The End of CES: Hey, But What About Our Shiny Future?

What did we learn from this year's CES gadget freakout show? Well… people like phones. And pretty pictures. And that we live in a very strange time: what's recently new is already old and boring, and there's nothing shocking and new to be had. (This is just because we have a short attention span! I mean the iPad is still pretty new! Remember how excited you were?)

So here's three things about the future.


CES: Shiny Things To Actually Want

Recently I was talking with Paul Graham, of genius startup incubator Y Combinator, for a story, and, while on a tangent, he made a case to the tablet-adverse folks like me. "The tablet, I believe now it's pretty safe to say, is the next model of computer," he said. "I think twenty years from now, kids will say, 'What's a computer?' And we'll say, 'Oh back before you used an iPad or an Android device for browsing the web, you had to use this thing with a keyboard and a big monitor.'" And I was like, really? (People like me, who use computers for text, find this idea [...]


A Very Few and Strange Glimpses of the Future

CES, now in full swing out in Las Vegas, is a trade show, and as such, occupies a complicated (if totally reasonable) place between "what will people buy each other for Christmas later this year" and "hey, look at the neat thing we can do!" So much of what is displayed there seems openly transitional. Producers of goods just can't hide it when they know they're only halfway onto what's next—and consumers know. (Are you 28 or older? Congratulations, you are older than the compact disc. Bought one recently?) But digging through the oodles of things on display, we can find some inklings of what's to come down [...]