CES 2016 Reflections: Let the ‘Gadget’ Not Dominate Our Legacy
Following coverage of this year’s CES, I was struck by the ubiquity of the term “gadget.” From local news teasers that preview the latest gadgets at CES to various tech-site best (or worst) gadgets of CES, the term has become almost synonymous with CES, in some circles. But I think none of us in our industry would define what we do as merely designing and selling gadgets, a word which connotes whimsy and trivial novelty in most circles.
Contrast this with the phenomenal keynote we received from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Krzanich’s speech was as captivating and awe-inspiring a speech as ever I’ve heard. His theme? “Experiences over products,” which he delivered via a spectacle showing the promise of technology that included BMX stunt bikers, a drone navigating a forest path to film a mountain biker and video of 100 illuminated drones gyrating in perfect unison to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
In contrast, the media fawned over “gadgets” that seem destined to flame out as impractical or superfluous rejects in our industry’s evolutionary innovation journey. A Bluetooth-enabled pregnancy test doesn’t get me excited about the future of technology. And I’m all for smart control and monitoring, when it comes to safety, security and convenience, but how close are you or your customers to dropping $10,000 on a smart refrigerator that can take selfies, or picking up a new pair of heated, sensor-laden smart shoes with headlights?