“It’s evolutionary, not revolutionary” was how one attendee summed up this year’s show. And, indeed, the biggest debuts of last week seemed, well, not particularly big. TVs were thinner, cameras zoomier, 3D a step closer to fruition. But game changers were few and far between. And perhaps that’s because companies have learned to tone down their promises and time frames.
It’s not just big technologies. A few years ago, a grand, gadget-filled future was just around the corner. There’d be cameras that print their own photos! And cell phones with Skype! When you wanted to turn off your TV, you’d just wave your hand and when you wanted to turn on your toys you’d just think hard. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that 2009 was to be the year of fulfilled promise. All those products we’d just about given up hope on were launching at long last. If only we could say it was worth the wait.