Now, I understand that asking why more people talk about the Oscars than CES sounds like a pointless question, as most people’s answer would be “because it’s The Oscars, Christos.” But if you take a few minutes to read through the following post, you may realise that the aforementioned response is at best misinformed and at worst completely ignorant.
The Iron Lady came out last week, a biopic of Margaret Thatcher, the first and, so far, only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Played by Meryl Streep, it will no doubt go on to clean up at various film award events across the globe, because it’s a film that offers the precise amount of grandeur and historical scale to tip the favour of the critics in its own direction.
On the other hand, CES is in full swing this week, and features a range of new electronic products, some of which millions of us will be using by the summer. Some of the announcements made at this event will change the way you ring your partner, watch television, or play videogames. But people don’t often discuss this event at all in most circles.
This strikes me as odd. People will comment on the various political events of the day, despite rarely (if ever) watching the Prime Minister’s Questions, because they effect us as individuals, through rising taxes, budget cuts, or new laws.
Yet the technology that powers our day – indeed, the technology allowing me to write this post, and you to read it – doesn’t seem to be celebrated and followed with interest by the vast majority of people who use it. We have, at times, been blessed with some tech-celebrities, in the form of Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg, and they do draw the collective consciousness of the media-hungry human race towards the technology field for brief moments. It’s telling when even your strange uncle can tell you of his high scores in Angry Birds.
Yes, people are discovering games like Angry Birds, as well as Android apps and iProducts, at an alarming rate. Technology has swiftly and in a way never before seen, I think, turned into a fashionable concern. CES should be a catwalk, down which the latest hardware struts, hoping to wow the assembled masses with increased memory and more apps than the competition.
In an ideal world, we’d gather around the TV and catch the Microsoft keynote, in much the same way we’re content to do with other events more centred around showbiz. I hold out a small hope that we can engage with technology in the same way many of us engage with the topics of commuting, politics, religion similarly stimulating jump-off points for conversation. We’ll just have to make sure that the Android and iOS users aren’t sitting next to each other.