You don't go to CES. You survive it. CES is like standing in front of a firehose of wondrous, grotesque gadgets, some amazing, some imbecilic, yet the sheer volume and velocity being fired out of any hose... hurts. This year we tried to to blanket our coverage, to bring you as much as inhumanly possible, and Georgia Dow, Anthony, Simon Sage, and Richard Devine on the ground, and Peter Cohen, Ally Kazmucha, Joe Keller, and Chris Parsons back at HQ managed to get almost 50 videos shot, edited, and posted over 3 days. We can argue that maybe it was too much — I'd agree, next year we're going to go for the less-is-more approach — but it was the job they were all given and they kicked it's ass. I can't thank them all enough.
I spent most of the week broadcasting #CESlive with John P. and Cali Lews. Together with Phil Nickinson, Daniel Rubino, Derek Kessler, and Georgia, we conducted 80 live interviews in 4 days. I did about 2 hours a day, every day, but John P. did 6 hours a day for the first couple of days. He's the Iron Man, and I can't express how much I learned from the whole Geek Beat team, and how much respect I have for all of them.
Android Central, Windows Phone Central, CrackBerry, and Smartwatch Fans all run very different shows than iMore. AC is press-conference and device heavy, SWF is helping an industry take off, WPC has a few meetings but is mostly business-as-usual, and CB is... buying $2K phones and rolling up on CEOs.
Beyond the teams and my endless pride for them, CES broke down much like we expected it would. 4K TVs were everywhere. Robots were everywhere. The internet of things was trotted out more than a show pony. Everything is bigger (or smaller), and everything is connected.
But what I really want is for it all to be more human. Most of the stuff there, from the TVs to the car entertainment centers to the health and fitness products had interfaces designed for the companies making them, not the people who had to use them. They were more often than not drab, dreary, discombobulated, convoluted, confounding, complex, affairs that looked assembled more than designed.
In 2014, that's just not good enough. iOS 7 is beautiful. Android Holo is beautiful. Windows Phone metro is beautiful. The typical crap interface shoved at us by consumer electronic companies just isn't good enough any more.
Come CES 2015, more than 8K TVs, robot waiters, and connected all-the-things, is great interface, human interface, stuff that's easy to use and a joy to use.
Panels are good enough. Density, saturation, gamut, etc. are good enough. Interface isn't. Fix that next.