January 7, 2022
I arrived home from CES 2022 last night and for my fourth and final CES Diary entry thought I would share some general thoughts and observations:
For starters, I believe Gary Shapiro and his team at the Consumer Technology Association made the right decision when they decided to proceed with an in-person show, despite the sudden and unexpected COVID-19 surge triggered by the emergence of the Omicron variant.
As Bill Maher said in a tweet back in the spring of 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, “I worry that the past two months of quarantine have given people the idea that the way for humans to win our million-year war with microbes is to avoid them completely, and I’m here to tell you: you can’t.”
It is becoming increasingly clear that COVID and its various permutations are here to stay, and we need to learn to live with it, to deal with it. We have vaccines that are at least as effective as our annual flu shots on the preventive front and certainly work as therapeutics, minimizing the risk of serious illness in most people. If we can have indoor arena sports games and concerts we should be able to have big trade shows. Everything in life is a tradeoff. If you are at risk, don’t go out. If you feel sick, stay home. But no more shutdowns, lockdowns or other Draconian measures to combat something that will likely be with us forever, like the flu.
Secondly, the show’s rapid shift over the last decade toward technology and away from its legacy consumer electronics makes perfect sense. On the entertainment front, we’ve come about as far as we can go. We have evolved from three networks to hundreds of cable channels, from our first taste of on-demand viewing with VHS to DVD, Blu-ray Disc and streaming — all of which fit the definition of home entertainment as any filmed content available for viewing at the consumer’s discretion.
Content is no longer just king — it’s everywhere, with an overwhelming choice of great movies, series and miniseries across a multitude of platforms. Our choices have never been greater — or better.
All these new areas that CES has been moving into recently — smart homes, smart cars, food tech, space tech, digital health, even virtual worlds — are designed to make life easier and better and more efficient.
And as life gets easier, doesn’t that leave more time for entertainment?