Amazon Prime, but enough is enough. With a few exceptions, every single one looked entirely the same and served incredibly similar functions — like flying stationary enclosed in netting so the drone manufacturer doesn’t get sued for turning attendees into Tony Montana.
It started with Oculus Rift. But then Facebook bought it to turn it into a way to stalk your ex-girlfriend’s vacation photos. Yes, she looks great in that bikini. No, you shouldn’t hit ‘like’ — that pic was from 7 months ago, you creep. Now everyone and their mother is making their own version of a VR headset, making it virtually impossible for anyone to actually develop anything meaningful for any one of them. Samsung has one that was interesting enough, but even Sony chose to leave Project Morpheus at the lab this year. The reality is, these kinda suck.
Suit Yourself, Fuck Everyone Else
At this point in my career, I’m completely numb to getting bumped by backpacks at conventions like this. Nerds need stuff, and lots of it. But businessmen from Silicon Valley are too powerful for childish backpacks — no, those are for elementary school kids and pack away trapper keepers (they still use those, right?). Instead these ignorant bastards drag carry-on luggage behind them, taking up three or four human being’s worth of standing space and running over everyone’s toes in their wake. What do you even have in there? And what happened to the briefcase? Doesn’t matter, only they do.
Save the suitcase for the airport.
But First, Let Me Take a Selfie
I love social media as much as the next guy, uploading convention photos to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so my mom can see how cool I am. But in the middle of a packed convention housing 140K people that are in a rush, don’t be an asshole and try to take a selfie with a robot, or while you’re trying on the Star Wars headphones 50 Cent makes. And don’t even get me started with these people carrying “selfie-sticks”. If you’re that vain you need an extension to get the right angle, stick the selfie up your ass because you can go fuck yourself. But I guess it’s still better than standing around taking photos and ogling the booth babes.
To Be A Stand Out, You Gotta Stand Out
Look, I realize not everyone has Mercedes-Benz money and can’t send a glowing LED self-driving car down the Las Vegas strip, but at a show full of millions of electronics, you have to stand out, or don’t come at all. I’ve never been to China, so I didn’t know what the fuck a Shenzhen was until I got to CES and 18 pages of the show floor directory had listings that started with the word. I found out that it’s a wealthy city in the land of counterfeits… because Google. I’m down with showing pride about where you’re from, but you’re not at all helping out any stereotypes by making every one of your booths look almost exactly the same.
Or I saw a few booths with USB cables or alkaline batteries. Not just any alkaline batteries… no wait, these are really just alkaline batteries? What the hell are you doing here? You need another course in business 101 because you just wasted a shitload of money to buy show floor space to do something practically every store in America does by the checkout counter. Dude, you’re competing with gas stations and 7-11, get out of the way and save your cash for retirement.
The Internet of (No)Things
IoT. Internet of Things. I probably heard this phrase more than I heard the sound of my breath during CES – it’s the new buzzword of 2015. It’s a catch-all for everything that is connected to the Internet and controlled by a smartphone app or another similar means. Cool stuff, don’t get me wrong. We’re talking about the future here. So then why the fuck can’t I get a solid wifi signal at the fucking mecca of consumer electronics?! Sure there are other signals at the show that are bound to interfere with wifi, so how then am I going to make sure I shut off my app-powered stove or started the engine on my self-driving car? What if I forgot to set my dryer to delicates? What if…………