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CESs-pit? 10 January, 2007

Posted by robhollier in digital home, mobile.

Taking the long-term perspective, which is worse:

1. The news that North Korea has test-detonated a nuclear bomb, or

2. The realisation that, in the near future, people everywhere will be watching TV clips on their mobiles and annoying the hell out of other people who are trying to get on with their lives?

If, like me, you think the answer is 2, then the news coming out of this week’s Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) won’t make you feel much better. The show appears obsessed with TV. Last year, yet again, it was HDTV; this year, it’s the many different ways to get TV onto your mobile, not to mention IP-enabled TV sets.

“He had as much imagination as a pint-pot,” Shelley once said of his fellow-poet Wordsworth, and he wasn’t being complimentary. Sifting through the announcements from CES, I’m starting to think a similar lack of imagination must apply to leaders of technology companies.

Is this obsession with TV the best the consumer tech industry can come up with? Why are all these companies working so hard to turn us into a planet of brain-addled passive consumers, agog for whatever digital entertainment dull media companies condescend to pipe through to us?

The message appears to be this. We are going to hell in a hand-cart but, luckily, the hand-cart is now fitted with a SlingBox. And we’re meant to be grateful?



1. Michelangelo - 16 January, 2007

Nicholas Carr, inevitably, makes a similar point but in a much wittier and more precise kind of way on his blog where he repudiates the idea of the digital lifestyle, as advocated by Bill Gates:


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