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This year, Liana and I traveled to Las Vegas to walk the consumer electronics show (CES). Neither of us had been to CES before—we decided to attend because so many of our clients work in that industry. We felt it would be helpful to see the newest technology, and also to see current design trends. We certainly did see a lot of both.

The most impressive technology that I witnessed was shown at the Intel booth, an augmented reality presentation called Leviathan. It’s worth a read if you aren’t already familiar.

The 3-D printer section of CES was also pretty interesting.  We viewed 3D objects printed with a plastic substance, along with items made from ceramic and sugar.  3-D printing is amazing, and seems to be on the verge of something incredible. It will be exciting to see where it goes in the future.

From a design perspective, walking the floors at CES made me realize its very difficult for a exhibitor to break thru all of the noise and commotion that is present everywhere within the miles of booths. We witnessed numerous creative ideas aimed at grabbing the attention of attendees. Here is a list of memorable attempts, although I couldn’t tell you who did what.

  • Young hipsters working a mini skateboard park
  • Young hipsters working a mini bmx park
  • Young attractive females in tiny clothes, sitting on technology
  • Young attractive females dancing on podiums
  • Drones dancing in unison
  • Robots skittering around the floor
  • People dressed as robots
  • 2-story images
  • 2-story video images
  • 2-story waterfalls
  • Instant cameras available to capture and save images

For me, the key to gain my attention and then capture it long enough for me to learn and remember was the inclusion of an engaging interactive experience. Something that I participated in. One of the best examples of this was the LG 3D wall, complete with 3D glasses. We stood in awe (and occasionally ducked) while we experienced the 3D technology.

Walking CES as a newbie is an overwhelming, exhausting experience. Nowhere else can you see so much truly amazing technology, design and communication devices in one spot. It was definitely well worth the time and energy, and I think the knowledge and experiences we gained will surely affect our design solutions in the future.