We all know what the economy is like these days and it seems like even CES isn't immune to the recession woes. Compared to last year, CES 2009 seems a bit ... subdued. The big booths aren't as flashy, the music not as loud and even the attendees seem to have more serious expressions on their faces.
Everyone I've talked to, attendees and exhibitors, acknowledges that this year's show isn't radiating the same glitz and glamor of years past. Large companies are still making their presence known but the floor isn't as packed. I've even noticed more empty booth spaces this year. A year ago, I remember walking up to a gigantic, life-size replica of Bumblebee from the Transformers movie and fighting through huge crowds to snap pictures of a R2-D2 that doubled as a digital projector. My impression from last year: wow. My impression so far this year: oh.
But it's not all bad. The crowds are still big and the products are still new. And a lot of companies have scaled down by renting hotel suites instead of booth space, which not only saves them money but gives them better face time with the media. For the smaller companies here, it's almost a win-win.But I still miss Bumblebee.