The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a great time for people that love shoving bluetooth receivers in every piece of injection-moulded plastic they can find. For cars, it is the absolute worst.
There was a time a while ago where I would actually get excited for CES. I’d watch all the tech shows and get lost in all the cool stuff they showed me that would be coming to stores soon. That I couldn’t afford it didn’t matter at all.
But recently, I think CES is bad…?
There’s not a lot of genuine innovation anymore. I mean, just how a big a TV do you need?
But things get even worse when you start looking at what car manufacturers, people who wish they were car manufacturers and whatever other tech company that wants the glow of building a “car thing” bring to the Nevada oasis in January.
We’ll start with Audi’s “VR Experience”. Basically, it puts a computer in the boot and a VR headset in the back seat so that (I assume) your children can watch TV while you haul them cross-country to visit Aunt Irma for Christmas because this year you promised you would because you haven’t seen her since “The Incident” in 1992.
The problems with this should be apparent immediately to anyone that uses a car at times that aren’t just getting an Uber home from the pub at 3am after Friday drinks at the office.
I mean, I heard you like motion sickness so I put some motion sickness inside your motion sickness. Also, have you tried to make a young child wear headphones? I have. It’s bloody hard to do when they’re sitting on your lap. Trying to get it to happen while thundering down the highway at 110km/h seems like a bad idea.
And even if they do wear it, I cannot wait to get hit repeatedly in the back of the head because they’re fighting The Hulk or whatever and the computer has decided the headrest of my seat is where his face should be.
I mean. Christ.
Even if it’s not for kids, I’m sure Chad your 25-year old husky son can amuse himself by looking out the window for an hour. He doesn’t need to escape into Fortnite or whatever RIGHT THIS SECOND, DAD IT’S NOT FAIR.
Even Hyundai, a company I have an incredible soft-spot for (shut up, don’t @ me) have presented something that looks like every surface rover from every science-fiction film of the last 40 years (and even in the correct 1:8th scale model form you’d use in said films) and presented it as some revolutionary form of transport for first responders.
Not to mention there’s the usual plethora of “connected driving” apps and binnacles that do little more than upgrade your existing GPS system with live traffic data and pictures that are nicer to look at than a monochrome arrow, because it’s absolutely important you look at that and not the road while driving.
And finally, there’s whatever the hell this is?
“Smart” GPS? Total Recall cosplay for your car? I have no idea. But it’s….bad.
Previously we’ve seen Faraday Future propose the ultimate electric car of the future that wasn’t at all vapourware but let’s talk about it completely redefining personal transport anyway because they booked a stage at CES so they must be legitimate.
I’m sure there’s more to be found, but it’s early days of this year’s show and there’s only so much varnish remover you can hit before your head starts spinning.