August 13, 2022

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CES diary—A day on the ground in Vegas

I veer to the healthcare section, and notice a sea of displays to optimize sleep and maximize at-home comfort overshadow the predictive health and performance enhancing wearables from past CES experiences. I sit in a $10,000, zero-gravity home massage chair and think about how these past two years have made room for innovations that enhance sedentary lifestyle.    

Dodging hordes of people with selfie sticks, I make my way to the drones, robots and AI section. Usually this space is packed, but today it’s a bit sparse. I’m greeted by a virtual sales rep on a life-size screen, and am struck by the realness of her mannerisms and speech. She does not feel creepy, nor do the other reps that share speaking roles, all starting with, “I am not a real person…” We have officially crossed over into the uncanny valley.   

I head back to the hotel for afternoon meetings and walk through the casino with my associate. We talk about how the energy in the casino is completely different than the floor of the great hall. Vegas overall remains an unapologetic 24-hour party, while the convention center felt awkward, full of people wondering: should I be here or not?  But hey, at least this year you can get a decent dinner reservation on short notice anywhere in town.  

After drinks at a BI mixer and a low-key client dinner, my night ends as it does every other year at CES: an uncomfortable realization that I’m the only woman in a 100 foot radius while walking through the tables. That’s my cue … time for bed.