It’s the last day of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And as you’ve probably heard by now, this was the first year Microsoft didn’t give the keynote or have an exhibit at the show. That coupled with the fact there wasn’t a big, groundbreaking product unveiled at the show has led many in the tech press to declare CES dead.
But that’s not the word on the 23rd floor of the of the Las Vegas Hotel, says Leslie Chard, the president of WHDI. The Silicon Valley-based company has a wireless HDMI standard that allows devices like HD cameras connect to monitors and tablets wirelessly. WHDI is one of the hundreds of companies renting rooms in hotels across the Las Vegas Strip in order to hold business meetings.
“CES is alive and hopping," says Chard. " It’s not about consumers to come and look at, it’s about doing business. Everyone is here. Just this morning, we had visitors from Israel, Japan, Korea and Germany all coming into one place.”
WHDI works with Samsung, Motorola and Sony among others. Chard says meeting with them is critical to creating new products.
On the convention floor, Myra Chiang, a V.P. at Ozaki, isn’t really interested in the average Joe or the press. Ozaki makes colorful iPad and iPhone cases and it has a huge exhibit with plush white carpet and a gigantic iPhone sculpture. Chiang said she came to “because it’s important to invite all our distributors.” Ozaki distributors are mostly based in Asia. Even though Ozaki is located in Taiwan, Chiang comes to CES to meet with them.
As for CES being on life support, with 150,000 attendees and nearly two million square feet of exhibit space, the trade show says it had a record breaking year.
Back at the hotel, Chard says he sort of wouldn’t mind if the show was a little less popular.
“CES overloaded Vegas’ carrying capacity,” he said. And he says if there are fewer people here next year, he’s OK with that.