CES 2013: Yes, Virginia, They Still Have Booth Babes

January 3, 2013


My colleague Cydney and I are heading to the mean streets of Las Vegas next week to take in the sights and — more so — the inescapable sounds of the 2013 International Consumer Electronics show. This is no touristy jaunt, though. We’ll be on business, helping a client execute an ambitious online-content strategy from the show.

Based on last year’s experience doing the same project, it’ll be a fun, crazy and insanely busy week. My hope, though, is that Cydney and I will be able to carve out a little bit of time to enjoy a slice of the geeky awesomeness the show’s vendors put on display. Whether we roam at our leisure or just take in sights during the course of scrambling from the client’s exhibit space to the mess hall, we’re sure to see some of the good, the bad and the ugly of the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES. Such as:

  • The future of computing. OK, that’s a stretch, but I must say, I’m intrigued — to say the least — by the approach Microsoft has taken with Windows 8 and its effort to make the experience of using smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops much more unified. Windows 8 itself might not be the solution to bridge this device/interface gap, but it sure as hell seems like a step down the right path.
  • Sheeple. There’s something amusing about seeing herds of thousands of adults waiting in line for dozens of buses to take them home at the end of the day (even if you’re one of them, as I was last year). Less amusing and more depressing is the same herd of thousands waiting in line for mediocre (by giant cafeteria standards) overpriced food. Good times!
  • Booth babes. It seems every year, there’s a wave of media stories along the lines of “My god, vendors still use scantily clad women as their primary attention-grabbing device.” And the next year, it’ll happen again. Does the tactic work? I’m sure it does, a lot of the time. But so does the “record” button in Nickelback’s studio; that doesn’t mean we have to use it.
  • People wearing crazy devices on their heads. This seems to be one of a few important factors for making it onto  best-of or worst-of (or both) round-up lists at CES. To list but a few: a sleep-time brain monitor, a “3D head-mounted display” and a crazy display-in-front-of-your-eye thing. “Does it do something kinda awesome? Does it make the user look goofy in media photos? Let’s launch it at CES!”

What are you looking forward to seeing and/or laughing at in the hallowed halls of the LVCC?

[photo via International CES on Flickr]