Cranky Correspondence From CES

Great news for DCTech, Mr Cranky is all cranked out. I think I’ve overcranked my crankyness engine during the last 3 months causing a severely strained and blog blocked crank muscle. Therefore, I’ll be filling in with guest Cranksters for a while.

Today’s Crankster, is a good friend and frequent blog commenter, Skippy. Last week, I received this correspondence from Skippy on his Consumer Electronics Show (CES) experience.


I just got back from CES and I have great news for you.  Mr. Cranky will have lots of new material this year!  I have never seen so many turds covered with gold spray paint in my life.  Innovation hall was an endless array of amazingly useless devices, the “wearable” revolution could have easily been called the “unbearable” revolution and curved cell phones and LCDs are just plain silly.  The one area of the show that I was looking forward to seeing was the 3D printing zone.  With so many kickstarter success stories releasing products I thought for sure this would be the place to be wowed.  Unfortunately most of the “products” were makerbot pigs with lipstick (probably picked out by the communist party chairmans assistant for makeup.)  One or two of the printers will probably serve some use but the revolution in desktop printing will not take place until someone actually spends some money and effort designing software that real humans can use to make something more useful then a toy puzzle.

BMW released an all electric car with a smart watch interface.  They managed to combine an ugly car with yet another method of distracting drivers.

One bright spot was the Gibson Guitar tent.  At least their displays made sense and included products that actual consumers use.

I won’t bother taking a cheep shot at the ridiculous TV makers who were showing off their latest excesses.  I expected at least one clever rep to be dressed up as Mildred Montag (Fahrenheit 451) espousing the virtues of video walls over books but sadly no Ray Bradbury fans there.  (I wonder if Guy Montag would feel compelled to burn a Kindle?)

So, you ask, what does this have to do with Mr. Cranky.  Well, I’ll tell you.  Most of the stupid products have one thing in common.  They all have stupid investors backing stupid designers, who are managed by stupid managers and leaders, all who are hoping that they can find that prized stupid consumer.  Many of the items being shown at CES this year will never get in front of consumers, unfortunately for us, some of them will.  Fortunately for the rest of us there is Mr. Cranky, ready to point out the absurdity of their efforts.

All the best,